Online Support Community Success Story: PTC/USER


PTC/USER is the independent user group for software produced by PTC, maker of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions for over 25,000 customers in the Industrial, High Tech, Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Consumer, and Medical Device industries. PTC/USER is the sole entity recognized by PTC as the official worldwide representative of its customers. PTC/USER’s programs include working closely with PTC’s product management team to incorporate user feedback into PTC products, 70 regional user groups across the world, and international conferences.


  • Users of PTC software were using the software every day. When they had questions or hit stopping points, they wanted a way to get help from other users and bring their issues up with the software company.
  • The existing community had to be managed through a command line on a UNIX terminal, and later a tech-heavy website. Engagement was low since users and community administrators had to be fairly technical to interact and keep the community updated. In addition, the hours spent managing servers and hardware were hours that could not be spend adding value to the community for PTC customers.
  • As PTC made acquisitions it was difficult to serve the varying needs of the different user communities.


  • Single Online Community Platform. PTC/USER has been able to bring all of the user communities for PTC software into a single online community platform. Each software product’s community can be tailored to the needs of that user group to ensure that each user only sees information that is relevant and helpful to them.
  • Customer Engagement. Socious online community software helped PTC/USER engage a diverse and active community by providing three ways to customers to engage – online, through email, and on a mobile device. Many PTC/USER members work for companies with strict internet security protocols. Using the merged online forum and listserv features built into Socious, PTC/USER has been able keep PTC customers engaged and continues to provide peer-to-peer support.
  • Online Technical Committees. Using the online community, PTC/USER can more effectively manage the customer groups that work closely with PTC’s product managers to direct future software development. This has been a very successful program, with approximately 80% of member suggestions appearing as product enhancements.
  • Mobile Community. Using Socious mobile community features, PTC/USER has built its value proposition around customers helping customers. In the midst of a project, in an airport, or on their way to a meeting, PTC software customers can ask the community questions and get a response within minutes. The simplicity and immediacy of the peer-to-peer support has emerged as one of PTC/USER most significant market differentiators.

“We deal with a lot of large corporations, a lot of aerospace, a lot of military. They have a lot of security issues. They don’t like their folks logging onto the web, going to websites, going to different places. Interacting through the email client is still somewhat of a unique offering today. The versatility of still being able to interact that way with those very technical people is keeping us in a unique position and keeping us relevant.” – Dan Glenn, PTC/USER