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IP Diligence

IP Diligence
by Bernard Murphy on 07-20-2017 at 12:00 pm

I hinted earlier that Consensia would introduce at DAC their comprehensive approach to IP management across the enterprise, which they call DelphIP (oracle of Delphi, applied to IP). I talked with Dave Noble, VP BizDev at Consensia to understand where this fits in the design lifecycle.

IP management means a lot of different things. To most of us it revolves around design data management (DDM) which is certainly an important component. But there’s another consideration, at least as important, concerning the fitness or appropriateness of the IP you have selected for use in your design. Here we may think of this primarily in terms of functionality and PPA but there are other equally important concerns:

· What choices do I have for a specific IP?
· Do we have a paid-up license to use this IP on this design?
· Do some teams members (perhaps in overseas locations) not have permission to see or use aspects of this IP?
· Will use of this IP in this design for this target market comply with ITAR restrictions?
· Are there marketing/business restrictions on how the IP may be used for this design?
· Does our company have track record with this IP in the target process?
· Who has to signoff on changes you may want to make concerning this IP?
· Does this IP depend on other IP and what are the restrictions on those IP?

These are concerns which aren’t directly a function of the design yet can have huge impact on its viability – can it be built profitably, can it be shipped to markets targeted in the business plan and will it meet a broad enough range of target customer needs? And there’s another consideration – how effectively is your enterprise managing IP? Are you paying license fees for IP in designs which never made it to production (or profitability)? Are there opportunities to negotiate better deals with IP providers or to change the mix to better optimize for long-term goals?

Across a large enterprise the complexity of managing these concerns through many designs and hundreds of IP, each potentially being used in multiple versions, becomes as challenging a problem as DDM, yet this class of requirements doesn’t naturally find a home in traditional DDM systems. Managing these needs effectively takes on extra urgency during consolidation, where redundancy in IP assets is almost certain and assets which may be valuable across multiple designs remain unknown outside the original development group.

DelphIP aims to answer this need by integrating more comprehensive capabilities with conventional DDM for IP. This fits neatly with their approach to enterprise-level design data management (using DesignSync) which I discussed in a previous blog. This starts with capability to classify and catalog each IP so that IPs are quickly searchable and their dependencies quickly discoverable. A related need is addressed by tracking IP maturity and where the IP has been used in other designs.

Compliance to requirements like ITAR and IP-vendor restrictions can be managed through a configurable policy for design and geographically constrained IP use. Similarly access controls are configurable, allowing you to define multiple roles for who can read or modify (or even create) parts and who is allowed to create tickets, or change requests or actions items.

DelphIP also provides support for configuration management and version control of the IP BOM (bill of materials), obviously of value in design reviews and design documentation and in supporting IP vendor audits, but also important in in building compliance documentation for standards like ISO 26262. In addition, you can setup subscription-based notification and alerts for updates/changes and you can build your own analytics to guide make versus buy decisions.

Most important in what is now a heavily consolidated industry, DelphIP supports differing DDM systems across the enterprise. There’s no need to force teams to uproot their preferred DDM best practices – they can continue to use work with the flows they best understand while still allowing you to oversee and manage the total IP view across the enterprise.

You can learn more about DelphIP HERE.

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