This paper presents findings of two research projects, which study current PLM practices and future PLM challenges of global manufacturing companies. This study focuses on maturity of PLM adoption, PLM system architectures and integrations between the tools and seeks a better understanding of a real business phenomenon by comparing case companies to models presented in literature. Data was collected by interviews and benchmarking sessions in six plus three companies in two projects. The companies are categorized by using a four level PLM maturity model. This research indicates that the PLM adoption maturity and architecture models are related to the effectiveness of PLM usage. Service and project businesses seem to be challenging aspects. This is because PLM systems are mainly used in beginning of life activities of the product. In the future also the end of life and middle of life activities should receive more support from the tools and software.