This paper presents novel collaboration methods implemented using a centralized client/server product development integration architecture, and a decentralized peer-to-peer network for smaller and larger companies using open source solutions. The product development integration architecture has been developed for the integration of disparate technologies and software systems for the benefit of collaborative work teams in design and manufacturing. This will facilitate the communication of early design and product development within a distributed and collaborative environment. The novelty of this work is the introduction of an ‘out-of-box’ concept which provides a standard framework and deploys this utilizing a proprietary state-of-the-art product lifecycle management system (PLM). The term ‘out-of-box’ means to modify the product development and business processes to suit the technologies rather than vice versa. The key business benefits of adopting such an approach are a rapidly reconfigurable network and minimal requirements for software customization to avoid systems instability.