PLM Prompt: What will be cloud cost of PLM?

August 25, 2009




My short prompt today is about Cloud/SaaS infrastructure. Reading the following article by Dion Hinchcliffe comparing cost trends of leading cloudinfrastructure providers - Amazon, Google, Microsoft. What will define cost of PLM on a cloud? How do you see PLM SaaS cost trends in the future?

My take on this:

1. Future PLM SaaS Applications will be significantly cheaper in comparison to today’s on premise offering.

2. Cloud/SaaS will remove overlaps and customer will pay per specific PLM feature.

3. Cloud service providers will compete on their complimentary offering as part of PLM solutions.

Just my opinion. YMMV. What do you think about it?

Best, Oleg.

How many Lifecycles do we need?

August 25, 2009

how-many-lifecyclesYesterday, two separate article got my attention and brought me to think about Lifecycle. Alternatively, even more, about number of systems claims different lifecycle support. Jim’s Brown thought about QLM Quality Lifecycle Management and TEC article What keeps EAM/CMMS away from PLM“. Why I choose these two is because they are presenting a complimentary story, in my view.

Jim claims Quality is a complimentary process to Product Lifecycle. Manufacturers these days cannot take risks and afford quality issues rising up, so QLM processes need to be adjusted and/or work together with Product Lifecycle. At the same time, Jim mentioned that many of today’s PLM systems doesn’t have QLM capabilities and some hybrid PLM/QLM would be probably interesting combination, we can offer to customers. I’d agree with Jim - with PLM system capable of manage overall product lifecycle, we’d better had Quality related processes connected and working together.

If I read correctly TEC, Kurt Chen presents in his article need to tie PLM and EAM systems together and analyze possible ways to do so. These processes represent both sides of product-related activities. First- from a product development side, second- from side of purchasing. What I liked is presenting of “two-sides of the story” of the same lifecycle.

I thought, these two stories is excellent examples to stop considering product-related processes as a something separate. Today’s organizational goals can be achieved only if we will be able to establish single lifecycle to manage all product-related activities in organization across department, divisions and cross-organizational boundaries. The siloed approach won’t work anymore. And I think demand on customers today is to establish such approach.

So, that’s what I thought about “lifecycles”. What do you think? What is your opinion? Do you have similar discussions and/or thoughts coming from your organizational experience?

Best, Oleg

PLM Prompt: Who will rebuild PLM for Mac?

August 24, 2009

outlook-macShort prompt. I’m reading the article “Microsoft Outlook sets its sights for Mac”.“Microsoft is offering Outlook on Mac to enterprises because of the increasing Mac presence in business. “We’re seeing customers choose the Mac platform in the enterprise, but whether their business is all Mac or a mix of Mac and PC, they interact with other customers using Windows or Macs,” Tedesco said.”

So, Office 2008 will move to Mac’s next year. Microsoft will rebuild Outlook ground up on Mac using Cocoa. Maybe it’s only me, but I see signs of Mac around much more than before. Is it timing to think about Mac and PLM usability?

Just my thoughts… Best, Oleg

PLM trends in the intersection of Business and IT

August 24, 2009

plm-it-interestion-trendsYou can ask me - why would you like to talk about trends? Trends are something normally going toward an end of the calendar year? Something like “2009 trends” or “future 2010 trends”… What’s up now?

I think, current turbulent time brings different time scale on everything we are doing. Businesses need to take decisions about what they are doing on going basis and not on calendar basis. So, thinking about various business needs and heading up to more active post-summer time, I decided to put few thoughts about PLM and surrounding topics.
I’d like to suggest to take a focus of two – Business and IT. And definitely, “business first” notion. In my view, prism of Business will have a very significant impact on everything that will go in Product Lifecycle Management in the near future.

So, I figured out four “major trends” and want to talk about them a little bit more in deep. I will take them in the order from most “business significant” to “more technologically significant”.

1. Upfront cost of PLM projects will impact enterprise PLM

I think initial cost of PLM projects becomes a very significant factor impacting various kinds of PLM implementations in enterprise these days. I’d expect every Business Unit thinking about PLM strategies to ask question - how we can do the same with less cost? I see here various impacts coming from outside of PLM, such as development of “free software notion” in consumer space, OnDemand/SaaS models for CRM and partially ERP applications and, finally, bad perception about PLM implementation performance. I’d expect major business re-thinking in the way business will think about PLM and surrounding business applications. What does it mean for PLM vendors? My thoughts here mostly about alternative business models (free/open source) and new technologies that lower cost of PLM deployments.
2. Vertical PLM Solutions

PLM becomes very broad solution when vendors start to think in context of various industries, vertical, markets and organization types. One of the possible ways to become more efficient and increase adoption rate, is to focus PLM solutions/implementations on the specific market niche. The potential of a specific market niche/industry can be significant for mid-size software vendor to get in. Another interesting perspective is how “PLM behemoths” will be reacting on such a move. My expectation is for positive reaction and interest to build market/industry specific partnerships and alliances.

3. Alternative non-PLM solutions

This is another interesting move. Do you like buzzword “PLM”? I’d expect not everybody like it and many of the software vendors and solution providers can try to find solution for “PLM problem” in “non-PLM way”. The potential exists in multiple domains - Business Process Management, MDM, Content Management etc. These companies, leveraging new technologies, infrastructure and ideas can compete to provide product development, engineering and manufacturing solutions in the same space occupied by PLM vendors. Even if I see potential risk for current PLM businesses as very low, I think risk for “white space” and “new business” is very significant.

4. PDM renaissance

Th  This is my last point. What can be done in PDM these days? PDM is a core of Product Lifecycle Management and provide basics data management capabilities for most of PLM deployments. At the same time, PDM is mature and provided by many vendors these days/ At the time when customers will be looking for more cost effective solutions, less overlap in business functions and additional optimization PDM can get “a second move”. Such PDM renaissance can be driven by new technologies, usability improvement and new business ideas. This is a pace to innovate in my view.

So far, I’m sure haven’t chance to make fundamental research. These are just my thoughts, and I wanted to share it with you. I will be waiting for your comments and great blog discussion.

Thanks, Oleg

PLM Prompt: Can RSS reader become an Enterprise platform?

August 23, 2009

The following article got to my attention this morning. Newsgator started back in 2004 as RSS syndication and stretching their capabilities as social tools platform. They use many of MS SharePoint feature and in sync with Office 2010 coming later this year.

Time ago, I had chance to discuss enterprise RSS. Sounds like Newsgator is doing it in quite interesting way.


Just my thought… Goodmorning sunday!… Oleg

PLM Prompt: Microsoft Kills Mashups and focus on SharePoint

August 21, 2009

Interesting prompt related to Mashup services. I just heard that Microsoft will discontinue their Popfly mashup service on Aug-24. Minute of silence, please. Popfly was one of the coolest mashup services I knew. Actually, I’ve seen Popfly as a type of services that can be promising also for various PLM-like implementations in the future.


However, Popfly gone and I believe Microsoft will focus on enterprise mashups a-la SharePoint for the next few years….


Did you have any mashup experience in your organization? Do you think mashups for enterprise are about multiple excel services combined with ETL transformations?

Just my thoughts, Best, Oleg

Social PLM challenges

August 21, 2009

social-plm-challengesIn my view, there is a very strong interest from PLM community to something called “Social PLM”. You probably had chance to follow “social PLM discussion” on plmtwine, on Clarity on PLM blog by Jim Brown, Social Product Development blog by PTC or by experimenting with Vuuch design discussion software.

I’d summarize my view on definite advantages in bringing social technologies, tools and methods in PLM as following top three: 1/ability to cover non-formal processes in organization; 2/crowd-sourcing; 3/openness. But, by analyzing these advantages, I came to the conclusion about potential challenges and risk relating to social tools and their implementation in context PLM/product development in organization.

#5 – Selecting the right tools. The choice of social tools is not obvious. If you seek for something that will be ready to use, out of the box, I don’t think you will find any product/tool today. Your choices will be from big environments provided by IT behemoths (i.e. Microsoft, Oracle, IBM) and going down to small experimenters and startup companies.

#4 - Organization alignment with social practices and organizational policies. Second challenge is to take people on board in your organization. Social means “openness” and, unfortunately, the opposite side of openness is IP leak, security and confidentiality problems. So, be prepared…

#3 - Building organization (or even extended) community. As soon as you decided about a tool and got organizational approval, your next challenge will be to build the actual network of people. So, be prepared to intensive community building- you will need to accelerate discussions, coordinate communication and check for the right content coming to community and other social PLM tools.

#2 - Connectivity and Integration with traditional PLM implementation and other Enterprise tools. Your new social PLM baby can be potentially is very disconnected from existing corporate infrastructure and tools. To build this integration and bridges is very important. Don’t overkill yourself, since you won’t be able to resolve all integration problems. Try to achieve functional acceptance when trying to control cost and complexity of integration.

#1 - Getting people to use these tools and systems. As soon as you solved all challenges before, don’t think you are on the road to the bright future. Your next challenge will be to make people go after you. Practically it means, in organization, people are busy. They have a lot of things to do, and they have already lots of other tools. So, you need to win time and screen real-estate for your social PLM tools. In my view, user’s adoption in organization is top challenge for social PLM future.

Despite these challenges, I think we will have change to see some very interesting results from early adopters of social PLM.

As usual, these are my opinion and thoughts, and I’m interested in knowing what experience you had and your thoughts about social PLM.

Best, Oleg

PLM Prompt: Google App’s scripts for PLM?

August 20, 2009

My short and powerful prompt today. Google launched Google Apps Scripts. I’d recommend to see video.

I think, this is impressive and expected step from Google. Even, if I understood Google Apps is armed against MS Office, it creates more advanced environment for collaboration online. With my love and hate relationships to Excel, I started to draft my Bill of Material in Google Apps today.

Just my thoughts, ymmv. What do you think?
Best, Oleg

How PLM can use power of BPM rising stars?

August 20, 2009

The following article “The State of BPM: Poised to Take Off” drove my attention few days ago and took me to think about BPM and PLM intersection. Recession can spur business growth. In the Business Process Management (BPM) space, current recession presented major marketing opportunity to come to customers and IT that looking to cut cost. BPM can be easy double their numbers in the next coming years. BPM community shows signs of growth and development. Examples: pure BPM player Global 360, significantly upgrade their offering in July-2009, IBM significantly upgraded their WebSphere product line. In addition, Software AG, major German BPM player announced acquisition of BPM IT consulting firm IDS Scheer for almost $700M. Some BPM background. There are three main groups of Business Process Management vendors: 1/Integration centric; 2/Human Centric; 3/Document Centric. The BPM market, initially dominated by few pure BPM players, have changed. At the same time, pure BPM business is much smaller in comparison to an overall PLM market. However, if we will compare Process Oriented PLM offering (excluding parts of PLM such as CAD, CAE etc.) we can see very compatible numbers.

Do you think BPM may have positive impact on Product Lifecycle Management business? Yes, I can see this opportunity. Here my top 3 “why” PLM can use power of BPM providers to improve PLM position in organization in current turbulent time.

1. Re-use well-developed BPM technologies

BPM vendors today grew up to demonstrate tools and technological infrastructure on a very matured level that everybody can use. BPM platforms became part of general IT infrastructure, especially by big IT vendors (IBM and Oracle) entered this market.

2. Optimization of IT infrastructure

How many process technologies do you need in your organization? If today’s economies, people cannot keep two systems to manage business processes, therefore PLM and BPM have an opportunity to present IT cost saving by unification of process infrastructure.

3. Jump to the cloud based space.

There is a good chance for BPM to become part of private cloud infrastructure for organizations. Tight re-use of BPM technologies in BPM can help to PLM companies to make their cloud shift.

So, what is my conclusion? The BPM boom, in my view, is only matter of time. Everyone wants to streamline and optimize processes. So, BPM is not luxury anymore. PLM could be potential interested in re-use of BPM technologies to increase adoption and span product oriented processes across organization. I see very sensitive situation in today’s PLM process oriented offerings by trying to re-develop or ignore BPM suites and technologies. The potential shift can come from customer’s side by trying to implement and integrate BPM and PLM products together.

Just my thoughts.
Best, Oleg

3D Perspectives: Social Networks and Visualization

August 19, 2009

My new blog post on 3D Perspectives. Easy way to visualize your social network in Excel. Cool…


Best, Oleg


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