Dell’s $3.9bn acquisition of Perot Systems few days ago drove me to think about PLM and Services for some time. Of course, services are not related to cool PLM technologies, functionality and strategies. However, looking on analyst data, services are earning a significant portion of the overall PLM revenues (ref to CIMData).
I want to figure out few interesting observations around PLM services:
1. PLM Service organizations are closing gap between PLM vision and practical PLM implementation for customers. In the end, after all presentations, meetings and planning sessions, PLM services come to customer and “connecting dots” by adding functionality, integrating systems and improving usability of the systems where it is possible.
2. PLM Service organization is huge experimental space for gathering PLM knowledge and expertise, incubation ideas and technologies. In my view, PLM service organization becomes unique place to discover all advantages and disadvantages of PLM technologies and product. In many cases, these organizations is orienting on multiple or combined vendor offerings. You can learn a lot from the standpoint of how to make PLM work for customers.
3. PLM Services is one of the major destructive factors for PLM products and portfolios. This is another side of the coin. PLM services see vendor’s product as a platform to generate services. In many cases, PLM services abandon or re-implement standard functionality available in PLM systems.
4. In many situations, PLM services (or VAR/partner) have much more influence on what customers are doing than PLM vendors. By accumulating knowledge about customers requirements and expectations, PLM service organization can significantly influence ever decision made by customers.
What is my today’s conclusion with regards to PLM Services? Despite “love and hate relationships”, in most of the cases, I see PLM service organization as a very positive entity in PLM business landscape. PLM service organization needs to be involved more and get higher status as PLM eco-system builder and knowledge incubation. At the same time, we need to think how to convert PLM services into new product portfolio facilitator in PLM zone and not as a consumer of PLM platforms.