November 26, 2009
Some thoughts around future 3D Marketplace. Few days ago, I had chance to post of future of 3D Warehouse. Thanks for Architecture+ blog picking up this topic in “Looking on 3D Marketplace” blog. Even if 3D content online is only in the early beginning, it is very interesting to think about possible evolving of 3D content in the future potential 3D marketplace. I can see few potential routes for 3D content online.
1. Supply Chain. This is the most traditional route that, in my view, already happens in portals providing online catalog parts. Decentralization, outsource design and product development will make such services even more important in the future.
2. Advanced customization. Relatively new trend in my view. Ability to provide advanced customization for products. Especially, this is interesting for products sold online. Ability to generate a precise models of product for visualization can be a very interesting approach for future online market.
3. Consumers oriented content services. I can imagine this scenario as demand of customers to get more realistic product presentation and experience product features online.
Thinking about great potential of 3D content online, I also want to alert on possible conflicts or even content wars. For the last 20-30 years, 3D formats remained a hot topic and didn’t converge to standards that shared between CAD manufacturers. How it can influence future content marketplace? Reading about Microsoft’s effort to de-index content from Google’s search here, you can only imagine the level of potential conflicts between all possible 3D Content providers.
These are just my thoughts. What do you think? I’m looking forward to your comments.
November 25, 2009
The Google Wave invites pushed to the community for the last 1-2 months are starting to bring some fruitful results. The number of pilots, prototype, demos and other activities related to Google Wave started to growth. I already posted on very interesting, in my view, business process building collaboration tool from SAP. In addition, you can see few more examples of Google Wave in “almost real life” here.
Looking on all these examples I wanted to figure out few possible PLM related scenarios that in my view can get real benefits from using Google Wave.
1. ECO Collaboration. It will be great to have an ability to mix formal process and not formal collaboration around planned or requested change. Most of the today systems implement a formal process that allows to run change approval. The level of flexibility can vary to depend on the system you have, but in my view, none of them can provide an ability to merge of a free mail collaboration and at the same time host formal control on ECO process definition and status. I think, potential of Google Wave robots can unlock and provide such capability to engineering and manufacturing teams.
2. Collaborative Documentation Release. To have high level quality of your product is very important these days. However, to organize efficient collaboration between engineering, manufacturing and documentation team is a not simple effort. They usually have different tools and communicate in a very weak manner. Google Wave can be a collaborative tool that bridge them and allow to have a documentation effort started very early in the process of product development. 3D and non-3D documentation can be embedded into Waves and provide up-to-date information to document writes. This information can be updated and documentation writes can collaborate with people they need in other organizations.
3. Design Discussion and Brainstorming. Design activities can be hardly formalized. Many people in the organization can be involved into this activity almost on demand. At the same time, conferencing and other collaboration tools are not allowing to engineers do it in the asynchronous way. Google Wave can help. Mixing discussion threads and 3D information in Waves we’ll be able to support designers and engineers.
I think, Google Wave will have a huge potential in the future of collaboration. Email and other collaboration tools will be affected and will require to make their transformation to survive. It will be interesting in ride in my view. In my today’s examples, I was looking mostly on use cases when an email is heavily involved today. However, I’m sure, other examples will come as well.
November 24, 2009
Reading Jim Brown’s blog post “Choosing an ERP to Fit PLM?”, I started to ask myself why these systems fit or don’t fit. For many organizations, I had chance to see in my professional life, PLM and ERP integration was always on the level of “love and hate” relationships. People wanted this integration to happen and on the other side discovered a lot of conflicting topics that prevented them from the ability to organize smooth fit and integration between PLM and ERP.
I’d like to figure out the list of issues that in my view prevent these systems from good fit and, actually these issues make systems from being competitive rather than work together.
1. Control of product master record. The constant question of “who owns what” is the first and most important. Both systems compete in the organization on the ability to manage product master record. This competition pattern is different in the different organization, but you can discover a presence of this “control war”.
2. Cross organizational process handling. Organizations are driven by processes. It can be the engineering change, configuration or any other processes. However, in most of the cases, these processes are rarely belonged to a single system in the enterprise. Processes are spanning across various organizational boundaries. PLM and ERP are competing on the ability to plan, build and manage these processes.
3. Enterprise Backbone. This is related to my previous post. How many enterprise backbones we need? PLM and ERP are both interested to keep the role of enterprise backbone. So, they can be very competitive in this role. If IT and engineering organization are not making right arrangement, overall organization can overspend on this a lot of internal dollars.
There is set of additional specific characteristics that we need to keep in mind from my standpoint. PLM and ERP fit is very dependent on the organization. Personal topic plays a very significant role. There are too many systems in existing enterprises. This enterprise system’s zoo, brings us to the point where integration is physically impossible or very costly.
So, what is the solution for PLM and ERP fit? Is it the next place for PLM (or may be ERP) innovation? What is the role of professional service and partner’s organization in the processes of making PLM to fit ERP or vice versa?