Vuuch, Social PLM and Google Wave Evaluation…

Last year I had chance to talk about social aspects of PLM with Chris Williams from Vuuch.com. Moving enterprise software into the “social” direction is a very interesting aspect. The main change I see in this approach is that element of people communication becomes a main driver force for system to be used. This is an important element of the system adoption. I had chance to see many enterprise systems, implementing complex models, optimized processes, dashboards, etc .. However, all these systems were abused by users next day after implementation and introduction in the production environment.

The idea of social PLM is to build system on top of people’s communication models. I see a very interesting element of Vuuch is an attempt to build system on top of the most popular communication model – email. I don’t know about you, but I love and hate mail at the same time. Mail is dumb, simple and messy together. However, in the end, it is simple, available and works. Vuuch is trying to introduce the system that helps designers to communicate and collaborate by improving existing mail collaboration models. It brings specific product connections (i.e SolidWorks, Office tools) to the mail communication model and by doing so, it makes your collaboration more intelligent. This is a very interesting approach, and I want to see what will be people adoption for such a communication model in the future.

But, you can ask me how Google Wave is related to this conversation? Google Wave was a significant event last year and Google’s attempt to re-define email communication. You can refer to my posts last year to get more details (i.e. 6 Reasons Why Google Wave Will Change PLM Collaboration). I got my long awaited Google Wave invitation last year and started my Google Wave journey. I have to say that my reaction after 1-2 month of work was “love and hate”. I love it, since it introduced some interesting models merging IM (instant messenger) and mail together. The technological foundation and ability to collaborate at the same time are fascinating. However, on the practical side, I’m getting back to my mail for the moment. The most significant advantage for Outlook users is the message threading, but you can have this feature in gmail as well as in other mail systems (like Apple and some others). Other capabilities of Google Wave are still in very premature state and need to be developed to connect Google Wave as a collaboration foundation to the end-user tasks. This is a point of time I thought about Vuuch – combination of collaboration foundation with connection to the specific end user systems and function can be the key to the social PLM adoption.

What is my conclusion today? Social elements in enterprise software will continue to materialize and grow in my view. The examples will come from both sides – bottom up from vendors like Google and Microsoft in their try to redefine infrastructure and horizontal systems and top-down, from small companies like Vuuch trying to present specific social collaborative cases in vertical application domains.

Best, Oleg

PS. I will be watching this space. I’m going to see Vuuch demo next week on the Mass Innovation Nights event.

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8 Responses to Vuuch, Social PLM and Google Wave Evaluation…

  1. Prasad says:

    Hi Oleg,

    I found your blog while searching for PLM blogs/articles on Google. thanks for these nice articles.
    About today’s topic, Its nice idea. Google wave in PLM:-), but it would be interesting to see how they implement this BOM creation or anywhere other than Design department.It looks like addIn to PLM, may be I am thinking more from PLM prospective :-).

  2. Hello Prasad and welcome to PLM Think Tank! Google Wave has a lot of potentials related to GW infrastructure. Things like Gadgets and Robots can be provide mechanisms to customize and add functionality to GW. So, without specific Gadget development, I cannot see how GW can do what you are asking – BOM etc… For the moment I can see Google Wave as a technological enabler and collaboration tool. Limited specific functionality and connection to the tools- these are main disadvantages. And this is exact place where I see advantages of tools like Vuuch. You can take a look and read more posts related to Google Wave on my blog: (http://plmtwine.com/?s=Google+Wave) or specifically this one – Google Wave in Design and Process Collaboration (http://plmtwine.com/2009/11/09/google-wave-in-design-and-process-collaboration/). Best, Oleg

  3. Sreedhar says:

    Hi Oleg

    I agree with your position that enterprise software will become more and more social. This is a topic that is close to my heart as well. Traditional view of enterprise software generally dominated by ERP systems is a heavy process oriented one with people playing some what a sub-ordinate role. However after almost 4 decades of implementing enterprise software, we are learning that on top of the rigorous process foundation lies a very people oriented layer that is essential for running business. This is the part has not been sufficiently addressed by traditional enterprise software. I believe this where people and ad-hoc communication centric social enterprise software comes into picture and the next wave of evolution in enterprise software.

  4. Sreedhar, Thank you for commenting. In my view a good balance of people and process oriented technologies can bring efficient solution. So, enterprise 2.0 is about to change some rules of enterprise in the future. Best, Oleg

  5. Garth says:

    Oleg, interesting post. As a user of Vuuch, what it brings to me is RELEVANCE and CONTEXT to my communications. I cannot tell you how difficult it is to manage my emails, task lists, etc… but I am typically creating deliverables, usually PowerPoint presentations, and often I am collaborating with others to get them done.

    Vuuch takes those collaborations and connects them to real content. So I just focus on the content, like I always do, and the discussions come to me. It’s simple and brilliant. I’m about to try their Outlook integration/dashboard, which has a lot of promise to simplify my life…

  6. Garth, Thanks for sharing your experience! In my view, you confirmed the idea of domain-oriented collaboration around content (i.e. PowerPoint pres in your case). My question, what if something happens not around your PowerPoint? Or you just not connected to this content? Should you get back to you mail again? Thanks, Oleg

  7. Garth says:

    Oleg, most of the work I do, when it revolves around collaborate efforts, is about delivering some piece of content (usually PPT).

    There are going to be times where I will need to have a discussion about a project, with no specific deliverable/document to attach that discussion to… but the guys at Vuuch have shown me some new stuff they are working on that will resolve this question, and get me off of email for a lot of project work!

    The more I use the tool, the more I don’t want to be without it. New habits are tough to form, even when they are helpful… so for now it is about being disciplined about using it.

  8. Garth, Thanks for sharing your view! I think, I got your point. Basically, if it answers your needs, you feel like collaborating easy. However, from my view, you just created “another” focal point. How many of such points we need? This is something that convinces me that “to improve mail” is a not bad idea. Look on Google Buzz now… Best, Oleg

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