I think, Enterprise Software is not simple. And Product Lifecycle Management is not an exception and even one of the most complicated pieces of enterprise software. I had chance to discuss how to simplify PLM. However, today, I want to talk about how possible to evaluate PLM solution. Cloud computing, in my view, can change a lot of things in how enterprise software can be development, implemented and deployed. In addition, it made me think about cloud as a possible “evaluation” option for PLM.
Few weeks ago, I came across the publication by Lawson software availability on Amazon EC2. You can take a look on details here. The interesting piece of announcement is the following:
[...Lawson External Cloud Services also features Lawson Test Drive, which begins to change the way Lawson demonstrates its products and how customers purchase ERP software. Lawson Test Drive allows Lawson customers to test real products for up to 14 days using their own business processes and data before committing to the actual software purchase. Lawson Test Drive increases enterprise customers’ confidence that a demonstrated product will match the eventual installed product. Lawson Test Drive is being launched with two of Lawson’s newest, most innovative products...]
In my view, providing possible test drive in the virtual testing environment can be an easy option for customers to evaluate PLM software. I can see the following advantages:
1. Customer doesn’t need to invest into local infrastructure and IT work
2. Environment can be tuned and optimized by software vendor
3. Evaluation can be shorter and more efficient.
A big question is how to load such a testing system with customer data? This can be complicated task. However, if you think about a pilot project it can be possible, in my view.
What is my conclusion? Evaluation of enterprise software is a very interesting space. Cloud solutions are probably in the beginning of their development in the such areas like CAD/PDM/PLM. However, to use cloud for evaluation can be an interesting option to make an evaluation simpler and in the end to improve customer’s adoption rate. It is always easy when you can test and see how it works…
Just my thoughts..