PLM Migration and Product Data Rock-n-Roll

I read The PLM State: PLM Migration, No Data Left Behind on Zero-Wait State blog. Read it and make your opinion. Stephen Porter is discussing a very important topic of data migration. I found it interesting. This is my favorite passage:

…leaving data behind is not necessarily a bad thing since it can corrupt and handicap your new system. Spending time up front to fully assess your information is time well spent. Segmenting data and moving it over in portions is a viable strategy for facilitating cleanup and assessment. Using the target PLM system as a filter and cleaning mechanism can be an effective way to manage migration.

The conclusion made by Stephen made me think about product data value and data migration problems.

Data Value

Most of the companies I have seen for the last year are dying in the ocean of product data. Company creates data every day. It comes out of the company design and engineering, manufacturing, support, sales, marketing and service. In my view, data is one of the biggest company assets. Companies are accumulating data for a very long period of time. In some industries, legacy data retention is part of the regulation rules and requirements.

Product Data Rock-n-Roll

According to the latest survey of Cyon Research, the majority of customers are dissatisfied with PDM software. Companies are looking how to improve the way to manage product data and thinking about how to optimize and consolidate PDM packages. Here is the quote from Cyon Research 2010 Survey of Engineering Software User:

Among the major classes of software, customers are most dissatisfied with their PDM systems. More than 25% of SMBs and 30% of large firms were either in the process of switching PDM systems or had just switched within the past two years, about twice the rate of change for CAD or CAE systems. 45% of large firms are going through or have just gone through a consolidation of PDM software.

The consolidation of PDM software will obviously raise the question of data migration and potential losses of companies due to their inability to move data from a previous system. Another practice is to continue using an old system in parallel with a new system to access data. The last option often becomes a much more cost effective for a company compared to the investment needed to migrate data between systems. The result is a lot of legacy data sources and systems. In the past, I wrote about different aspects of legacy data handling. The importance of legacy data for a company is absolute and very undervalued in modern PDM/PLM systems.

What is my conclusion? The complexity of product data management systems created a situation when migration of data between systems can cause a significant loss of value. Competition between software vendors in this domain adds additional difficulties. In my view, to clean the historical data record, as a result of multiple system migrations, is a very bad idea. To have an ability to migrate product data from one system to another can be a significant product differentiation factor. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

2 Responses to PLM Migration and Product Data Rock-n-Roll

  1. Oleg,
    I guess I need to be more careful with the enter key. I am glad you liked the article. You make a good point at the end of your blog about differentiation with data migration capability. Currently none of the major vendors does much to automate or facilitate migration from other systems. EPDM has an XML tool and I understand that Oracle is working on something for Agile but it really is up to the partners at this point. If one of the vedors would step up and address this issue in a more direct way I think it could make a major impact on companies decisions about PLM. I suspect the reason that this capability has languished with major PLM vendors is that most companies don’t realize what a big issue data migration is until after they have purchased their new system.

  2. Stephen, thanks! (I fixed your “enter key problem :)”)… You are absolutely right – first time most of the customers are discovering the issue of migration is when they start a “new data management” project. Companies are starting to think and measure more about data, data availability and migration. It is true for big companies (i.e. Daimler) as well as for many small ones. Best, Oleg

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