In my view, Salesforce.com has been discovered a significant bias towards collaboration and collaborative software. Since last year Salesforce made strong focus on development and acquiring of collaborative technologies. Dimdim andManymoon are just two latest examples of Salesforce acquisitions. I read the following article on Read Write Web blog – Salesforce.com and Facebook Strengthen Ties Through Force.com Platform. I found this passage interesting:
Provide Technical design, configuration, development and testing of Force.com custom applications, interfaces and reports Model, analyze and develop or extend persistent database structures which are non-intrusive to the base application code and which effectively and efficiently implement business requirements Integrate force.com applications to other facebook external or internal Business Applications and tools Develop UI and ACL tailored to facebook employees and suppliers
What is behind this? The two companies are looking for app developers to write Force.com app for business purposes. Salesforce is an enterprise cloud leader. Facebook is a social network king. Both are interested in the opportunities coming out of this dating. Facebook is thinking how to proliferate into the enterprise space. Salesforce has an interest to make their social connections stronger. The last thing made me think about what PLM companies are doing in the social space.
PLM Collaboration and Social Dating
Product Lifecycle Management software vendors are developing so called "collaborative software" for years. In my view, the idea behind this software was good. However, the implementation cost and complexity weren’t appropriate. PLM needs to go outside the firewalls and make some "social dating" in Web 2.0 cafes. This is can be a good experience. I can see some movements in this space. DS 3DSwYm, PTC Social Product Development, Vuuch are examples of these "dating" experiments. The biggest problem of these dating, as I can see, is the try to take social technologies inside of enterprise product suites. The biggest value, in my view, is exactly opposite – to take "product content" out of current PLM databases. Fresh air will make some cleanup. The example of Autodesk Inventor Publisher for mobile is a right one. First make content available. Then magic will happen.
What is my conclusion? I found Facebook and Salesforce tie up interesting. This is a place for PLM vendors to learn, in my view. Try to invent yet another TLA won’t work anymore. Customers are looking for cool stuff similar to websites they are using during the weekend. Facebook may have some advantages here. Just my thoughts…