PLM and Social Technologies Dating?

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 blogSalesforce.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…

Best, Oleg

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2 Responses to PLM and Social Technologies Dating?

  1. Klaus B. says:

    Generally I agree with your point of view, Oleg, and it is interesting how salesforce.com tries to expand its business beyond CRM and also how Facebook tries to get into the business of enterprise software. However, I doubt that PLM will be their first choice, there are bigger fishes in the pound with less risk and clearer standards, standards which you need to provide a solution in the cloud.
    A development which has piqued my interest is the way how salsforce.com’s chatter manages documents and files. It collects them seaming less in the background, according to the context and classifies them with only little user interaction. Whoever can adapt this methodology and way of collecting information could change the way how knowledge management systems and PLM systems are collecting content. I’m looking forward to it

  2. Klaus, thanks for the comment! Of course, salesforce first choice is not PLM. My analogy to salesforce was mostly to show the trend and not point on their strategic targets. However, your comment with regards to how Chatter handles files is interesting. It seems to me very similar to what SharePoint does from both functional and user experience standpoint. Following files is another interesting option. I believe Chatter will have difficulties with CAD and other engineering content. This is where tools like SolidWorks n!Fuze and some others can provide some advantages. http://beyondplm.com/2011/01/26/solidworks-nfuze-the-cloud-remake-of-plm-collaboration/. Best, Oleg

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