PLM, Cloud and Open Source Separation?

Cloud and Open source are two topics I’m often touching on my blog. In my view, these two trends are notable if you think about where PLM innovation is going these days. Two years ago, I wrote – SaaS and Open Source: PLM Future Rides. We can see what happened since then.

Cloud services getting some traction. PLM vendors are trying to tap into cloud delivery by introducing focused applications or product. Recent SolidWorks announcement about n!Fuze is one of them. I covered it in my post SolidWorks n!Fuze – Cloud Remake of PLM Collaboration? Autodesk made few bold statements about the cloud with the announcement of Infinite Computing ideas. If you have some more time, you can read my post PLM vendors and cloud strategy where I’m shared my view on major PLM vendors cloud strategy. In parallel, for the last couple of years, I can see valuable development around PLM and Open Source. Some of my post on this includes PLM Open Source: Strategic or Off Road and PLM Wood and Open Source Termites.

Open Source and Vendors lock-in

The issue of vendor lock-in is well known in CAD/PLM world. For many years, the relationships between CAD/PLM vendors and customers was almost similar to "catholic marriage". I learn something new recently. It was about tight dependencies between cloud and open source. Navigate your browser to the to the InfoWorld.com article“Why the Cloud Can’t Be Separated From Open Source”. I found the following passage interesting:

“According to Michael Skok of North Bridge venture Partners, a firm specializing in open source funding, one of the chief customer objections to the cloud is the high potential for vendor lock-in.” Open source technology provides an obvious solution to the vendor lock-in dilemma.

I want to bring some examples of notable open source programs. Navigate to OpenStack – you will discover the program that employs open source and cloud. I can see a quite impressive list of companies, including Dell, Cisco, NASA, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It is hard to dismiss the significance of cloud and open source when you see these names.

PLM Cloud and Open Source Options

It made me think about future potential of PLM, Cloud and Open source to play together. Aras PLM is one of the cloud innovators in this space. I’ve been visiting their ACE 2011 earlier last month. One of the hints Aras made was about their switch towards Linux and other Open Source platforms such as MySQL, On the showcase of ACE 2011 partners presented solutions leveraging some other open source technologies – Lucene and Solr. At the same time, Aras made an announcement about the availability of Aras platform on the cloud.

What is my conclusion? Most of the people are thinking about PLM and Open Source from the narrow "price" standpoint. In my view, the perspective is much wider and covers un-locking from vendors as well as future cloud expansion. Just my thoughts… What is your take?

Best, Oleg

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