PLM Think Tank – Top 5 August, 2011

September 6, 2011

Summer is over. Last week I was attending SolidWorks media event in Concord Mass. September is going to be a traveling month for me. I’m going to attend Autodesk CIS event in Moscow. Autodesk is making some bold movements in the area of PLM. If you had a chance to follow my blog, you noted Autodesk PLM: Fast Second? post back in July. I hope to learn more about what Autodesk community outside is expecting from the future Autodesk PLM product and share it with you. Now, let’s move to the traditional Top 5 reviews of the last month.

ERP vs. PLM: More Competition in the future?

PLM and ERP integration topics are usually drive lots of attention from readers. This topic was clearly the August hit. I think we are going to face an increased competition between ERP and PLM vendors in a near future. The overlap between these two domains becomes more and more obvious. With the increased business objectives, PLM companies and stepping into the ERP territory in the spaces related to business aspects of PLM. At the same time, ERP companies are increasing their ability to handle and maintain engineering and product design data, which will put under a big question mark the potential implementation of PLM.

Live from SolidWorks 2012 Media Event

This post was mostly informative about what is going on with SolidWorks and coming SolidWorks 2012 release. I’ve shared some interesting numbers I had a chance to learn. Some of the most important ones – SolidWorks revenue ($417M), the number of employees – 825 world wide, the average selling price ($8K) is almost constant for the 4-5 years, 20% of sales are coming from non-CAD space (technical documentation, simulation and PDM). The integration between SolidWorks and Dassault System is increased for the last 2-3 years. I think SolidWorks can play a significant role in the future transformation of Dassault Systems.

PLM 2.0: Born to Die?

PLM 2.0 is an innovation introduced by Dassault System about 5 years ago. It is trying to capture the philosophy of Web 2.0 and everything else 2.0. However, I haven’t seen PLM 2.0 succeed as a trend. I’m discussing this topic and making analogy with Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0. I think the key word in a failure of PLM 2.0 is openness and availability. On a contrary, think for a moment about Web 2.0 – Blogs, Wikipedia, Flikr, eBay, Twitter… These and many other applications and technologies turned Web 1.0 into what we know as Web 2.0. It allowed many people bring web to a completely new level. I can influence the content published on the web, and many people simultaneously can have an access to this content. What I’d expect from PLM 2.0? I’d say, first, the ability to all people in the organization to have an easy access to product lifecycle data and processes. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, until now. So, we have a new version of PLM. It applies to DS V6 and to other PLM vendors as well. However, I cannot call it PLM 2.0.

Total Integration and the future of PLM

Integration is a very painful topic in PLM eco-systems. Most of the vendors are relying on partners and system integration companies to deliver a finished solution to customers. It seems to me, the understanding of the “integration value” is important to successfully implement PLM systems. This is not a short term project, but a long journey. I think, in the past “integration” was a “step child” in PLM product family. PLM companies focused on their own product lines and dismissed integration opportunity. However, future is integrated.

PLM Definition from Dassault System’s Al Bunshaft

Ask 10 people about "what is PLM?" and you will not find an identical answer. When I’m hearing somebody is coming with remarkable PLM definition, I always like to bring it to a wider audience to discuss. I found Mr. Bunshaft PLM definition quite balanced. Lifecycle is always a hot topic in every PLM discussion and an important element of PLM strategy. At the same time, lifecycle is also one of the biggest challenges in every PLM implementation. Let think about ECO as one of the fundamental elements of Product Lifecyle – the implementation of ECO management is still complicated and expensive. In the end of the last week, I posted about Total Integration and the Future of PLM last week. This post included some examples of Siemens PLM strategies in this space and raised active conversation with people about TLCMS (Total Lifecycle Management System). It is interesting to see how lifecycle oriented strategies will be converted into future products and technologies.

Best, Oleg


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