PLM Trends and Solution Alternatives: Presentation and Roundtable

September 22, 2011

The second day of Autodesk Forum in Moscow. Today, I gave my presentation about PLM Trends and Solution Alternatives. You can find my presentation below. I originally presented in Russian. However, for my blog readers I’m also sharing an English version. I found quite many people interesting about PLM and possible solutions.

This Afternoon, I had a chance to run a roundtable about PLM. Here is the list of my questions and discussion notes.

PLM Implementation Options

The conclusion we made actually stated that implementation option is very dependent on organization and organization perspective on PLM. Company with a strong PLM vision on the C-level, can take an approach to follow one of the big mind-share PLM vendors. However, if a company is looking how to solve a specific problem, the approach of DIY or PDM+ can be very appropriated too. Few people mentioned that they know about situations when IT managers were fired after making wrong decisions even if that decision was to bring one of “big name” vendors. The agreement across almost all participants of the roundtable was about two things: PDM as a foundation of any PLM solution as well as importance of “staged approach”.

PLM Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up

The discussion about PLM implementation options naturally came to the comparison of Top-Down and Bottom-Up approaches. Both options were considered as valid. At the same time, we discussed how a company can differentiate and make a right decision. Some of the aspects related to a company size, other systems (ERP, CRM) as well as specific business characteristics. The important conclusion we made – PLM can be a top-down strategy from the management standpoint, but from implementation side, it requires bottom-up implementations and integration of multiple tools to be really efficient.

Not Only PLM (noPLM)

The discussion was mostly about how to exclude complication and simplify PLM implementation. We didn’t make a conclusion about that. However, it was clear that not all PLM programs are achieving their results. In some situations, people are displacing PLM tools by some homegrown solutions mostly because of the simplicity. At the end, people just want to make a job done. It is important to remember.

How to make PLM Different?

It was the last question. We discussed historical retrospective from EDM to PLM. Two key opinions were raised during the discussion. 1- PLM is really different for everybody. Don’t even try to unify it and propose a solution that fits everybody needs. Local (Russian) PLM vendors were dominated in this discussion. 2- something needs to change in PLM technologies. Similar to dynamic data modeling (back to 1990s) and PDM integration inside of CAD tools (end of 1990s / beginning of 2000s), a new technological innovation can change PLM implementation approach in 2010s. A very bold analogy is related to tablet computers. The original tablets with stencil and flip/flop screens were available long before. However, only Apple innovation with iPad made real tablet computer revolution these days.

What is my conclusion? 1800 attendees – this is a very impressive number shows strong Autodesk community in Russia/CIS. It was good meeting people and discussing PLM. I’ve got interesting feedback about my presentation. Also, I learned a lot of things related to PLM implementations made by local Russian PLM vendors (I will share them in one of my future posts). I hope the conversation will continue online. Don’t be shy and speak your mind.

Best, Oleg

Does Autodesk Smells PLM? First impression from Moscow Forum.

September 22, 2011

Things are busy for me this week. It is mostly because of Autodesk Forum in Moscow. I’ve been invited to talk here about PLM trends and to run a roundtable discussion about PLM. My presentations are today. However, I wanted to share some of my thoughts from the first day. Sorry for my provoking title on this post. At the same time, this is probably part of my real interest in being here. Autodesk made some bold steps towards PLM. Navigate to one of my previous blog posts – Autodesk PLM: Fast Second? and Autodesk Vault: Enterprise PDM or PLM? to have a context for these thoughts. So, today I’m sharing some of my preliminary thoughts about what I’ve seen during the first day of Autodesk Forum in Moscow.

Autodesk Moscow Forum at a glance

Some general information for my non-Russian readers. The event is big – 1500 attendees (not including Autodesk employees) In Autodesk business terms, Russia is part of BRIC countries. Russia is having their own ups and downs as well as an influence of the world economy as well. During the press conference for journalists and bloggers, Autodesk Russia management team mentioned some aspects related to local Autodesk market and the state of local economy. My short outcome – economy rebound almost to pre-crisis level, customers are focusing on efficiency (also from the communication standpoint as well as from the product usage standpoint), there are few large segments of market related to the core local industries; cloud and mobile are two catching terms, private cloud is one way to go, public the internet is another one. Manufacturing sector of Autodesk Russia sounds excited about future Autodesk move to PLM, but mostly focuses on the discussion to understand problems and specific of local manufacturers. You can see below a picture of Autodesk Russia Management as well as nice (and destructive) view from 25th floor of Holiday Inn Sokol’niki – the location press conference and Autodesk Forum took place.

PDM Talks

I attended few presentations about PDM by local Autodesk professionals as well as invited people from Autodesk in Europe. PDM is an official term Autodesk is using for manufacturing domain. At the same time, you can see that some of the slides really smell “PLM” terms – Process Improvements, Design Reuse, ECO, Compliance, Suppliers.

As usual, for PDM and PLM forums, it was a talk about ROI (in this forum it was about PDM). Some interesting examples and numbers were presented. Take a look on the slides below.

The most impressive number – 40% of productive engineering time wasted in data management.

Vault Collaboration in AEC – BIM360

I wanted to note the topic related to AEC-Collaboration separately. Even if this is not related to PLM and manufacturing, it was interesting to see a strong association between Vault Collaboration in AEC and some fundamental PLM concepts. The main difference is actually related to the integration with specific AEC products. The AEC PLM formula looks like – AEC tools’ integration + BlueStreak and BuzzSaw. It is interesting enough Autodesk included Buzzsaw as a cloud option.

Cloud and Mobile

Even if it is not specifically related to PLM, but I wanted to note that “Cloud” and “Mobile” topics were the most widely used by everybody here. It came as a bit surprise to me. Despite the fact, that cloud is one of my favorite topics, in general, I was skeptical about how quickly cloud will ramp-up, especially outside of US. It is interesting that Autodesk presents their historical view on Autodesk cloud going back to 1999 and initial introduction of Buzzsaw software as a service.

Clearly, mobile devices and mobile are two major driving forces behind the cloud development. It was good to meet Tal Weiss of Autodesk. Tal is developer manager of AutoCAD WS – a leading mobile computing product line at Autodesk. Interesting numbers about AutoCAD WS: 2.5 million users, 3.2 million downloads on iOS and Android platforms, 5 million files downloaded, 1.6 million unique users. Tal was talking about new features of AutoCAD WS 1.3. The list of features confirms in my view, the growing demand for additional functionality in AutoCAD WS to allow users to do some more work using mobile devices and tablets.

An interesting note related to AutoCAD WS and Cloud. According to Autodesk, AutoCAD WS can be configured to work in the “private cloud” option, which can remove security concerns coming from large corporate customers.

A very short conclusion. The first day was impressive and energizing. PLM word was mentioned a bit, but it still will take time to understand what does it mean for Autodesk and how to call it. Today is a second day with many talks about PLM, including invited talks by Autodesk partners in Russia – providers of PDM/ PLM software. It will be interesting to learn more about local PLM perspective. I will share my presentation and notes later today, so stay tuned.

Best, Oleg



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