What 2012 holds for Product Lifecycle Management?

January 3, 2012

Beginning of the year is a time for New Year resolutions and "annual predictions". Few days ago, I shared my plans forBeyond PLM activities in 2012. To predict what is going to happen during coming year is usually very thankless work. In the middle of December, I’ve made my broad prediction that 2012 is going to be a year of PLM rock stars (ready my post The Enterprise and PLM will rock in 2012). Today, I want to share what I think will be in a focus of PLM companies in coming 2012.

Autodesk Cloud PLM

With no doubt, it is going to be "the PLM event" of the year. Autodesk is going to make Nexus 360 Cloud PLM available in the end of Q1/2012 or beginning of Q2. That was my impression from AU2011. The expectations are high and the level of speculation about what Autodesk will release is going to be on the same level. It is going to be a big challenge for Autodesk. Even if the majority of their initial customers are SMB manufacturers, because of volume, Autodesk can potentially generate much bigger numbers from their PLM products. However, Autodesk needs to watch carefully the level of expectation and the delivery to keep the promise of making PLM different.

Dassault SolidWorks V6

It seems to me, we are going to see SolidWorks V6 preview later this year during SWW 2012. Over the past two years, we’ve heard lots of pre-announcements from SolidWorks about their cloud platforms, Enovia-based development and future use of CATIA kernel. I believe some deliveries need to happen in February in San-Diego (SWW 2012 home town)

PLM Maturity and Unification by mindshare vendors

Top 3 major PLM providers – Dassault, Siemens PLM and PTC will continue their competition for platform unification and big names wins. These days, all large manufacturers are using pieces of software from one of these companies. In many cases, companies are using software from multiple vendors. All 3 vendors are coming with the idea how unify PLM implementations using their proprietary platforms. It becomes very complicated for large companies to keep going with multiple platforms. The trend of "unification" on a single platform will continue in 2012. Because of a very high cost of change, top PLM companies will continue to do all possible to convince customers to commit towards migration to new platforms. We are going to see more of such wins in 2012.

Emerging Trends: Social and Mobile

Even if both "social" and "mobile" are hot outside of PLM, I don’t believe these two words will generate big news in 2012 for PLM. After all, these two trends (or technologies) are just enablers for PLM implementations. I expect to see more mobile applications coming from existing and new vendors.

Product and Technological Shopping

I also expect main CAD/PLM vendors to continue their shopping spree. Money is not an issue for them. Even if the amount of new companies in the industry is not big, four dominant CAD/PLM companies will try to gain advantages by acquiring smaller companies with proven products or interesting technologies.

What is my conclusion? Enterprise has a potential to become "cool again" in 2012. There are many interesting things going outside of enterprise in consumer software and web development. These products and technologies can put enterprise IT on fire in 2012. Large scale data management, social web and mobile – these technological enablers will be dominant in the new PLM development in 2012. Mature software vendors will continue their fight for the future market share increase among their existing (and overlapped) install base. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image: Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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