Dassault V6, 3D Experience and “After PLM” Party

February 29, 2012

You are probably familiar with the following statements “beavers do what beavers do“. I’ve got the confirmation of that last month whenvisited PTC HQ in Waltham, MA. It was amazing to see how PTC is focused on moving PLM story to the higher level of maturity. At the same time, one of the PTC main competitors- Dassault Systems is actually preparing to the world after PLM. Yes… after PLM – you’ve heard this right!

Earlier this month during SolidWorks World 2012, Bernard Charles, President and CEO of Dassault Systems presented his vision of 3D Experience. Bernard, again, made it very clear – Dassault is a “vision” type company. In my view, Dassault is following Apple’s and Henry Ford’s paradigm not to ask customers what they actually need, but invent it in their new products. Dassault is coming to the world “after PLM”. What does it mean? Josh Mings of SolidSmack made his usual sharp catch – Dassault launches strange new 3D experience platform. Navigate to this link to read more.

Dassault new 3D Experience vision

Dassault put a new website providing more information about 3D Experience platform. Here are some updated explanations about what 3D experience means for Dassault:

DS considers ?3D Experience? as the ?after-PLM? stage. The more complex the underlying software is, the simpler the user experience should be. It’s all about optimizing products and designs in the virtual, 3D world to enable better product delivery. Some DS brands make the 3D, some enrich the experience. The image is meant as a description of the key components of 3D Experience as DS sees it: 3D modeling, content and simulation, search, social innovation, real time 3D experience.

You can get an information about Dassault’s vision by watching the following video.

But, this video was contained too much marketing and I was looking for some additional information about DS future plans. I found some interesting writeups available on UpFrontezine by Ralph Grabowski. Navigate to the following link to read more – Bernard Charles talks strategy. I found it very interesting. You can see important keywords used to explain where Dassault is going – 3D, Digital Mockup, Data reuse, Open Architecture and Affordable. This is pretty cool set of buzzwords. However, the last passage in Ralph’s post is my favorite:

“The reason why high tech is adopting V6 is because they never leave the data alone. They can ask the suppliers to connect to the system and go and access to the data where they are without moving them.”

What is my conclusion? The story of 3D Experience is inspiring. I think, Bernard got inspired by Apple story. Experience is what getting more importance these days. I’m sure you know Apple example. But anyway… MP3 players were around quite few years, but only iPod/iTunes experience turned it into what we see now. It was about “music”, and Steve Jobs created closed eco-system of “music experience”. So, Bernard Charles is probably thinking about “future design experience eco-system”. It is cool! However, here is the problem I can see. The consumer audience is different from business one. When it comes to business of the companies, IP assets, IT and many other things, companies are getting concerned about “closed eco-systems”. The last passage about V6 and data got me concerned about future Dassault openness strategy too. In the past, V6 was criticized because it locked CATIA and Enovia behaviors. Dassault “after PLM” party seems to me as a story how to create an ecosystem supporting full cycle of innovation. Very visionary… Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

PLM Perfect Storm 2012

February 28, 2012

I’ve been listening to Marc Halpern‘s presentation Executing PLM Strategy in a Disruptive Business Climate last week during PLM Innovation 2012 Congress in Munich. I found PLM Market Dynamics slide very interesting. However, let me speak about Gartner Magic Quadrants before. Gartner has a long history of Magic Quadrants (MQ) research methodology. For some unknown to me reasons Gartner didn’t publish MQ related to PLM during the last few years. The last one I found takes us back to 2007. What is very interesting is that this MQ doesn’t include any vendors in the quadrants of niche players, visionaries and challengers.

Gartner PLM Magic Quadrant 2007

PLM Market in 2012 is different from Gartner’s MQ circa 2007. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to discuss it with Marc Halpern in Munich. I’m sure will do it soon. So, the slide Marc presented last week in Munich is below.

This diagram made me think about a very interesting situation we have today in the PLM market. Here are some of my thoughts.

Big PLM money – is it forever?

Top 3 CAD / PLM vendors are making good money these days. We have seen all financial reports went out during the past few weeks. At the same time, PLM vendors’ reliance on large customers becomes very clear to me. Dassault, Siemens and PTC were focused on the convergence of platforms and unification of portfolios. The examples of these activities areTeamCenter UnifiedDassault V6 and PTC Creo. In my view, all major PLM vendors failed to deliver scalable PLM solution for mid-range manufacturing companies and supply chain. This is a contradiction to the dynamics of manufacturing business these days. Manufacturing becomes more distributed and diverse and we see a larger number of small and lean manufacturing companies replacing large behemoths of the past. These companies are very concerned how to build lean and efficient product development practices. And from the standpoint of software, manufacturing companies are looking for a modern approach to PLM.

Large PLM vendors and Small Manufacturing companies

Despite the promises made by Dassault, Siemens and PTC, they didn’t deliver any PLM product to the market of small manufacturing companies. Dassault SolidWorks failed to deliver a full range of SolidWorks Enovia V6 based products,SolidWorks n!Fuze introduced last year was not very successful. During SoldiWorks World 2012 two weeks ago, SolidWorks was talking about n!Fuze V2 to be delivered later this year. PTC shutdown their Windchill ProductPointproduct. Siemens didn’t make any new product delivery in this segment of market for the last 2-3 years.

Autodesk and New PLM

The appearance of the Autodesk in the market of PLM was almost predicted. However, it wasn’t clear what path to PLM Autodesk will take. The development of consumer and web technologies created the situation when PLM on the cloud can be possible. I’m curious to see how Autodesk will keep cloud / on-premises balance in their way towards what I define asfinal step of cloud strategies. There are lots of challenges Autodesk can face before Autodesk PLM 360 becomes “salesforce.com of PLM world”. I’m going to attend Autodesk Media Summit later this month in San-Francisco and looking forward to hearing more about it from Carl Bass.

PLM Perfect Storm

You are probably familiar with the definition of “perfect storm“. Reading from wikipedia  “perfect storm” is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically. The term is also used to describe an actual phemonenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude.

Two arrows on Gartner’s picture between Dassault, Siemens, PTC and Autodesk will form a situation of perfect storm. Today, no company claim they have a guarantied recipe of how to success with PLM at that place.

What is my conclusion? It is an interesting time to be in the PLM market these days. As I wrote in my recent blog –SolidWorks community and opportunity for PLM, there is a significant opportunity to deliver PLM solution to the white space market these days. Gartner’s PLM market dynamics slide is highlighting the same opportunity. It is clearly a perfect storm. Large PLM companies have a lot of money to play the future PLM game. They have a lot to win as well as to lose, in case something will go wrong. Who will take the best “stormy seat” in this game? An interesting question to ask. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

PLM Innovation 2012: PLM is Strategic, but What’s Next?

February 27, 2012

Earlier, this week, I’ve been attending PLM Innovation Congress 2012 in Munich. If you haven’t had a chance to read my pre-conference post, please navigate to the following link – Few Minutes before PLM Innovation 2012. This full two-day event was completely focused on Product Lifecycle Management. Take a look on the agenda to see more details. This conference is quite unique. Among all other conferences, this is the only vendor-independent event. The event was sponsored by a quite a large amount of PLM vendors. SAP, Oracle and PTC are listed among sponsors. Autodesk (new kid in PLM block) was heavily presented during the event. Dassault Systems and Siemens PLM weren’t presented as sponsors. The overall amount of attendees was quite big ~250 attendees from different countries (not only Europe). Exhibition hall was presented by 20+ companies.

Autodesk moves to PLM

Clearly, Autodesk is a big news in PLM world. Just to remind you what is that about. Autodesk created a heavy presence during the event, including exhibition booth, demo with early customer.

Overall Autodesk didn’t provide any additional information compared to what was announced during AU 2011. Nevertheless, Autodesk Cloud PLM generates the interest among customers. In my view, Autodesk PLM amplifies the discussion about “what is PLM?” also known as “PLM Definition” talks.

PLM Definition and Market Change

The discussion about what is PLM definition isn’t new. In the past, I gather a collection of PLM definitions provided by multiple vendors – Siemens PLM, Al Dean of Develop3D, Autodesk PLM definition by Steve Bodnar, Dassault by Al Bunshaft, PTC PLM definition video. During PLM Innovation 2012, I captured few updated definitions of PLM by CIMData, Gartner and Tacit (Jos Voskuil). You can see slides below.

Gartner PLM Definition

CIMData PLM definition

Jos Voskuil (virtualdutchman) PLM definition

In my view, the most interesting discussion about PLM definition happened during my panel discussion – Future PLM Business Models. The discussion between Autodesk and PTC, in a nutshell, means that Autodesk PLM is probably will be different from PTC’s PLM. It means that soon we will see a growing amount of discussions about what is PLM as long as a competition between Autodesk PLM and traditional big 3 PLM vendors will increase.

Customers and Round Tables

One of the characteristics of PLM Innovation Congress was a heavy presence of customers and customer-driven content. It is clearly important, since nobody wants to attend a conference with marketing powerpoint slides. Few presentations resonated. The following slide presented by Thomas Schmidt of ABB shows the strive of ABB to establish global change management solution.

Another one was presented by global food & beverage company – Mars. The interesting aspect of Mars’ presentation slide was the vision of PLM in the company that has no significant focus on heavy 3D CAD environment. Mars’ focus is on PDM and specification management.

I attended morning session – think tank round table named “Integrating PLM & ERP: Enabling processes and data to flow across the boundaries of PLM”. The topic is super-important, in my view. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the discussion. It started from the statement – “PLM-ERP integration is not about technology”.

From that point, the discussion was how to organize PLM-ERP interoperability in the organization. However, people were talking all the time about openness of the specific systems, inability to transfer data as well as what system data is belonged to. For me, it was so 2000s.

Consumerization, Cloud and Technology

Few discussions were focused on modern technological and global trends. An interesting approach of cloud based multi project management was presented by Christian Verstraete, HP Chief Technologies of Cloud strategies.

Here is  a slide from my PLM and Consumerization IT presentation. Five disruptive technological and industry trend will affect traditional IT in coming years. It clearly will define a new look for future product development and business environment.

What is my conclusion? PLM is definitely getting more grounds. It is about product development processes and business goals. Five years ago, the most typical question about PLM was “why?” These days, people are asking question – “how”? Unfortunately, many questions are not answered yet. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

PLM Innovation Panel: The Future of PLM Business Models

February 24, 2012

PLM Innovation 2012 in Munich is over. It was a great event, gathered about 250 people and 20+ companies on the exhibition floor. On the 2nd day, I was delighted to moderate a panel discussing future PLM business models. The idea of the panel was to have an opportunity to discuss modern PLM business trends. I had a privilege to work with four amazing panelists – David Sherburne of Carestream Health, Leon Lauritsen of Minerva, Richard Murawka of PTC and Grant Rochelle of Autodesk. Please find slideshare presentation with my questions. Below, some of my notes that I took after the session.

PLM Platforms

The tone was placed by David Sherburne. David stated that vendors needed to share data and enable re-use of components. His opinion that most of the companies implementing “multiple donuts,” and it is very hard to co-exist. Amazingly enough, vendors confirmed that this is the most reasonable way. In my view, vendors sound less peaceful when customers are asking them in the “sales” mode (compared to discussion panel mode).

Do It Yourself (DIY) PLM and CoIT

The conversation about DIY was mostly about two trends “cloud” and “mobile”. Autodesk has an opportunity to say again that new Autodesk PLM on the cloud will soon revolutionize the PLM market, and services will be available to co-exist with the software products and modules on premises. In addition to that to topic of “complexity” was raised by PTC in a context of choosing “right tools for a job”. The last one make sense. However, in my view, it is not answering the question of how to address to the problem of smaller manufacturing companies.

Communities, Crowdsource and Open Source

Crowdsource is still a topic that needs to be better understood. I don’t feel comfortable talking a lot about it. There are multiple trends and options around the crowdsourcing. In my view, most of the vendors are in “learning mode”. Community and open source merged into a signle discussion. PTC mentioned open-source as a way for them to decrease the cost of solution by embedding new software. At the same time, Aras Cor. promoted their vision of Enterprise Open Souce and discussed how it affects development by introducing “product roadmap crowdsourcing” with the customer’s ability to vote for specific features in the roadmap.

Cloud and Autodesk PLM

I clearly didn’t want to miss the topic of the cloud and Autodesk. During the last AU, Autodesk made a very bold statement that Autodesk cloud PLM will be x10 time cheaper compared to traditional PLM offering. On contrary, the position of PTC is that we are not comparing “apples to apples” and there is no single definition of PLM. The hint was that Autodesk probably delivers “a different PLM”. In my view, cloud is a clear disruption. However, it will be interesting to see how Autodesk will face all cloud PLM challenges. However, the operational cost to deliver cloud PLM solution will be a fraction of today cost of traditional business. So x10 multiplier can become real.

What is my conclusion? It was great discussion. I hope to see video recording soon. I can see a significant amount of disruption in the market of PLM. Combined with many opportunities, it is an interesting time to watch. Stay tuned and speak your mind…

Best, Oleg

Updates: Video record from PLM Innovation 2012 Panel

PLM and IT Consumerization (PLM 2012 in Munich)

February 23, 2012

I had two very busy days in Munich attending PLM Innovation event. There were lots of great conversations, ideas and demos. Earlier today I had a chance to share my ideas of how Consumerization of IT will influence the future of Product Lifecycle Management. Below, I’d like to share slides of my presentation.

In a nutshell, consumerization shows a significant influence the technological disruption of modern web and mobile technologies in the enterprise. iPhone was a first event. Business as usual is not an option anymore. Five major disruption factors – mobile, social networks, consumerization, cloud and big data will influence future of PLM and enterprise, in general. Just my opinion…

Best, Oleg


Few minutes before PLM Innovation 2012

February 22, 2012

I’m just few hours before two-day marathon of PLM Innovation 2012in Munich. The list of speakers and the agenda is very impressive. Actually, browsing through the agenda, I have really hard time to decide about what track and session to attend. What is most impressive in this agenda is "customer focus" in combination with discussion and networking. Two keynotes look very interesting. Crowdsourcing, community and co-creation by Peter Fassbender, Head Design Center Fiat Latin America, Fiat Automóveis S.A., Brazil and PLM: Necessary but not sufficient by Thomas Schmidt head of Operational Excellence and IS of ABB, Switzerland. There are several interesting workshops organized by vendors – Autodesk, PTC,SAP and Siemens PLM. Also, there are few appealing customer workshops. One of them by Hydro Quebec looks very interesting to me, and I’m planning to attend it.

Beyond PLM sessions

I will be running two sessions during the 2nd day of the event. One of them, about my favorite topic related to PLM and Consumerization of IT. I’m going to share some interesting numbers and facts about what called these days – CoIT. Second is the discussion panel about new business models for PLM with four guests – David Sherburne of Carestream Health, Leon Lauritsen of Minerva, Richard Murawka of PTC and Grant Rochelle of Autodesk. I’m looking forward to seeing you during my sessions.

Thinking Before PLM…

You can find a photo gallery I’m going to maintain during the conference here. I found two vintage cars in the lobby of the conference venue – The Westin Grand Munich. The engine of the old Rolls Royce on the display is incredible. Take a look below.

What is my conclusion? Follow #PLM2012 hash tag on twitter. Keep following photo stream update on FB and G+. The old Rolls Royce engine made me think again about how all machines, airplanes and other products were designed before PLM software. I think, this is an important question to ask ourselves today when "simplification" is one of the most important words. "Less is more". Look behind us to learn how to simplify our processes and make it more transparent and efficient. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Autodesk, Vault and Multi-CAD

February 21, 2012

I’d like to continue my "multi-CAD and PDM" story. If you had no chance to read my yesterday post The Anatomy of MultiCAD-PDM integrations, please do it before continue. I want you to take some initial context from there. I’ve been talking with Brain Roepke, director of PLM and "father of Autodesk Vault". My interest was to learn more about Autodesk Vault PDM in the context supported CAD systems, Open APIs and openness.

Autodesk, Multi-CAD and Integrations with other PDMs

According to Brian, Autodesk is investing a lot in multiCAD capabilities. It comes in various capabilities and different applications. I’d like to to strict my coverage purely to Autodesk Vault. So, this post will not cover multiple translators and ability to read different CAD formats by various Autodesk products and for variety of purposes – visualization, simulation and many others. Autodesk Development Networks (ADN) allows you to have the ability to develop applications using AutoCAD, Inventor, and other Autodesk products. In addition to that, you may use 3rd party tools that allow you to access Autodesk files and formats. I found integrations with Autodesk Inventor, and AutoCAD developed for Windchill, Enovia, TeamCenter, SAP PLM and others. Some of the integration developed by vendors and some of them, by partners.

Autodesk Vault- foundation and APIs

Let me start from core capabilities of Autodesk Vault to be integrated with other applications as well as providing a platform for development. Navigate your browser to the following link – Autodesk Dev Center. Here is what written about Autodesk Vault there:

Vault makes use of Web Service technology, which greatly simplifies client/server communication. Fundamentally, the Vault API allows a program to interact with the Vault server component, also known as ADMS. In fact, Vault Explorer and the CAD plug-ins are built on top of this API. So you have the same level of access to server data that Autodesk clients have.

Following this you can learn that Autodesk Vault SDK is installed automatically with Autodesk Vault. According to Autodesk you don’t have to be ADN (Autodesk Development Network) member to use APIs.

Another interesting functionality I learned about was Vault Attachments. Navigate to the following link to learn more. What was interesting is that Vault Attachments can be used in order to have Vault to use rules based on the association between files. The following passage, actually, explains this capability:

You can add attachments between any two or more files within the vault. Attaching a file to another in Autodesk Vault creates an association between the two files in the vault. Using attachments, you can check out all the files that are linked together and work on them as a unit, regardless of the applications that created the files. For example, you may want to attach a set of images to a Microsoft Word document if the images are linked to that file. In a design environment, you may want to assign a relationship from a document that represents assembly instructions to the actual CAD assembly files.

I can recommend you the following blog post – 6 hours of videos of Vault API, which contains quite good collections of videos you can use for training. It includes presentations and code samples by Doug Redmond.

Autodesk Vault and Other CAD systems

I’ve been searching for integrations of Autodesk Vault with major CAD systems of competitive CAD/PDM providers – SolidWorks, CATIA, Pro-E / Creo-Parametric, SolidEdge and NX. Here are few videos shows examples of these integrations.

Autodesk Vault and SolidWorks

Autodesk Vault and Pro-E

Autodesk Vault and Bentley Microstation

What is my conclusion? I found multiple ways to develop Vault PDM integration with CAD systems. Some of them requires API and development. Some of them can be done just by product configuration. I believe in such a thing as "integration", devil is in details. It sounds like Autodesk has an intent to be open. More APIs and Web Services approach supported by Autodesk Vault provides a good foundation for that. Just my thoughts… I’m looking forward to learn more from comments and discussion.

Best, Oleg

Disclosure: This post was reviewed by Brian Roepke before publishing.


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