PDM/PLM Evolution: Final Step and Cloud / On-Premises Integration

February 10, 2012

Cloud race is here. You can see it by how companies are actively acquiring all possible and impossible cloud assets. Just to mention few examples that might be interesting to know. Navigate to the following link Oracle pays 1.9B to Taleoto read about this acquisition. Taleo, which has about 1,400 employees, said it has more than 5,000 customers, including nearly half of the Fortune 100. Through its software, people can apply for jobs and companies can manage the careers of their hires.

This acquisition is definitely come to balance Oracle’s rival SAP, which acquired SuccessFactor for 3.4B. SuccessFactors, based in San Mateo, Calif., is a big maker of cloud-based human resources applications. The company focuses on applications for managing relationships with employees, such as organizing and developing performance reviews and bonuses. The company says it has more than 3,500 customers. It lost 12.5 million on 205.9 million in revenue last year.

Another interesting acquisition just came out to press few days ago, and it is actually in CAD/PLM space. Dassault is acquiring Netvibes. Netvibes is a website for dashboards. Netvibes, the San Francisco–based company that allows people and brands to create personalized RSS and social media feed dashboards. The dollar amount is incomparable, but the trend is clear, in my view. Cloud assets become interesting.

In my post few days ago, I was discussing PDM/PLM evolution. You can read more by navigating to the following link. This picture will give you an idea of my thinking of where PDM/PLM evolution is going – to the cloud.

However, I think my post was missing one picture, which explains the final step. Please take a look on the picture below. Here is my point – moving actually CAD on the cloud will be the final step.

What is my conclusion? I want to stress this point – CAD will be the latest application in the list of PDM, PLM and other business services to move to the cloud. What is interesting to me is how vendors are going to support this "cloud transition". Companies clearly won’t be able to move all in a single shot. So, we can expect a long time when cloud and on-premises application will co-exist. That drive me to another discussion… tomorrow. I’m taking off to SolidWorks World. Follow my tweeter and watch my blog from time to time. SolidWorks World coverage with "spicy PLM flavor" is about to begin.

Best, Oleg

PLM Think Tank Top 5 – January, 2012

February 10, 2012

I’m coming to SolidWorks World 2012 this weekend. SWW is always a special event for me. This year, SolidWorks World is very interesting. Last two years were under the mark of ‘something happens’ at SolidWorks. It started as the "cloud announcements" during SWW 2010 and later on, hints on SolidWorks V6 running on top of CATIA platform. Few months ago, we’ve seen the exodus of two executives – SolidWorks founder Jon Hirschitick and VP R&D Austin O’Malley. Taking all these things together and you have a perfect event where everything will be re-evaluated, challenged, validated and tested. I’m looking forward to listen to from new VP R&D – VP R&D, Gian Paolo Bassi. Also, I’d be interested to catch some stories about Netvibes acquired by Dassault just few days ago (don’t miss Netvibes SolidWorks World 2012 dashboard). It sounds like we are going to learn a lot during coming SolidWorks World. Beyond PLM will be in San Diego, and I promise you the best possible coverage of SolidWorks World with spicy PLM flavor :). Now, let me turn down to my traditional list of Top 5 posts from January.

PLM: Mobile-optimized Sites vs. Mobile Apps

PLM vendors followed technological and consumer trends to develop mobile applications. It sounds as a very important strategy these days, which cause huge interest from companies, users, analysts and industry watchers. Taking into account the long development cycle of enterprise applications and speed of adoption in manufacturing domain, I think software companies better have been not only short – term, but some longer-term development strategy that will allow them to jump to the next trend when it comes. For the moment, let’s rock available PLM mobile apps on iTunes app store and Android Market.

Visiting PTC HQ: Social Link, AnyBOM, Mobile and more…

You are probably familiar with statements “beavers do what beavers do”. Don’t expect beavers to build PLM. Beavers build dams. So, PTC is a “beaver type” company. PTC builds Product Lifecycle Software. Don’t expect them to build something else. They will talk to you about CAD, BOM, Parts, Assemblies, Configurations. The biggest question – will PTC shake the industry with Creo – is still not answered, in my view. They are clearly moving towards that goals. However, the speed is important.

Future PLM platforms and SAP / Oracle technological wars

The complexity of enterprise PLM software is skyrocketing. PLM products are running on proven, but outdated platforms. My hunch – all major PLM vendors having some future technology platform projects on their back-burner. I don’t know if it comes as Enovia V7, TeamCenter Future or Creo Enterprise. What is clear to me is that PLM companies need to come with the next technological platforms to leverage last 10 years development of web and consumer space. Otherwise, they will be dismissed by newcomers. ERP vendors such as Oracle and SAP also keep stakes in this enterprise software game and need to be watched carefully by PLM players.

PLM and the evolution of integration

I think, integration will become even more important soon. There are two main reasons for that. 1- companies are looking how to deliver business solutions faster. To create three years integration project is not an option anymore. Information availability for decision making or cross-department optimization becomes a top priority for IT. 2- cloud. Many companies are checking how to deliver hybrid on-premise/cloud solutions. To take data exchange to cloud won’t an option any more. Future data federation will introduce new web technologies to PLM integration space.

Aras Corp: Different PLM and new open office

I found Aras more focused on the competition with major PLM suppliers – TeamCenter, Enovia and Windchill than before. To me, it is good and bad signs at the same time. It is presents the level of maturity of Aras platform and solutions – it is interesting to see how emerging platform like Aras can compete with mature products coming from large top 3 PLM vendors. Even so, I’d like to hear more about Aras community. I found some community examples such as “feature roadmap voting” interesting. However, I haven’t seen any public numbers about how Aras community is growing. Strong community base can become a much stronger competitive factor for Aras than a feature by feature comparison with TeamCenter and other PLM vendors.

For those of my friends and colleagues, who is San-Diego bound, I’m looking forward to seeing you during SWW 2012.

Best, Oleg

PLM and Selling Data

February 10, 2012

Manufacturing companies aggregating a lot of data these days. Data is coming from many places. For many years, product development, manufacturing and supply chain was major sources of data in companies. Nowadays, data is coming from outside of a company. Internet, social network and communication created new source of information. The intersection of data from inside of a company and outside data is a very interesting place. I’ve been reading Forester blog – Mo’ data mo’ problems few days ago written by Clarence Villanueva. The publication discusses a potential value of data created during marketing campaigns. Here is a quote:

…a client was looking to have a marketing company take its point-of-sale (POS) data to prepare email campaigns. Upon closer review of the contracts, data ownership was ambiguously defined and nested in three separate areas: the Master Services Agreement (MSA), SOW, and an addendum. When you trace the definition through the various documents, the only thing made clear on data ownership was that the campaigns resulting from the ETL (extract, transform, load) process were owned by the client. What about the POS data that was sent over to the marketing services company?

This example made me think about multiple cases when manufacturing companies as well as outside companies such as suppliers, service providers and many other entities can create an interesting value from the combination of the data owned by them – product information, sales information, contracts, customer data, etc. Imagine PLM software will be able to combine these pieces of data into valuable assets.

What is my conclusion? I think PLM has an opportunity to convert data into valuable assets. I can see more companies adopting PLM these days. Cloud PLM will provide an additional opportunity to connect data coming from multiple sources – supply chain, subcontractors and customers. Sounds like an important topic and cool opportunity. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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