Autodesk, Cloud and PLM for $19.95…

BAM…BAM…BAM… Finally, it happened. Autodesk PLM 360 is here. It was a long run for Autodesk to converge from the story of “Anti-PLM rap” to “PLM for everyone“. Yesterday, I was watching a webcast session from Autodesk Manufacturing HQ in Lake Oswego, OR. Autodesk’s approach to PLM is to make it available to everyone from the cloud on any device. According to Autodesk, PLM revolution is finally here:

My historical record about PLM and Autodesk

PLM and Autodesk was a popular theme on my blog for the last 2 years. First time was writing about that was two years ago in January 2010. Navigate to my post PLM for individuals – integrated or die? My bet two years ago was that Autodesk will try to leverage internet technologies to delivery a different solution. I thought, Autodesk would be trying to make PLM different. Another post – Autodesk, Data Management and Why PLM question. Read the following passage from my past back in 2010:

Autodesk is going on a very narrow bridge and trying to connect customer’s demands to have a rich scope of data management functions and integration with design tools like Autodesk Inventor. At the same time, Autodesk is trying to avoid getting into positioning data management as a “PLM strategy”.

Another post about Autodesk and PLM (one year ago) – Autodesk: from PDM to MLP? This is what I wrote in my conclusion:

I think the game around enterprise data becomes more important than before. Data is a key asset in a manufacturing company and Autodesk customers can put their demands very high. These demands are moving Autodesk Vault and other data-management management products towards additional functionality. Process oriented workflow is one of the most remarkable I noticed in Autodesk Vault 2012. To increase functionality and keep the low level of complexity for Autodesk product will be the next challenge for Autodesk engineers and product managers.

Autodesk PLM and Salesforce.com

So, Autodesk is betting on the cloud and wants to repeat Salesforce.com success to deliver the variety of PLM apps for any purposes. To see what apps Autodesk offers for the moment, navigate your browser to the following link.

Application is probably a key thing to make it successful. Randal Newton of GraphicSpeak in his article Autodesk launches cloud-based PLM yesterday; only time will show if Autodesk will be able to deploy PLM applications to a diverse set of companies. Here is my favorite passage:

We expect Autodesk to brag in a few weeks about how many companies have downloaded Autodesk 360. The promise of scalable, affordable PLM is just too alluring to ignore. It won’t be the simplicity or the cloud-based mechanics of Autodesk PLM 360 that make it a hit, however, but the ability of the apps. Only time will tell if Autodesk has done its homework well, as companies of all sizes give it a pilot deployment.

Is there PLM for $19.95?

One of the things mentioned by Autodesk was about to make PLM affordable for everyone. During the webcast yesterday, Autodesk announced that first 3 users are free. However, looking on the pricing model, it is not obvious. The starting price is $25 per user per month. It also looks expensive compared to Salesforce.com pricing model. Again, it is hard to compare functionality, but there is no PLM for $19.95 available yet…

My experience with Autodesk PLM

Autodesk provided me an account to use Autodesk PLM almost after autodeskpm360 website became open. It is still too early to say something specific about what is my opinion. I had some initial trouble to log in, but it was resolved almost instantly. Rob Cohee sent me correct credentials to login. You can see my home screen of Autodesk PLM 360:

What is my conclusion? Autodesk made a significant turnaround from rejecting PLM to claiming Autodesk PLM revolution to come to every manufacturing company. If I think Darwinian, it can be a confirmation of the Autodesk ability to adopt to the reality of today’s world. One of the conclusions I’ve made last week during PLM Innovation conference in Munich – PLM is strategic now. Autodesk is claiming PLM revolution and emphasizing “technology” as one of the enabling factors. It means technologies behind Autodesk PLM 360 is what made Autodesk PLM possible. I’m looking forward to seeing technological whitepaper about Autodesk PLM 360 with some details going beyond marketing buzzwords. Time will show what Autodesk is serving us in PLM cloud box.

Best, Oleg

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4 Responses to Autodesk, Cloud and PLM for $19.95…

  1. Tom Croll says:

    Interesting post. I’m currently trying to find PLM software to manage the production of IT systems. We have most of the same design elements (engineering, manufacturing (server build team), delivery), however there doesn’t seem to be an integrated solution regarding IT departments.

    This means we still manage BOMs and processes manually in spreadsheets and Word docs.

    I’m looking forward to testing 360 to see if it will adapt to my needs.

    TC

  2. @Tom, thanks for the comment! Looking forward to learn about your experiments. (full disclosure, since the time I posted this blog article, Autodesk acquired Inforbix – the company I co-founded. For the moment, I’m managing PLM and PDM development at Autodesk).

  3. tomcroll says:

    From the article, it suggests that you can the first 3 users free – I tried to sign up for this in order to test the software but it doesn’t look like I can do that anymore. Can you tell me if that’s still the case?

    I doubt I’ll test the software effectively unless I can get more than 30 days to see if I’m going to use it.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  4. @Tom. this article was written a year ago. So, some changes happened :). You can get an updated information here.

    http://www.autodeskplm360.com/pricing-model.html

    Also, you can start 30-day free trial. Feel free to contact me at oleg [at] beyondplm [dot] com
    Best, Oleg

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