Why PLM technology can be addictive?

You may think everything is going faster these days. Instagram acquisition earlier today proved how disruptive and fast can be an influence of the internet on service providing. On the picture below, you can see a comparison of the technology adoption pace. At the same time, the speed of change in manufacturing companies is different from other businesses. Thinking about PLM implementations the question many CAD / PLM vendors are asking is how to make people to get addicted to their software.

I’ve been reading an article in Aras Corp. blog – Once you get started with Aras, you just cannot stop. The article is taking another fast review of Aras’ key capabilities and characteristics – flexibility, usability, openness, dynamic modeling and few others. Don’t take me wrong Aras folks – it is all good marketing stuff. However, one of the characteristics caught my special attention – Aras is addictive. Here is the quote:

After using Innovator for a while, building solutions with it becomes second nature. And addictive. The possibilities are so endless that sometimes deciding what not to do is harder than deciding what to do. Get a few small solutions under your belt, and you’ll find yourself looking for new challenges to take on. Don’t believe me?

It made me think about how PLM technology and product can be addictive. Unfortunately, Aras blog didn’t provide an explanation why it happens. So, we can only guess why it may happen. I can say that I’ve seen the symptoms of addiction among many engineers. The root cause of this addiction is a very slow pace of change. When you use something for a long time it becomes your second nature. Talk to people using a particular CAD system or any other software (PLM included). My second guess is about cost / result rate. As you know, Aras solution is free. When you get something for free, your level expectation is completely different. So, you got excited fast and, as a result, you want to use it more. And, finally, my third guess is related to the ease of adoption. Unfortunately, I cannot prove the last one. My own experiments with Aras cannot be considered as a qualified test case. So, I need to ask Aras customer. Actually, I’m going to ACE 2012 conference just in few weeks from now, and I hope to have a chance to speak to many Aras customers there.

What is my conclusion? Instagram was addictive. From zero to almost 30M users in less than two years. PLM companies are far from this level of addiction in my view. Aras and their enterprise open source model pretends to be addictive. I wasn’t able to find a public number of Aras PLM downloads. So, I hope to learn about it during coming ACE 2012 conference in Detroit.

Best, Oleg

picture credit urbanomic and picture jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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