Will COFES 2012 make Arizona cloudy this week?

I’m coming to COFES 2012 this week. COFES (The Congress on the Future of Engineering Software) is a think-tank event and one of my favorites. For the next 3 days, I’m going to put myself under the sun in Scottsdale, AZ. COFES publish the list of key participants – you can see it by navigating the following link. I was looking at COFES 2012 agenda earlier this week. The formal topic of COFES 2012 is the intersection of design and risk. Here is the quote from COFES website.

We all address risk daily, each in our own way. In design, risk is a consideration in each decision we make. But how and when we think of risk needs to change, most notably our risk horizon is much lower than our reward horizon. That is, we’ll often take a larger risk if the consequences are further away from us. Expediency is often the heart of our shortsightedness.

COFES agenda has a formal boundary and contains keynote, technology and vendors suites briefing, analyst briefing and roundtable. However, the most important thing at COFES is an opportunity to talk and have a "networking" with people there. Navigate to this link to see COFES 2012 agenda. The topics of briefings, conversations and meetings is something that you want to review first. I did my review last week and back to this today again. Below I put some of my pre-COFES observations.

Cloud… Cloud… Cloud…

I counted word "cloud" 24 times in the COFES 2012 agenda. I think it means a lot. Cloud is going to be a significant topic on the COFES discussion table. I found few interesting sessions about the cloud. Akoya, Autodesk, Intel and Microsoft are going to talk about cloud during technology briefings. Monica Schnitger is going to talk about cloud during her "The channel and the cloud" analyst brief. Jim Brown is going to present a cloud topic during his cloud and social computing session. I found the following passage from Jim’s intro interesting:

How are the Cloud and Social Computing Changing Business for the Next Generation? The Cloud and Social Computing have already begun to change the way business works and poses many new challenges. It has also opened the door to entirely new business models and opportunities. The first waves of digital natives hit the shores of businesses about 10 years ago and are rising up the corporate ladder. What happens when the next wave—cloud and social computing natives—start impacting business. How is your business likely to evolve?

Finally, the topic of one of roundtables is "Where is my data"? is also related to the cloud:

Where’s My Data? Local, distributed, private-cloud, public cloud: What belongs where? For some, does it really matter? Which aspects of data need to be under my direct control? Why? When does it matter? When it matters, where do I draw the line? Does it matter who controls the data when it’s clear who owns it? For that matter, when do I want my data to expire?

I’ve been writing a lot about the cloud on my blog recently. Navigate here to read more.

PLM and PDM divorce

Another topic that caught my attention was the topic of separation between PDM and PLM. The topic will be presented by Chad Jackson as Decoupling of PDM and Process. The topic came to my attention few time due the recent Autodesk and Aras strategies to integrate PDM and PLM offerings. Navigate to my previous blog to read more about that.

Decoupling PDM and Process. The holy grail of PLM (and BIM, for that matter) has been true integration of product data, engineering process, and downstream process. Now we’re hearing that there’s value in keeping engineering data management separate from processes. What’s going on here? Where does this decoupling of product and process make sense? Are we done with the idea of an all-encompassing homogeneous solution? Is this simply a divergence, an acknowledgement of reality, or an entirely new opportunity?

PLM and The Single Source of Truth

Another interesting topic that drove my attention was analyst briefing by Michele Boucher of Aberdeen related to so-called Single Point of Truth. This topic resonated with one of my previous blog posts – PLM and "The Whole Truth" problem.

Single Source of Truth versus Federated Models. The increasing complexity of today’s products, including the involvement of multiple engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, and software, means there is a tremendous amount of data and data types to manage. What are the best ways to manage it all? Is having it all in a single database (Single Source of Truth – SSoT) the best approach? Where is SSoT a good fit? Where does it fall down and a federated model become more effective?

So, I’m sure COFES will bring more topics to discuss on the blog. I will be actively twitting from COFES. The hashtag is#COFES2012. You’re probably can be interested to following other COFES attendees on twitter. Here you can find COFES Twitter directory. I’m looking forward to keep you busy with my posts, tweets and pictures.

Best, Oleg

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