What Outlook.com can make for PLM collaboration?

If you follow news these days, you probably paid attention to Outlook.com – newcomers from Microsoft and "Gmail twin brother". You can learn more about what Microsoft offers, navigate to the following link. Microsoft is quite aggressive by calling Outlook.com – next email for next billion mailboxes. You can check the following lifehacker article comparing Gmail with Outlook.com to see how new Microsoft’s web mail stands against Gmail. The next picture can give you a glimpse of what new email can do.

What caught my attention is that Microsoft is attacking the email problem from the same angle many of the companies today are attacking PDM, PLM and engineering collaboration – how to make it simple. Navigate to the following articleby Microsoft introducing new email. Here is the passage I liked:

Webmail was first introduced with HoTMaiL in 1996. Back then, it was novel to have a personal email address you could keep for life – one that was totally independent from your business or internet service provider. Eight years later, Google introduced Gmail, which included 1 GB of storage and inbox search. And while Gmail and other webmail services like Hotmail have added some features since then, not much has fundamentally changed in webmail over the last 8 years – though yesterday’s frustrations about the small size of inboxes are now things of the past. At the same time, email is becoming less and less useful as inboxes become cluttered with newsletters and social updates, and people increasingly keep up their personal connections in social networks instead of their email address books.

Will Microsoft re-invent gmail second time? Microsoft claims they invented webmail with hotmail back in 1996. It is true, hotmail came earlier than Gmail. Few days ago, I’ve got an unconfirmed note that there are more hotmails accounts in the world than gmail accounts. I cannot confirm that. Will Microsoft inject their outlook.com solution into existing Office and Outlook? This is a question that can make some difference to engineers and other people dealing with collaboration and PLM. At the end, lots of companies (even if they have the variety of enterprise app) are run by email.

Microsoft claims they invented webmail with hotmail back in 1996. It is true, hotmail came earlier than Gmail. Few days ago, I’ve got an unconfirmed note that there are more hotmails accounts in the world than gmail accounts. I cannot confirm that. Will Microsoft inject their outlook.com solution into existing Office and Outlook? This is a question that can make some difference to engineers and other people dealing with collaboration and PLM. At the end, lots of companies (even if they have the variety of enterprise app) are run by email.

What is my conclusion? Usage matters. Today majority of people in manufacturing organizations I know are using MS Office and Outlook. This is a first user interface most of the people open in the morning. If Microsoft can inject Outlook.com into this place, it will automatically pretend to serve as a powerful collaborative tool. Then the question will be how to embed PLM apps into this space. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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4 Responses to What Outlook.com can make for PLM collaboration?

  1. Lou Gallo says:

    It already integrates with office 365 and adopts more of the “metro” look. This just makes their off premise offerings more complete. Lots of buzz around outlook.com but to a heavy hot mail user its just a new skin. People were embarrassed to have a hot mail address but this rebranding is just want the service needed.

  2. Lou, thanks for your comment. Does it mean Office 365 email client and Outlook.com is the same one?

  3. As far as future integrations with PLM platforms, look more closely at Microsoft’s activities in the cloud, and specifically with Windows Azure and the new Wave 15 (2013) app model. Between these two big bets, Microsoft is providing a method for ISVs and entrepreneurs to develop tools and integration points with other enterprise platforms, such as PLM systems, allowing them to connect to and share data with Office, SharePoint, Dynamics, and so forth. You’re going to see more and more expamples of Microsoft partners and customers building out these kinds of solutions — either for themselves or for commercial use, and players like PTC, who have been in the SharePoint space for years, will make their app and Azure strategies public.

  4. Christian, thanks for your comment! I’m following up Microsoft Azure activities and found it quite interesting for the last time. It gets more into competition with AWS. What you said about sharing data is important. Can you share some specific links with materials about that? Thanks, oleg

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