PLM Collaboration and Microsoft Office 2013 Cloud Strategy

November 12, 2012

Microsoft is releasing to manufacturing Office 2013 version. For many years, Office was a symbol of Microsoft’s desktop empire. Not anymore. You can find it interesting, but the major focus on Office 2013 is… cloud. Navigate your browser to the following article – Microsoft Office 2013: Best New Features for the Enterprise.The following passage was my favorite:

Probably, the most dramatic change in the new version of Office is how it’s linked to the cloud for a wide variety of purposes in ways that either didn’t exist or were much more limited in Office 2010 and previous editions.

For starters, a tight integration with Microsoft’s SkyDrive online storage service is intended to make it simple and convenient for end-users to save their files in the cloud both in Office 2013 and Office ProPlus. This ties into the increasingly popular workplace use of services like Box.net, Dropbox and Google Drive, which simplify not only access to files but also sharing them with colleagues, leading to better collaboration.

I recommend you another article – Microsoft’s Wave of Office, Server Product Releases Brings Flood of Questions to get exposed to few interesting facts about Microsoft Office 2013 cloud dependencies. One of them is related to SharePoint and Workflow processes. Here is a very interesting passage:

By default, SharePoint 2013 runs newly created workflow services on Windows Azure, and you have to install the old Windows Workflow engine on SharePoint 2013 instances in order to run previously used workflows.

PLM collaboration and Microsoft Cloud

PLM vendors are not standing aside of cloud development these days. One size doesn’t fit all and PLM vendors are trying multiple strategies. From very conservative IaaS option announced few weeks ago by Siemens PLM and up to services provided by Arena Solutions and Autodesk PLM 360. Speaking about Microsoft, Aras PLM cloud enabling is heavy lifted by dependencies on Microsoft Azure.

Introduction of Microsoft Office 2013 cloud option can enable some interesting shifts and changes in PLM collaboration. Manufacturing companies are heavy dependent on Office products (specifically on Microsoft Excel). Until now, desktop and file nature of Excel was a significant inhibitor to collaboration. By connecting Office 2013 to cloud Microsoft can change a game for many manufacturing companies (especially small ones). It can provide some advantages to PLM cloud vendors that can connect their services to Office cloud offering.

What is my conclusion? Cloud adoption is increasing. Period. Microsoft’s move to the cloud is a good sign for PLM companies experimenting with cloud, and it provide more grounds to develop connections between Microsoft Office cloud services and PLM cloud products. Collaboration and content sharing can be a first priority on the list. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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