Corporate iCloud, iPLM Future and Google’s Apps?

June 8, 2011

Well…It happened. The marketing machine of Apple meets the cloud and cloud marketing. The result is predicted – iCloud. If you haven’t had a chance to watch Apple shows this week, you can do. Spend 7.5 min and enjoy the remarkable presentation made by Steve Jobs, including statements “it just works” and lesson learned from mobile.me experiments.

Corporate Cloud

The obvious question I was asking myself was about what is a potential influence of coming iCloud to enterprise software in general and specifically for engineering and manufacturing companies. Some of the scenarios and challenges presented by CAD and PLM vendors can be (with a bit oversimplification) presented as a synchronization of the content from iCloud to multiple places. The first obvious scenario is synchronization of libraries and content between OEM and Suppliers. Other scenarios are possible as well. I read the following article on PC Word – ICloud and IOS 5: New Challenges for Business. Take a time, have a read and make your opinion. I found the following passage resonating:

Lion Server delivers wireless file sharing for iPad. When you enable WebDAV in Lion Server, you can access, copy, and share documents on the server from applications such as Keynote, Numbers, and Pages.

While Apple specifically references its iWork apps here, it seems pretty clear that the company is using them merely as examples. That makes sense because Apple used them to demo iCloud’s document capabilities. But it seems clear that this feature will extend to other apps as well.

Some of the features mentioned by PC Word article as well as some announcements made by Apple in the context of new Lion Server can be interesting. Wireless file sharing on the iPad is probably a feature that can become a favorite among managers in every manufacturing (and not only) company.

The future of iPLM?

I tried to marry iCloud to PLM. So, it turns out my experiment was bad. Actually, iPLM already exists and eventrademarked by Dassault Systems. So, without knowing if Steve Jobs is planning to come to manufacturing companies, the place already taken Enovia V6 iPLM. I wasn’t able to find much about Dassault iPLM strategy and development, except of the following picture.

iCloud and Google Apps

When I was listening to Jobs’ demo (which was obviously brilliant), I tried to find what features of coming iCloud strategy cannot be realized today using Google Apps. Here is my net-net: I can access mails, calendars, documents from any devices. The notion of push synchronization promoted by Apple is important. It solves many scenarios related to content access.

What is my conclusion? The key word for the next revolution in enterprise belongs to “device” and “mobility”. iCloud seems to solve the key problem available everywhere – synchronization. The situation was bad on a single computer (i.e. Mac). However, the synchronization is really bad behind the firewall. The solution that solves this problem can provide a significant leapfrog in the corporate IT and engineering and manufacturing applications. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


PLM And New Types Of User Experience

May 5, 2010

User experience is important. It comes with all cool gadgets, Web 2.0 websites and iPhone apps. I think, people started to understand it even in enterprise organizations. I can hear lots of people voices asking when enterprise tools will become cooler than today. The obvious answer of PLM and other related vendors for many years was 3D. Everything looks better in 3D – visualization, animation, etc. I want to focus on few examples of trends that can potentially introduce new types of user experience.

Augmented Reality
The latest trend in 3D space is augmenting reality. It helps us to mix virtual and real 3D spaces into a single one. The nice thing about it is that it helps you to realize the potential of your product before it even comes to prototyping and manufacturing. I had chance to see many examples of augmented reality. One of the best ones is iQ Toyota. The impressive piece of this video is how you can create a virtual disassemble of the car.

3D Working Environment
This example is actually coming from the BumpTop acquisition Google made this week. BumpTop is a nice idea simulating real 3D environment on your desktop. And it is specially interesting, since the existing desktops remain unchanged the last 10-15 years, and it sounds like a potential change in this place. I can imaging it coming to the product design environment too.

Voice Collaborative Communication
In my view, this is the most unusual one. I’ve been watching Siri – assistant application since it was introduced last year on iPhone. This is a nice example of collaborative application that interact with user in a very unusual and intuitive manner. I posted about this apps few mounts ago in my article – What Are You Questions PLM Virtual Assistant? So, this company was acquired by Apple earlier this week, which means for me Apple is investing in more intuitive ways of collaboration and communication. I think, this is also something that can fit very well today’s product development environment.

So, what is my conclusion? I can definitely see something new is coming in user experience and communication. The trends in  communication and collaboration made by non-PLM software manufacturers can outrun design and engineering software vendors. PLM vendors are dealing with a huge amount of legacy code and legacy implementations. However, this is a time to think about what can bring next potential leap in collaborative manufacturing, engineering and design software.

Just my thoughts…
Best, Oleg

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Who Can Generate 3D/PLM Content For Apple iPad?

January 28, 2010

 

 

Well, it happened. Apple stretched up iPhone in size, removed camera and phone features. So, we have iPad now. What does it mean for people that live design and manufacturing word? Below are some of my thoughts about that. Since, I haven’t had chance to keep it in my hands yet, I cannot say for sure. But it looks cool. Technical characteristics seem reasonable for device you don’t know exactly how to use. When all my work is on cloud/server/laptop, I don’t know what will be justification to have up to 64GB flash.

Let think about what is the possible implication for 3D/PLM world. This device is not for design. Absence of a camera creates some limitation for the application like 3DVIA Mobile and all other applications that want to merge physical and virtual life. This device is probably too expensive to be used on the shop-floor and manufacturing. Potentially, I can see iPad can be used instead of slim laptops, for reviews and by mobile users.

So, do you think iPad life in PLM will be limited? No, I don’t think so. The opportunity will come when we will start generating content that can be easy consumed by iPad. Today, most of the content in design and manufacturing is tuned for desktop computers – CAD and other design systems are desktop oriented, data management and process oriented systems are, for the best case web oriented. What should be done to make this change and make a content to be consumable on iPad?

Think Content
Let’s start thinking about content around us. Design, Simulations, Bill of Materials, Project reviews, Change requests. How to get this content on such a cool device like iPad? Content will be the major driver for people to start using it.

Think Cloud
Today most of the information is somehow located in our desktop applications. Even when we have the data management system (EDM, PDM…), these systems bring information to your desktop and this is becoming a place where we can consume it. We need to re-think it and move to the cloud (public, private… It doesn’t matter- just go away from desktop). In this case, we will start thinking about how to consume it on different devices according to our needs.

Think Mobile
The main benefit to be in the office is to speak with people – not to be connected to the network. You need to be able to connect to network anywhere and get content you are looking for.

So, what is my conclusion? There is a long way to go, but I think PLM needs to think about content. It will allow long life for IP, we generate with multiple devices. Devices will come and die, but content will be forever with companies that create it.

Just my thoughts.
Best, Oleg

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