PLM Prompt: Mashups open up for PLM business?

August 4, 2009

Mashups are new technologies came to us with The Web 2.0 era.

Wikipedia: In web development, a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service. The term mashup implies easy, fast integration, frequently using open APIs and data sources to produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data. An example of a mashup is the use of cartographic data to add location information to real estate data, thereby creating a new and distinct Web service that was not originally provided by either source.

Interesting article drove my attention today. Some time ago I already wrote about Mashups and I want to get back to this theme again. It looks like mashup were very successful in applications like Google Map, but failed to start in enterprise applications and PLM is one of them.

What do you think? Have you had chance to meet Mashup implementations in organization around ERP, CRM, PDM, PLM?

I’m going to come with more stuff about mashups. Stay tuned…

Best, Oleg

Will PLM Move Beyond Search?

August 3, 2009

plm-beyond-searchWhat is the role of Search in PLM? This is question I want to discuss today. This year is busy for search community, Microsoft Bing and now Microsoft Yahoo agreement. I had chance to hear so many opposite opinions about search, so I decided to put this question in PLM Think Tank. On the one, very extreme side, I read Stephen Arnold is saying – search is a commodity or give away for free. On the other side of the street vendors like Autonomy is creating OEM alliances with Siemens, which include Siemens PLM business. I’m sure will not be able to put all opinions about search in this blog post, therefore, will be focusing on areas of search that relevant to what PLM is trying to achieve in organization.

I think for many years, Search was considered as simple function in CAD, PDM and lately Product Lifecycle Management interface. This is not true anymore! I’d expect search will start to play much more significant role in everything that happens in enterprise space. There are few reasons for that. First, search was very successful during that past few years in consumer’s applications. Second, enterprise landscape becomes extremely complex. Third , enterprise vendors will look for differentiation and search will be one of them.

These days, search vendors are trying to find special way for their solutions to enterprises. Some of them, I’d like to mention here:

Social Search. Since everything social becomes very popular, search is also here. There are many vendors focusing on searches in social networks. The key focus of these products is to insure real-time search capabilities in changed social networks. I don’t think real-time is extremely important for product lifecycle, but to be able to resolve complexity of social relationship in enterprise can be very interesting and beneficial.

Enterprise Information Search. In traditional approach, enterprise search vendors were focused on indexing of documents in enterprise content management system, enterprise vaults in beyond. Today’s trends show more interest from these vendors to go beyond document indexing and to show more functions to aggregate information and present it to the users.

Visual Search. You better will see it once… Yes, to be able to see results visually becomes important. I had chance to speak about 3D searches, and visual searches on my blog before. There are multiple aspects of visual effects and capabilities. From being able to see 3D models, to visualize graphically results and dependencies.

So, what is my conclusion so far? Success of search in a consumer market will continue to put demand from customer’s side and drive vendors to put more energy to search space. The solution is not there yet.

Best, Oleg.

PLM Prompt: Google Doc’s users want tables! PLM shocked…

July 21, 2009

Very impressive capabilities of Google Docs including Auto-playfeatures. I think presentation becomes very mature.Two questions incontext of this information I had in my mind:

Google Docs: You want tables!

Making presentations better with auto-play

Making presentations better with auto-play

1. Is it matured enough to replace multiple Excels we are using today?

2. What do you think about embedding of similar capabilities in PLM products to manage Bill of Materials and other product data?

Waiting for your thoughts?

Best, Oleg

PLM Way to Enterprise 2.0

July 10, 2009

e2confLast week BlueKiwi and Dassault Systems announced their strategic alliance to delivery Social Innovation for PLM. I was very excited to read about it. BlueKiwi is interesting software that enables communities. Some of them are very useful, and I had a chance to use them by myself. I believe BlueKiwi product can be compared to the other social enabling technologies like blogs, social networks etc.  The best place to read about those technologies is to browse through materials of Enterprise 2.0 conference (actually E 2.0 event took place last week in Boston, Mass).

I had some thoughts while reading the following article on the same topic. Enterprise 2.0 is looking for the way to be adopted by Enterprises. This is interesting perspective. The author mentioned that one of the ways for Enterprise 2.0 tools to be adopted by Enterprise is to be linked to Business Process tools. The whole idea, if I understood it correctly, is that Business Process in organization will be fed up by social networking tools. For example, an innovation process needs to get more ideas and these ideas can be captured by tools like BlueKiwi…

In my view, the fundamental idea is interesting. I can imagine many people in organizations struggling to find the email with their idea how make product better or something they worked on last week, month, year…

Where I see a problem? Every business process is structured by its nature. Opposite to a business process, an innovation process is very unstructured. To connect structured and unstructured communications is not a simple task. One possible way to resolve this conflict is to make business processes in an organization more flexible.

This is my opinion. What do you think about it?

PLM Prompt: Microsoft Social Enterprise

July 5, 2009

Interesting prompt – Microsoft published white paper – Social Computing in Enterprise. Quite interesting reading about Microsoft’s vision of collaboration and tools in Web 2.0 world.

ms social enterprise

I wonder how all social computing, social innovation and social product development will co-exist together? How many social platforms we need to have in Enterprise? Just my thoughts…

Enterprise 2.0 Checklist for PLM

July 1, 2009

I want to discuss Enterprise 2.0. This term started to be popular during the last two-three years and stands for technologies and best practices around so called “social software”,  according to the main mature components such as wiki and blogs. In my view, although the functional definition of Enterprise 2.0 is still very fuzzy, the need for Enterprise 2.0 type of software is emerging and growing fast. Lately, we’ver heard many messages from Product Lifecycle Management software providers about the importance of social software for PLM. I’m sure you had a chance to see “Social Innovation” or “Social Product Development” initiatives presented by leading PLM vendors during this year.

So, with such an introduction,  I wanted to start a discussion about Enterprise 2.0 and PLM paths. Are these co-directed? Can Product Lifecycle Management leverage Enterprise 2.0 or vice versa?

I also had a chance to read Wikipedia’s definition of <Enterprise 2.0> and also was reading The State of Enterprise 2.0 by Dion Hinchcliff. I wanted to start with a checklist of what exists in Enterprise 2.0 and compare it with how we perceive Product Lifecycle Management within this definition.

In the very early view and definition of Enterprise 2.0 according to Andrew McAfee, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School, Enterprise 2.0 elements are defined as a SLATES model. So, let’s take a look at every element of this definition. Actually, I found it very interesting from the practical standpoint of Product Lifecycle Management.

Search – I think that the definition of search in the enterprise lacks maturity at the present. Enterprise Search vendors are focusing on document search and information discovery in the Enterprise. At the same time, <Search> has become a very important function in everyday life and many of our daily activities has changed as a result of the “search revolution”. Product Lifecycle Management is doing a lot of things that require an improved way of managing data about products ─ being able to find this data is one of the most important functions.

Links – URI and URL are two fundamental things allowing connections of information in a Web-enabled enterprise. PLM manages a lot of “connected” things such as product definitions, relevant documents etc. PLM can reuse a lot from models that have already been developed and will be developed in the future for Enterprise 2.0.

Authorship – Enterprise 2.0 has changed the way people perceive their roles with regards to creating and using information. In PLM, the function of creating (or designing) was belonging many years to Development/R&D/Engineering. These days Enterprise 2.0 is changing it and introduces new way to involve people to create product and services. This is will be very important for the future.

Tags – This is something that is very usable and provides an open and simple for people. For years, PLM has been classifying things mostly in a taxonomical way. I had a chance to write about tagging before and I think that the role of Tags in the future model of PLM will be increased.

Extensions – I see extensions as a natural way to grow. I think that the application of extension methods can allow us to gain a better understanding of product development and the customer environment. We can find a way to reuse these patterns to develop new products and services.

Signals – I think people need to be able to interact ─ within Product Development, in the Supply Chain, in the customer’s ecosystem. Adoption of “signals” can provide PLM with the ability to interact in a new way.

So, time will tell how the Enterprise 2.0 model will be developed in the near future, and how new software products will be developed and even change this model. It’s clear that many of Enterprise 2.0 characteristics were created as result of a major dissatisfaction with the current state of enterprise software.  Enterprise 2.0 needed a change that would adopt new methods of working and have an impact on the environment.

I’m very interested to know your opinion and views on this topic and am looking forward to discussing this in my next posts.


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