How Many Social Platforms We Need for Enterprise?

November 23, 2009

I think, we are all crazy about a “social computing” topic. Social marketing, social communication, social platform, social content… Few latest announcements last week drove me to some thoughts about Social Platforms in enterprise. Salesforce.com announced Chatter – new social platform for enterprise on their Dreamforce 2009 conference. Almost at the same time, Dassault Systems presentated Social Innovation on European Customer Conference in Paris.

The question I asked myself what is going on around social platforms? How many of such we need? We thrilled by Facebook and Twetter. In parallel, we can see attempts like Yammer to replicate Twitter’s success for the enterprise place. At the same time, big platform providers like IBM and Microsoft are playing with social collaborative musculature of their offering. Finally enterprise vendors get involved and introduced their social platforms. I see Chatter and DS Social innovation are only two examples from last week.

Salesforce.com Chatter Product

Dassault Social Innovation in Plain English.

So, where we are going? Multi-platform social chaos?  I figured out few issues that in my view important to keep in mind looking on multiple social platform efforts.

1. Personal Identification in social networks. We have accounts everywhere – Facebook, twitter, corporate networks etc. As soon as we move towards multiple platforms personal identification becomes more and more important. Interesting directions could be adoption of FOAF or any other potential standardization in this area. How many of you have Google Profile? I created one, but still looking how I can benefit that outside of Google’s world.

2. Content security. Share content in social networks is important and dangerous at the same time. How we can control content shared in social networks? What will be a possible solution for content sharing in enterprise social networks as well as in mixed social networks?

3. Productivity. No doubt social networks brought a lot of advantages. However, how efficiently balance between benefits and disturbing? How I can measure productivity impact from social networks. This is another “interesting problem” in my view.

I’m sure, you enjoyed videos and looking forward to your comments.

Best, Oleg


How to Unleash the Potential of PLM 2.0?

September 25, 2009

The term “management” is very misused, in my view. Long time ago, somebody told me - if you don’t know how to call it, call it “management”. So, Product Lifecycle Management :)… How we can move it forward? I have heard a lot of discussions about 2.0 trends for the last few years. It started as Web 2.0 and after moved to different areas of our life - Government 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Library 2.0, Everything 2.0 etc… So, finally, thanks to my colleagues from Dassault Systems, we have now PLM 2.0. I had chance to talk about various aspects related to PLM 2.0 and this is my next attempt to discuss and churn again about the PLM 2.0 topic.

Management Minimized, but Not Eliminated.

I think, management is a really outdated term in the context of software. Like a combustion engine, management as a technology is largely stopped being developed. In order to realize the full potential of organization we need to focus on a process or, saying differently, on how to marshal resources and activities to achieve our goals.

Many times in Product Lifecycle Management we are trying to lay down a structure - design, engineering, manufacturing, dependencies between them and later enforcing software to manage it to get maximum of business potential. This is an obsolete approach in my view. The right one - structure comes from real business context, from specific business needs. In this case PLM will become real enabling technology and not “management” technology.

However, what is going on around? There are few interesting 2.0 trends I can see in PLM going to PLM 2.0:

1. Expand. This interesting trend represented, in my view, in DS V6. I give full respect to my colleagues in Dassault System. This approach allows to resolve many problems in the organization of development, manufacturing and other business processes. Common model used in this approach can solve lots of problems as well as collaborative business applications leveraging common infrastructure. Since now, everybody will be able to collaborate in much more efficient way. I think big ERP vendors are also pretty much following the same ideas laying down fundamentals of ERP platforms to serve needs of product development and manufacturing.

2. Integrate. This is another approach. In order to achieve the next level of productivity, PLM content and process is going to be integrated into the environment that much more social and less formal. Different ideas about how to integrate PLM products or content into - business process suites, office applications, web portals, IM-tools. In my view, you can see a very interesting example of such approach in PTC’s Social Product Development strategy. Going hand-by-hand with Microsoft’s SharePoint, processes can be easy integrated and distributed, if you will.

3. Socialize. This approach is shifting 180 degrees to the people. Let say, people first (opposite to “product first”) - we need to care how to organize contextual communication by providing flexible space to do it. You just take what you need into this space- Bill of Material, Item, Drawing, Contact, Mail etc. The importance of contextual and not formal collaboration is taking top priority in such approach. I liked to see Vuuch.me service offer a way to collaborate without boundaries. The biggest advantage - you really don’t need “to manage”, but just to collaborate socially. What need to be prevented is organizing of “yet another informational silo”.

So, to unleash the real potential of PLM 2.0, PLM need to lose the “M” part. This is not about management anymore, but about how to help to people to realize potential of organization to design, manufacture, sell and maintain products and ideas. One of the best non-technological books I had chance to read last time was “The Opposable Mind“. PLM needs to get out of traditional “management” ways to think and transform PLM to PLM 2.0.

Best, Oleg


Internet Kills. PLM better move to become real PLM 2.0…

September 10, 2009

I’ve been enjoying reading UK Telegraph’s 50 Things that are being killed by the Internet“. So, good news - PLM is not on the list yet. But, point was made very clear - Internet can change our life and Internet can change our business. I think, Enterprise 2.0 is the real beginning of change to more productive tools toward open information exchange. This wave is slowly coming to enterprise, but will hit PLM space too. Take a look on a good comparison between Enterprise 1.0 and Enterprise 2.0.

enterprise 20 vs enterprise 10
So, what I‘m thinking about it? I think,Internet intervention is coming to enterprise space and Enterprise 2.0 is the first sign. But, looking on Enterprise 2.0, I‘m thinking how much PLM need to accomplish in order not to be killed and transformed. The top issues for me are flexibility, bottom-up, transparency, global. I think we still have long way to go.

Best, Oleg


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?


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