PLM Prompt: Amazon RDS and future PLM apps on cloud?

October 28, 2009
Amazon announced Amazon RDS. In my view, this is the next logical level of cloud services’ deployment. Now you can develop you cloud applications with RDBMS back-end on cloud… Impressive? I think so and I think multiple PLM providers will be able to leverage that.

Quote from the Amazon Web Services blog article:

Today I’d like to tell you about our newest service, the Amazon Relational Database Service, or Amazon RDS for short. Now in beta, RDS makes it easier for you to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. You get direct database access withoutworrying about infrastructure provisioning, software maintenance, or common database management tasks.

Using the RDS APIs or the command-line tools, you can access the full capabilities of a complete, self-contained MySQL 5.1 database instance in a matter of minutes. You can scale the processing power and storage space as needed with a single API calland you can initiate fully consistent database snapshots at any time.

Much of what you already know about building applications with MySQL will still apply. Your code and your queries will work as expected; you can even import a dump file produced by mysqldump to get started.

This is also a good time to point back on cloud watching Kate and I made on 3D Perspectives. Below you can see current results.

Picture 18
Picture 19
What do you think about that? Do you or your organization is thinking about the future of cloud applications?

Best, Oleg

PLM in 21st Century: Fewer Giants, Folksonomies and Infinite Opportunity

July 21, 2009

future-trendsIn the early beginning of the Internet in the late 80s of 20th Century, MIT professor Tom Malone started to think how Internet will re-shape industry landscape in 21st Century. In a series of papers, he predicted that huge top down corporations would soon decentralize and transform themselves into industry eco-systems. Huge companies were created in the past to minimize “transaction cost” between teams down to supply chain. Modern distributed networks and information systems will do the same outside the walls of single company. However, actually for the last 10 years we observed a huge parade of growing gigantic companies – global consolidations happened all over the places, in pharmaceutical, chemical, finance, automotive and other sectors we had chance to see unprecedented growths of big companies. And… then 2008 crashes in finance sectors happened. Big finance corporations turned out  to have been inflated by debt at the level never seen before, the big car corporations crashed head-on skyrocketing oil prices and plummeting consumer demands…

Obviously, all these changes also impacting Product Lifecycle Management industry. First PLM companies were born of big defense, aerospace and automotive companies, providing initial backup to companies first developed CAD and coming later Product Lifecycle Management brands. What will happen with these companies in the changed landscape of traditional industries?

I think, today, we are finally coming to the point where Internet will start playing a significant role in future PLM development. In the landscape of fewer gigantic corporations, Internet will play a role of infrastructure between multiple numbers of smaller players in a supply chain of existing OEMs and in the ecosystem of many of the newcomers… Opposite to well-know today hierarchical PLMs, Folksonomies (also known as collaborative tagging, social classification and social indexing) will play a bigger role in organizing of smaller systems together. Big exposure of top-down systems will create infinite set of opportunities in providing solution for smaller companies. These smaller companies will behave in absolutely different way.

So, what will be key principles for future Product Lifecycle Management Solutions? I’d like to figure out three major characteristics that will form future Internet based PLM in 21st century.

#1 – Flexible Data Organization. PLM will be transformed to live in an open Internet world. We will not be able to apply today’s principles of data governance on PLM data management. PLM systems will be requested to co-exist in the big network of small companies operating in single cloud-y space. Transparency of information will play more important role in future data organization.

#2 – Social Networking. People and Organization system will be transformed into global social networks. Boundaries between a company network and social network of suppliers, partners and customers will be blurred. Together with information transparency, social network will create a network of future business opportunities for big number of independent companies – suppliers social networks.

#3 – Crowdsourcing. Global data availability and global people network will open new opportunities for work organization. What we have today as global design and global manufacturing will become mainstream and allows to small companies to be self-organized in industry communities.

I think for 2009 is a bit futuristic view, but if we will analyze situation in many industries, we will discover that processes toward decentralization, creating of bigger number of small suppliers and network organization already started to happen… So, I’d be interested to hear your voices and to discuss it with you.

Best, Oleg.

Can Internet Change CAD?

May 4, 2009

The future of CAD as well as many other great technological products can be impacted by major technological trends. Undoubtedly, one of the most influential technological trends of the last decade is the Internet. Web technologies have changed the behavior of the people – the way they think and work. This comes from technological companies by introducing new services and products and also comes from social spaces. This weekend, while visiting friends, I looked at how some kids aged ten to eleven were using the Internet. I was amazed to see how Google Search is natural in their Web behavior. For many of us, coming from the desktop world, find it very natural to split between desktop and web. We tend to look for information on the Web and keep it on our virtual desks for future use. This is something that is going to change – web is becoming so transparent that we don’t need to keep information on our desktops anymore.

How is this related to CAD? I’d like to discuss two main areas where CAD will be impacted – CAD Data Management Transparency and Open CAD representation format:

1. CAD Data Management Transparency: I’d like to discuss the idea of “invisible” data management. It would start from our ability to use remote/cloud storage to keep our design data. In the beginning we will be able just keep our designs files (and the word for files itself might actually get changed) there, but within time, this storage will support basic data management capabilities that will have global behavior. No more local unique identifiers – data management technology will improve and rely on new Web capabilities.

2. Open CAD representation format. CAD format plays a very significant role in our lives today. We are taking care about this “holy cow” which trails lots of very complex questions that you can discover in every CAD-related community. This issue called Interoperability. My prediction is that CAD representation formats will be immersive with CAD SOA capabilities. We will not produce <files>, but we will produce design associated with specific design (CAD) software. This (CAD) software will use embedded representation services that will allows us to “deliver” design model to the specific device, product, context or other service, and make it available for usage.

I was reading Jeff Ray’s blog post “Predicting of CAD Future” early this week and found a few of Jeff’s thoughts corresponding very much my “internet-technological” thinking. Obsolescence of data management and design anywhere-anytime is something that definitely can be enabled by the broad introduction of Internet technologies in our space.

I’d be interested to hear your voices and churns on this topic.


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