BEYONDPLM’s top stories of 2012

January 3, 2013

It is always interesting to take a look and see what posts drove the most attention of my readers in the past. So, I’m following this tradition. Here is a short recap of beyondplm top stories for 2012. It was a year with lots of transformation and changes. So, I wasn’t surprised to see PLM Perfect Storm 2012 on the top of the list. The second topic actually surprised me a bit. I thought, technology is something people are less interested these days. Nevertheless, the discussion around the post What is the future of PLM databases? drove lots of readers’ attention. Autodesk PLM 360 was a new product introduced by Autodesk in the beginning of 2012. So, readers interest in this topic was almost expected. Complexity is another topic which drives lots of attention these days in PLM industry. PLM and the death of complexity article confirms that. Another "logical" choice was an article about SolidWorks mobile app for iPad. Please find below list of posts and brief conclusions.

PLM Perfect Storm 2012

It is an interesting time to be in the PLM market these days. As I wrote in my recent blog –SolidWorks community and opportunity for PLM, there is a significant opportunity to deliver PLM solution to the white space market these days. Gartner’s PLM market dynamics slide is highlighting the same opportunity. It is clearly a perfect storm. Large PLM companies have a lot of money to play the future PLM game. They have a lot to win as well as to lose, in case something will go wrong. Who will take the best “stormy seat” in this game? An interesting question to ask.

What is the future of PLM databases?

The complexity of product lifecycle problems brings the need of new concepts in data modeling and data management. One of the main questions – how to break the boundary of a single database? This is a key question, in my view. It will solve the problem of logical scalability and provide a platform for future information discovery.

My first take on Autodesk PLM 360 system and technology

I have a positive impression about PLM 360. It is stable, and I could perform my research experiments as well as some customization and development work. The overall maturity of the system even higher than I would expect from the system developed from scratch (as it was mentioned by Randal Newton in his article) – Autodesk PLM 360 is the first PLM product written from scratch for contemporary cloud technology. Autodesk is betting it will be a hit with companies of all sizes. At the same time, I didn’t find special novelty in the data-management paradigm. Also, I didn’t find any confirmation about flexibility and scalability of the system going beyond traditional PLM solutions (in the case systems like Enovia, Aras, etc. will be hosted on the cloud). The concepts of integration of PLM 360 are not clear and provide a concern with regards how PLM 360 can be embedded into overall company IT strategy. With all that, I found my user experience quite enjoyable, and I liked how PLM 360 performed tasks.

PLM and the death of complexity

The death of the complexity is here. PLM and other software vendors in the manufacturing and engineering space need to take a note. The user experience will not be set by enterprise monsters. New generation of people will not tolerate the complex PLM software. This is a time to rest the expectations.

First Look of 3DS SolidWorks e-Drawings for iPad

Later is better than never. I think, many of SolidWorks users will appreciate e-Drawing iPad app. I’m going to experiment how easy to use e-Drawing as a viewer on my iPad in addition to other mobile apps I already have from Autodesk and other vendors.

Thank you for your commitment to Beyond PLM blog in 2012. I’m looking forward to keep blogging in 2013.

Best, Oleg

Disclaimer: In 2012, the company I co-founded (Inforbix) was acquired by Autodesk Inc. For the moment, I’m responsible for product development of Autodesk PLM360 and other Autodesk PLM/PDM product and technologies.

Image courtesy of [stuart miles] /

What 2012 holds for Product Lifecycle Management?

January 3, 2012

Beginning of the year is a time for New Year resolutions and "annual predictions". Few days ago, I shared my plans forBeyond PLM activities in 2012. To predict what is going to happen during coming year is usually very thankless work. In the middle of December, I’ve made my broad prediction that 2012 is going to be a year of PLM rock stars (ready my post The Enterprise and PLM will rock in 2012). Today, I want to share what I think will be in a focus of PLM companies in coming 2012.

Autodesk Cloud PLM

With no doubt, it is going to be "the PLM event" of the year. Autodesk is going to make Nexus 360 Cloud PLM available in the end of Q1/2012 or beginning of Q2. That was my impression from AU2011. The expectations are high and the level of speculation about what Autodesk will release is going to be on the same level. It is going to be a big challenge for Autodesk. Even if the majority of their initial customers are SMB manufacturers, because of volume, Autodesk can potentially generate much bigger numbers from their PLM products. However, Autodesk needs to watch carefully the level of expectation and the delivery to keep the promise of making PLM different.

Dassault SolidWorks V6

It seems to me, we are going to see SolidWorks V6 preview later this year during SWW 2012. Over the past two years, we’ve heard lots of pre-announcements from SolidWorks about their cloud platforms, Enovia-based development and future use of CATIA kernel. I believe some deliveries need to happen in February in San-Diego (SWW 2012 home town)

PLM Maturity and Unification by mindshare vendors

Top 3 major PLM providers – Dassault, Siemens PLM and PTC will continue their competition for platform unification and big names wins. These days, all large manufacturers are using pieces of software from one of these companies. In many cases, companies are using software from multiple vendors. All 3 vendors are coming with the idea how unify PLM implementations using their proprietary platforms. It becomes very complicated for large companies to keep going with multiple platforms. The trend of "unification" on a single platform will continue in 2012. Because of a very high cost of change, top PLM companies will continue to do all possible to convince customers to commit towards migration to new platforms. We are going to see more of such wins in 2012.

Emerging Trends: Social and Mobile

Even if both "social" and "mobile" are hot outside of PLM, I don’t believe these two words will generate big news in 2012 for PLM. After all, these two trends (or technologies) are just enablers for PLM implementations. I expect to see more mobile applications coming from existing and new vendors.

Product and Technological Shopping

I also expect main CAD/PLM vendors to continue their shopping spree. Money is not an issue for them. Even if the amount of new companies in the industry is not big, four dominant CAD/PLM companies will try to gain advantages by acquiring smaller companies with proven products or interesting technologies.

What is my conclusion? Enterprise has a potential to become "cool again" in 2012. There are many interesting things going outside of enterprise in consumer software and web development. These products and technologies can put enterprise IT on fire in 2012. Large scale data management, social web and mobile – these technological enablers will be dominant in the new PLM development in 2012. Mature software vendors will continue their fight for the future market share increase among their existing (and overlapped) install base. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image: Vlado /

Beyond PLM – Looking forward to 2012.

December 31, 2011

Time is running fast, and 2011 is behind us. It is a moment to take a look in the past, make conclusions and draw plans for 2012. I wanted to share some information about Beyond PLM and PLM Think Tanks from 2011, made my conclusions and share some ideas about my plans for 2012.

Beyond PLM 2011 in Numbers.

Here is the short net-net of Beyond PLM and PLM Think Tank overall performance in 2011. I posted 337 blog articles. I’ve got a total of about 240,000 page views, which came to an average of 640 page view daily.

2011 New Year Resolution: Planned vs. Actual

I published my New Year resolution in the beginning of 2011. I never did it before. Frankly, I almost forgot about that. That’s why it was very interesting to me to Google my historical post and share with you what I think about the performance. Navigate to the following link to see the old post from January 2011 .

1. Keep a controversial informative discussion about Engineering and Manufacturing software. I hope I did well with that by feeding you with topics to discuss. However, I’m really interested to hear your opinion. So, speak up and tell me what do you think.

2. Discover new trends and opportunities related to Product Lifecycle Management. If you ask me about trendy words in 2011, I’d clearly say it was about the cloud and mobile. A year ago, I posted – PLM Reset 2011. The topics I wrote about were – cloud, mobile, social and end of Microsoft’s dominance. Autodesk made a final accord in 2011 by introducing “cloud PLM” and I think the overall you’d agree that these 4 trends had a significant role in what we did in 2011.

3. Publish Beyond PLM think tank posts daily. I posted 337 posts during 2011, which can be calculated as an average of 6.48 posts per week. My usual commitment was to publish every working day, so I’m doing well with the number.

4. Develop 140-char message oriented discussion on Beyond PLM. I wanted to learn more how to use Twitter to improve conversation related to PLM Think Tank. I hope, I was doing well, especially during conferences. In general, I’m satisfied with my twitter performance. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with the speed. I hope to make it better next year.

5. Get at least 5 hours sleep regularly (this is probably won’t happen). Well, it was a complete failure. Beyond PLM as well as my new baby Inforbix asked for my special attention.

Beyond PLM in 2012

I wanted to share some of my plans for 2012. My vision is to continue providing you with the best place to discuss various topics about engineering and manufacturing software with a most focus on Product Lifecycle Management. At the same time, I’m looking forward to expanding range of topics from mostly technological to some special topics related to configuration management, product development processes and standards. Here are three projects I’m thinking about in 2012.

PLM Think Tank e-book. The number of posts and content is growing. It is hard even for me to remember the list of topics, discussions and materials. I’ll be publishing PLM Think Tank annual e-book. It will be available soon for free download on the blog website. Stay tuned.

Guest blogging. I want to expand blogging expertize and invite guest bloggers to Beyond PLM. I will be making blog design adjustment and hope to allow guest blogging in February-March 2012. Contact me if you have special interests – I want to discuss it more.

Website unification. I want finally to unify my blogging platforms. For the moment, I’m sharing content via my oldwebsite. If somebody had an experience in unification and merging of websites, I appreciate if you share it with me.

Advertising. I’m getting a significant amount of requests to allow advertizing on Beyond PLM. I didn’t make my final conclusion about that. My vision of Beyond PLM and PLM Think Tank was always to keep an absolutely vendor-neutral position, and I hope you acknowledge that. So, advertizing is an open ticket for me. I will decide later this year.

What is my conclusion? No conclusion. 2:30am in Boston. Time to think about tomorrow’s New Year party. I’m sure, some of my friends in Europe and Far East already making very close preparation to celebrate coming 2012. However, I still can catch some sleep. I wish you to enjoy the rest of your Holidays Break! I’m looking forward to talking to you about various topics beyond PLM in coming 2012.

Happy New Year!

The Enterprise and PLM will rock 2012?

December 18, 2011

As usual, at the end of the year, there is a time for blog posts with predictions, opinions and future trends. Last 2-3 years of technological boom were around consumer applications – social, web, mobile. These are three major application field that developed many technologies of the past years. How it may impact enterprise and PLM?

I was reading thebarefootvc blog earlier today – 10+ trends: recap of 2011 and what’s next… One of the trends mentioned in the context of 2012 was Enterprise. This is my favorite passage:

The Enterprise: The last few years have focused on consumer usage and adoption of technology. However, large companies are recovering from the shock of the 2008 collapse and re-aligning to the New Normal. Technology can play a role through cost reduction and creating efficiencies (virtualization, cloud computing) as well as top line revenue enhancement (utilizing data and social media for better customer service and sales strategies). New financial services and healthcare regulation will also create the need for related IT solutions.

It made me think about PLM in 2012. Few important events happened in the end of 2012. One of them – Autodesk entered PLM. This is an important move. Autodesk means "volume". Consumer market is also about volume. Volume means broader adoption and lower prices. Volume is about Toyota and not about Lexus. Second is a broader adoption of the cloud technologies. For many enterprise organizations now it is a question of "when" and not a question of "why".

What is my conclusion? 2012 has a potential to become a year of PLM rock stars. Cost will be one of the most important factors of PLM in a near future. Cloud technologies and behemoths like Autodesk will be playing a significant role in this process. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

PLM and Strategic Technologies for 2012

October 26, 2011

We are in the Q4 of 2011. It is a traditional time start thinking about what is going to happen in 2012. I was reading Gartner’s Top 10 strategic technologies for 2012 published after Gartner’s ITxpo 2011 Symposium last week in Orlando. What is strategic technology according to Gartner:

What’s a "strategic technology"? The short version is that a strategic technology is one that has the potential for "significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years." That means either an existing technology that’s matured or become suitable for wider use, or it’s an emerging technology that could provide a strategic business advantage for early adopters. If it’s new(ish) and going to impact your organization’s long-term plans or initiatives.

I expected (and hope you too) to see "cloud" in the list. However, the rest of the list looks interesting. Here is the list:

  • Cloud computing
  • Big Data
  • Extreme Low-Energy Servers
  • Next-Generation Analytics
  • App Stores and Marketplaces
  • In-Memory Computing
  • Mobile-Centric Applications and Interfaces
  • Contextual and Social User Experience
  • Internet of Things
  • Media Tablets

Read about Gartner perspective in details here. Some of the things are resonating with my thoughts about what PLM technologies will emerge and how CAD/PLM vendors can leverage them. Please take a look below on my take about what technologies will be important for the future development of software for manufacturing and engineering.

Cloud Computing

Well.. this topic is everywhere. I think "cloud" is about shifting paradigms. People, by mistake, see the cloud as a renaissance of mainframe computers connected via the internet. However, it is wrong, in my view. There two things where cloud will provide a shift – cost of services and availability. Take a look on one of my latest posts about the cloud- 3 Key Cloud principles: will CAD/PLM follow?

Big Data

The stories about Big Data are fascinating. The importance of big data related technologies in manufacturing is obvious. The amount of data gathered by enterprise organization is huge. Most of this data is "invisible" today. A fraction of this data is controlled by enterprise software. Rest lives between workstations, databases, Excels, portals and personal USB drives. A significant portion of data now is on the web, but it is not connected to information inside of companies. To have the ability to connect information Design-Engineering-Manufacturing-Support-Service-Marketing (sounds PLMish) is where big data technologies can help.

Next generation analytics

Business in general and manufacturing company specifically is all about a decision. You cannot manage anything if you cannot measure and analyze data. How efficient is your design, energy consumption, customer adoption rate, customer complains, supplier’s efficiency – all this information needs to be analyzed? The ability to embed analytics in the decision process is the key issue and top priority for most of the companies.

App Stores and Market Places

This is part of what called "consumerization". We finally got it with iPhone, iTunes, etc. Now we expect the same magic to happen in business. In my presentation earlier this month on Dassault PLM forum, I mentioned Enterprise App Store as something that will have a huge potential in the future. However, many questions are still not answered – who will decide about the purchase, how apps will be selected, how integration will happen, etc.

In-memory computing

The impact of how products can leverage new memory technologies (i.e. Flash drives) is incredible. Especially when it comes to calculation, simulation and analyzes. So, I expect it to be part of technologies, CAD companies will use the most.

Mobile centric application and interfaces

I hope you are taking mobile seriously. The revolution here is under go, and we will see lots of improvements in this space. However, the main point – you don’t need to be at your desktop to decide is probably the key. The amount of time, people will use mobile device and not laptop/workstation is growing. It will help to develop fields like – marketing, support, technical operation and many others. Since I published. Who can generate 3D/PLM content for Apple iPad two years ago, we can see a huge progress. You can see mobile/ iPad apps in the portfolios of almost every CAD/PLM company. Future here will be just amazing, in my view.

Contextual and Social Experience

Well, this is another "new kid". I think, everybody these days experienced "social addiction" of Facebook and other social networks. The "aha" moment these days is to understand how it will impact our business life and business decisions. Social technologies are running fast, but to find really workable stuff is hard. One of my last write ups about that is –PLM and Social Enterprise: Files vs. People? can give you some ideas where social can go.

Internet of things

Another "fascinating topic" in my eyes. I’m following "internet of things" trend for some times now. Here is my short note about that almost 2.5 years ago – PLM and Internet of Things. Some technologies in this space are really interesting for manufacturing / engineering – sensors, image recognition, 2D to 3D conversions.

Media Tablets

This technology is kind of extension to "mobile" story. However, it is all about experience and information consumption. My favorite example – Flipboard for iPad. You can take another "almost 2 years ago post" – Things are getting touchy (PLM Tablet user experience) and compare it with your experience today. Another aspect of tablet technologies is the development of API for information access.

What is my conclusion? Prediction is a tough job. Talking about technologies in the context of the future is twice though. In general, customers don’t care about technologies. They care about "getting job done". However, speaking about engineering, manufacturing and enterprise, I can see a "momentum for new technologies", because this place was too long unchanged. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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