Cloud PLM and Security Certification

August 22, 2011

Cloud and Security. I hope I’ve got your attention a bit :). In 99% of my talks about PLM and the cloud, the topic of security was coming very fast. The question of how to provide a balanced way to handle it is the one I’m mostly interested. Thinking about consumer and enterprise space, Google seems to be one of the companies that has real concerns about how to support it in the right way. In my view, Google is actively seeking how to increase their Google App presence in the enterprise space and replace Microsoft Office suite of product. Over the weekend, I was reading ZDNet blog – Google App Engine now officially secure. While I don’t think, this is the major addition to what Google already had, I found it as important. Pay attention to the following passage:

The certification process, which covers everything from physical security at the data center to making sure that only pre-cleared staff have access to customer data, to evaluating Google’s redundancy and incident reporting… And the bottom line to all this is that several enterprises require their cloud providers to be compliant with these standards – formerly SAS 70, and now SSAE-16. And this means that Google App Engine is open to a whole new customer base, with confidences bolstered by an authoritative second opinion.

My take is that certification process can open many doors for Google Apps in the world of enterprise.

Cloud PLM Certification

There are not much existing cloud PLM applications. I definitely need to mention Arena Solution as one of the pioneers in this space. PTC/Windichill was experimenting with IBM deployment, but I don’t know much about the status of this solution. Some of the cloud / SaaS products such as Agile Advantage was retired by vendors. Multiple providers in CAD/PLM space are rushing to announce and provide their roadmaps and first product introduction into this space. There are few, I noticed specifically: Dassault announced about their V6 cloud applications, Aras published, they are ready for cloud with Aras Innovator. Autodesk, even if not having any cloud enterprise application today, already announced about future Autodesk PLM cloud application coming later this year. I’d be interested to hear these (and other) vendors are talking about ‘security topics’. What is vendor’s view on cloud security certifications for the enterprise? What specific certifications expected by customers depends on customer type and range? What is the reasonable requirement and what is the "red-herring" type of requirements?

What is my conclusion? Security is important. I think, industry developed lots of potential technologies, procedures and techniques for security. However, to differentiate between what is the priority and what is the minimum set of techniques and procedures is important. PLM vendors will have to discover them to provide it to customers and, at the same time, to optimize the cost of security mechanisms. Just my thoughts..

Best, Oleg

Image: jscreationzs /

PLM, Google and Cloud Babysitting…

May 9, 2011

I’m continuing to think about Amazon cloud failure. As you may have noticed, the “cloud” is a frequent topic on my blog. I’ve been talking about the cloud with many people and organizations during the last couple of years and learning what are best practices in delivery of stable cloud solutions with a high level of availability. To avoid failure, the tick is redundancy. When one of your cloud servers fail, you need to make a switch. You would prefer this switch happens automatically. However, in most cases, it is somebody who babysit this service and responding on the alerts of server’s health monitoring.

Photo Courtesy: MichaelMarlatt at Flickr (License)

Google Apps and Enterprises

I read the following article in InformationWeek – Google Urges Enterprises To Go Web 100%. Read the article and make your opinion. If you are in manufacturing business and your company is not Ford, Toyota, Airbus and similar, you can find lots of parallels between the conversation Google’s Enterprise Mid Market Sales Chief has with the audience. You probably tired with running all your business processes using Excel and Email. At the same time, you cannot consider a significant investment into PDM/PLM programs just because your resources are not on the same level as most of PLM vendors demand it should be. Here is my favorite passage from InfoWeek article:

The IT groups at midsize enterprises are often so wrapped up with dealing with the basics of PC and server support and upgrades that they have little attention left over to focus on issues like improved collaboration, Remley said. But business managers at those same organizations see the inefficiency in trying to run too many projects by email, where a dozen people will make edits to the same document and a project manager is forced to reconcile all those versions. With Google Docs, they could instead have all been working with the same document online, he said.

PLM in the cloud?

PLM companies are having mixed experience with the cloud. In my view, all of them (vendors) are having love&hate relationships with the cloud. In my view, all of them are watching what is going, but not committed 100% to the cloud. The exception is maybe only Arena Solution (former, which was pioneering “on-demand PLM” since early 2000s.

Almost more than a year ago, SolidWorks, during SWW 2010 made some very preliminary announcements with regards to the availability of SolidWorks product on cloud. You can read – Jeff Ray on V6, the Cloud and Killing SolidWorks by SolidSmack. This year SolidWorks presented the promised “Connect” product (new name n!Fuze) – SolidWorks n!Fuze –The Cloud Remake of PLM Collaboration?. For a long period of time, I thought Siemens PLM is very neutral to the “cloud appearance”. Reading Dezignstuff blog during the weekend, I noted Matt’s post – Tony Affuso’s Keynote from Siemens PLM conference that happened last week in Las Vegas. Here is a very interesting passage related to what probably Siemens PLM is thinking with regards to the cloud:

…Affuso said “we like the cloud”. Here’s the thing. After seeing some presentations on what the NX customer does, they are mostly from international organizations with distributed engineering and other product development efforts sharing work from large geographical separation. Cloud makes sense for huge conglomerates sharing data from many sources. In fact, a whole lot of things make sense when seen from a full-on PLM point of view that people like me who develop products in a closet tend to not understand. So if nothing else, I’m getting some perspective from this conference.

What is my conclusion? Cloud is coming. I’d say differently. It is coming with the internet. Web constantly opens new levels of capabilities, cost reduction and optimization. On the other side, it is not a “silver bullet” that will solve all your problems in a single shot. Remember, few very successful companies were born in the end of 1990s / beginning of 2000s when everything related to the .com/internet was considered as absolutely ruined. I think, smart companies will babysit cloud services to provide the functions, delivery model and cost combination that will be winning for manufacturing companies for a long run.

Just my thoughts… I’d be interested to know where are you staying with regards to the cloud planning? Please comment and speak your mind.

Best, Oleg

PLM Prompt: Google App’s scripts for PLM?

August 20, 2009

My short and powerful prompt today. Google launched Google Apps Scripts. I’d recommend to see video.

I think, this is impressive and expected step from Google. Even, if I understood Google Apps is armed against MS Office, it creates more advanced environment for collaboration online. With my love and hate relationships to Excel, I started to draft my Bill of Material in Google Apps today.

Just my thoughts, ymmv. What do you think?
Best, Oleg


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