SolidWorks PDM Customers Focus on Office. Cloud? Meh…

August 2, 2011

August is a typical vacation time. At least, I was thinking so… Not any more. Today’s news brought me at least two acquisition notices. One from Autodesk about their acquisition of Instructables – a popular online community where people can upload, discuss, rate and collaborate on a wide variety of do-it-yourself (DYI) projects. The second one, maybe less notable compared to Autodesk, but very interesting in the context of PDM and PLM – Razorleaf acquired Office2PDM product from Extensible CAD. Razorleaf is a small outfit in PDM/PLM world providing services focuses on the implementation of design automation, SharePoint, Product Data Management and PLM solutions.

So, what happened? Razorleaf acquired Office2PDM – a suite of products that better connects SolidWorks Enterprise PDM to Microsoft Office products. Read full text of Razorleaf announcement here. Here is the the top quote:

Office2PDM offers a seamless integration between Microsoft Office products and SolidWorks Enterprise PDM (EPDM). EPDM Dashboard provides real-time access to Enterprise PDM vaults, right from Microsoft Outlook, for monitoring the status of documents and workflows.

In a nutshell, Office PDM is for people that are spending their lives in Microsoft Office products. To have an ability to seamlessly accessing EPDM data is important. Take a look on following two videos.

Razorleaf published on their blog an additional information about their intents related to the future of Office2PDM:

Razorleaf plans to extend and enhance EPDM Dashboard and Office2PDM, as we strive to deliver on its pomise of making PLM tools work better for our clients. Office2PDM and EPDM Dashboard are SolidWorks Partner Products, offering one of the highest levels of integration for access to the Enterprise PDM system. The transition from Extensible CAD to Razorleaf should be transparent to existing customers, and a net benefit given Razorleaf’s long history with Enterprise PDM and its predecessor, Conisio.

SolidWorks EPDM and Office

Razorleaf acquisition made me think about some interesting aspects of PDM and PLM implementations related to Microsoft Office. The connection of EPDM and Office is a big deal, in my view. Email and Office are mainstream tools that used by all manufacturing companies implementing SolidWorks and EPDM. Seamless Office integration is a key functionality that expects to be highly demanded by everyone in SolidWorks customer community.

What is my conclusion? There is one question I have not answered reading Razorleaf announcement. What happens with V6 Enovia cloud tools and SolidWorks PDM? SolidWorks n!Fuze is the newest DS SolidWorks product on the cloud. Dassault just released n!Fuze a month ago. n!Fuze supposed to provide a first step into the future of SolidWorks data management and collaboration tool on the cloud. How fast SolidWorks EPDM will be replaced by V6 on the cloud? In my view, Razorleaf is clearly saying – Focus on Office. Cloud? Meh… Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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