Autodesk acquires Inforbix and message to my readers.

August 29, 2012

Dear friends! I’m glad to share the news with you – Autodesk Continues Strategic Investment in Product Lifecycle Management with Acquisition of Inforbix. You probably remember my first blog about Inforibx back in 2010 – Introducing Inforbix Product Data Apps. I’m excited for Inforbix, the team and looking forward to new challenges and opportunity at Autodesk. Autodesk confirmed the strategic course to develop and expand PLM 360 and other products on the cloud. Inforbix brings technology to aggregate, fuse, search and visualize data. If you haven’t had a chance to discover it until now, you can catch up on inforbix website, which is still alive as well as Inforbix social media channels – YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Facebook. The following video fragment can give you a glimpse of what Inforbix technologies can do for PLM 360.

Autodesk and Beyond PLM

I want to say few words about my blogging activity. For the last almost five years, Beyond PLM and PLM Think Tank is sharing my opinion about engineering and manufacturing software, CAD, PDM, PLM, industry and technological trends. This activity was absolutely independent of my employment in the past and will continue to be independent now. I’m looking forward to continuing sharing new information, thoughts and opinion here. I’m sure will have an opportunity to speak more about Autodesk PLM/PDM, but it will come from Autodesk blogs.

Best, Oleg

Picture courtesy of SolidSmack blog.

5 Gallons of Processes and the future of PLMometer

August 3, 2012

Free is the best future price. If you follow my blog, you probably had a chance to read this post three years ago. The world of software is very different nowadays. Trends such as open source, software as a services (SaaS), freemium – this is only a short list of new business models. Earlier this year, I had a chance to runpanel discussion – The Future of PLM business models at PLM Innovation conference in Munich. You can take a look on my slides here.

One of the interesting trends these days is a shift from ownership to share and services. It happens in different fields. My best non-software example isMichelin selling miles instead of tires and Zipcar share-car service.

The following blog post by Kenesto caught my attention couple of days ago –How to price PLM in the cloud? Kenesto believes to innovate not only in cloud process management technologies, but also in the way this technology will be sold.

We believe that the cloud encourages changes to the way process automation software can — and should be — priced. So, we started from a clean sheet of paper when we decided how to price Kenesto. We don’t have legacy “seats” to preserve or boxes to push. We’ve not only changed the way process automation software works and is delivered, we also hope we have changed (for the better) the way people buy it.

In a nutshell, Kenesto is proposing companies to pay per bundle of processes. Pricing plans are available from 100 processes/month and up to 8000 processes/month. This process model made me think a bit differently about PLM pricing and process management, specifically. Do you want me to sell processes “by gallons” as a gas? My expectation that process management software will streamline processes in the organization. What does it mean? Improve processes doesn’t say much if company has more processes or fewer processes. Who is responsible to set “valid amount of processes” for any organization? Another question that this model generated is how to make software cost predictable. Imaging tomorrow engineer cannot open ECO because of process limit. Does it sound crazy? Who knows…

What is my conclusion? The idea of PLMometer with customer credit card connected to processes counter is an interesting one. It sounds similar to Google pay-per-click model. You can print money based on the amount of processes used by engineering and other people in the organization. Pay per click worked for Google. Will it work for Kenesto? – a good question to ask. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

PLM Think Tank March Top 5

March 23, 2012

I wanted to start by quote one of my blogs earlier this month – PLM is a fun place to be again. After almost a decade of slow motions and acquisitions, we are coming again to the state when new companies are created, and you can see some interesting alternatives appear in the market. There are few reasons to that. Among all disruption factors I’d like to mention three – cloud, consumerization and cost. They are connected, but ultimately driving most of changes these days. Autodesk is playing an interesting role in this disruption. By stepping into the game and committed to "cloud PLM", Autodesk clearly wants to become an innovator in this space. Later this year, we will have an indication who successful Autodesk PLM 360 will play at the first round. Now, I’d like to move to my traditional Top 5 reviews.

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.

Autodesk, Cloud and PLM for $19.95…

Autodesk made a significant turnaround from rejecting PLM to claiming Autodesk PLM revolution to come to every manufacturing company. If I think Darwinian, it can be a confirmation of the Autodesk ability to adopt to the reality of today’s world. One of the conclusions I’ve made last week during PLM Innovation conference in Munich – PLM is strategic now. Autodesk is claiming PLM revolution and emphasizing “technology” as one of the enabling factors. It means technologies behind Autodesk PLM 360 is what made Autodesk PLM possible. I’m looking forward to seeing technological whitepaper about Autodesk PLM 360 with some details going beyond marketing buzzwords. Time will show what Autodesk is serving us in PLM cloud box.

PLM Innovation 2012: PLM is strategic, but what’s next?

PLM is definitely getting more grounds. It is about product development processes and business goals. Five years ago, the most typical question about PLM was “why?” These days, people are asking question – “how”? Unfortunately, many questions are not answered yet.

Dassault V6, 3D Experience and "After PLM" Party

The story of 3D Experience is inspiring. I think, Bernard got inspired by Apple story. Experience is what getting more importance these days. I’m sure you know Apple example. But anyway… MP3 players were around quite few years, but only iPod/iTunes experience turned it into what we see now. It was about “music”, and Steve Jobs created closed eco-system of “music experience”. So, Bernard Charles is probably thinking about “future design experience eco-system”. It is cool! However, here is the problem I can see. The consumer audience is different from business one. When it comes to business of the companies, IP assets, IT and many other things, companies are getting concerned about “closed eco-systems”. The last passage about V6 and data got me concerned about future Dassault openness strategy too. In the past, V6 was criticized because it locked CATIA and Enovia behaviors. Dassault “after PLM” party seems to me as a story how to create an ecosystem supporting full cycle of innovation. Very visionary…

Cloud PLM and Bill of Material Question

I think, time comes to start asking simple questions about “where is my stuff”? Where is my CAD drawing? Where is my BOM? Where is my ECO? How all these elements can play together, since I need’em to feed my manufacturing/ ERP system and go to production. I believe we need to get better understanding about how Autodesk Vault interplay with PLM 360. I hope Autodesk will demo it soon. The same question goes to all cloud PLM providers. How to integrate data between existing and news systems will become a key question to make cloud PLM successful.

Best, Oleg

PLM Think Tank November top 5

December 11, 2011

I’m a bit late with my top 5 review for November. It was a tough month for me because of travels. I made double-Vegas. What does it mean you can ask? It means that Vegas this year became a top PLM destination. Back in June, PTC organized their annual conference in Vegas. However, in November, both Dassault System and Autodesk managed to have their annual customer events (DSCC 2011 and AU 2011) in Las Vegas.

I wasn’t surprised by the results of November’s top 5. Clearly, Autodesk with the announcement about Nexus PLM made a hit. Top two most viewable topics on my blog are related to Autodesk. So, with this short intro, let me take you to the list.

Autodesk Enters PLM: Everything Changes… for Autodesk

Autodesk is taking a huge step forward to deliver a different PLM. This is a significant step for the company that was focused on design tools for many years, starting from early AutoCAD days back 1980s. I liked cloud-based strategy and how it was presented by Autodesk. I can see it very promising. The analyzes presented by Autodesk people in PLM spaces shows that Autodesk is definitely learning from mistakes made by “big 3″ mind-share PLM providers. Focusing on processes is an interesting approach. However, it is important not to loose “data” grounds – it happened to many companies in the space of “business process management” (you can read more about this in my post – PLM controversy about process vs. data management). I want to learn more about Vault/ Nexus bundle. In my view, it contains a potential danger (similar to what happened with SolidWorks n!Fuze). Overall, I can see Autodesk is in the beginning of PLM learning curve. It is a very interesting time, and I’m looking forward to many fruitful PLM discussions.

Autodesk PLM Nexus – First Hands On Demo

Nexus PLM has nice and slick web user experience. Without practicall hands-on it is hard to say something about ease of navigation and the estimate the number of clicks you need to do to perform an action (click-per-action). These two things normally drive crazy users in data-oriented web environment. I found very positive the fact Autodesk is thinking about “insane customization”. However, it will be interested to see and experiment with how the complexity of customization will co-exist with cloud-based multi-tenant deployment. It reminds me one of my old posts – Is PLM customization a Data Management Titanic? Another critical aspect that wasn’t covered is data import or integration with existing systems (i.e. Files, Archives, Content Management, PDM, PLM, ERP, etc.). The answer Autodesk provided pointed to some internal development with Autodesk Vault as well as a future work with partners. That would be very interesting to see in the future. Overall, Nexus has a potential to disrupt. I’m looking forward to seeing how Autodesk will realize this potential.

PLM: Controversy About Process vs. Data Management

I think the failure to design data access in organizations, was a recipe for disaster for many PLM implementations. PLM programs were focused on “how to improve processes” and forgot about how to put a solid data foundation to support cross-departmental process implementations. So, I’d like to put a quote from Bell Helicopter’s presentation during DSCC 2011 as something PLM vendors and customers need to remember – “to get the core data right first”. Just my opinion, of course. YMMV.

Autodesk: CAD is done. Now PLM. The moment before AU…

You can see how Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO re-defines ‘business casual’. In addition, I’m trying to make my conclusion about what I’ve heard in the connection with PLM. Autodesk is definitely recognizing PLM as a future opportunity. After what was done in PLM by Dassault, Siemens PLM and PTC, to democratize PLM will be probably a biggest challenge for Autodesk. Just my thoughts…

DSCC 2011: How Dassault Blends PLM and Search Based Applications?

Dassault is clearly innovating by adding Exalead technology to their portfolio. As Laurent mentioned during our conversation, everybody these days understood that the ability to handle information becomes very important. Search technology is an interesting competitive advantage Dassault is having. Compare it other CAD/PLM players (Siemens, PTC and Autodesk) – they need to outsource these capabilities to companies acquired by Oracle, Microsoft and HP. I believe Exalead will be used by Enovia to improve their search capabilities. I haven’t seen a demo of this, but assume Dassault will replace Autonomy OEM by Exalead. Delivery of EXA-like applications sounds like an interesting trend. However, speaking about Enovia vs. Exalead platform it is still hard to see how they are blending together. Which, of course, can be played nicely by saying – it is all part of DS V6… voilà. Just my thoughts, of course.

Best, Oleg

Picture credit to Shaan Hurley blog

PLM Think Tank Top 5, September 2010

October 31, 2010

I postponed my monthly writing this month to give few words PTC Creo launch this week. CAD community already started to discuss this event. You cannot dismiss such a type of the event in CAD industry. My initial conclusion about that can be described as following: 1/ consolidation; 2/ people-oriented; 3/ industry knowledge. You can ask me about next CAD revolution. This is something, in my view, requires additional understanding. The technological revolution of PTC Creo is in merging of CoCreate and Pro/E platforms. For the moment, I don’t have enough knowledge to state it. However, it absolutely represents the PTC CAD platforms’ consolidation process. PTC demonstrated a deep understanding of important industry problems. At the same time, the first companies benefiting from Creo solution will be large PTC account focusing primary on PTC platform. I want to put a few special word about people-orientation. This is something very important, since, in my view it following the “consumerization trend” in enterprise IT. Remember, we had a “role-based” story before. The Creo AnyApp, in my view, is a transcription of a “role-based” approach. This idea is a right one. However, the execution of this idea is the most important thing. Apps idea is something that requires the existence of a Platform. The known software or hardware platform playing big games now (Apple Mac, iOS, Android, Windwos Azure etc.). In enterprise, Oracle is trying to turn their offering as a platform. Will PTC Creo become a platform? This is a question we will be discussing during the next 5 years. Now, let’s turn to the list of September’s PLM Think Tank Top5.

How To Choose PLM? (Visual Guide)

In the beginning, I was surprised by popularity of this post. In this post, I put a visual diagram that presents a process of PLM solution selection. The idea was to make it simple to digest in 5 minutes. Main PLM decision these days seems to me in selecting of one of three options – 1/Following mindshare of PLM vendor; 2/Identification of PLM as a part of ERP and 3/ Not seeing PLM as a solution to be used in the product development process. Take a look on this diagram and make your opinion. I hope, you will find it valuable.

PLM and Open Source Licenses

This post started by referencing of Google OSI license acceptance. However, the conversation quickly moved to the discussion about the value of Open Source and all details related to usage of Open Source in PLM. The Open Sournce licensing story is damn complicated. However, with a growing interest and influence, understanding of available open source and fee software licenses will be crucial. I think OSS will play an increased role in the future of software.

PLM Basics: Reference Designator and Find Numbers

This post was generated as an answer to one of my readers. The usage of the Find Number and Reference designator is often overlapped and not clear. In addition, there is a significant difference in usage between diverse industries. You can find a long thread of comments and reader opinions sharing their experience and practices in how they use RD and FN. In addition you can find very useful links with related information.

PLM Philosophies Collide

This post was raised by few conversations where I’ve been asked to say how PLM future looks like – BOM or Workflow? I think, this question represents one of the biggest philosophical collide in engineering and manufacturing software. What will be the winning behavior in the future? It is hard to say. In my view, the end-game solution will need to provide answers to both sides of the problem. BOM and Worklow need to be equaly included into PLM solutions. Only together they can keep an organization to manage efficiently product lifecycle. You can read a long list of people’s opinion and shared thoughts about this topic.

PLM: Open Source vs. Free?

The last top 5 this month is related to the comparison of Free and Open Source models. Both “free” and “open source” can create an interesting innovation trend and change today’s status quo. However, I don’t think it is a silver bullet. Businesses have a lot of concerns about “free model”, since everybody understands that, in the end, TCO is important. On the other side, free can make PLM systems widely adopted and not limit to organizations that can pay for PLM licenses. Open Source is a separate story. To have a broad community is one of the main questions to be answered to understand the potential viability of PLM Open Source.

Best, Oleg

PLM Think Tank – Top 5 Posts, June 2010

July 13, 2010

My new website and blog is BeyondPLM. The original post is here.

This week I am launching my new web site Beyond PLM. I started my first blog Daily PLM Think Tank on back in 2008. PLM Think Tank is my attempt to discuss innovative ideas and thoughts about Product Lifecycle Management. Now I decided to expand my online experience. I felt PLM boundaries put some restrictions on the topics I wanted to discuss and, occasionally, I felt bound to a specific context. So, I had the idea of Beyond PLM. This is my contribution to the community of people looking for information about Engineering and Manufacturing Software. We live in a world of information. It is everywhere. However, it is still not so easy to get information you need. My belief is that one day information will be easily available where you need it at the time you need it. This is the future how I see it.

Now, PLM Think Tank June’s Top 5:

Open vs. Closed PLM Debates

This post started long debates around openness in PLM. Openness is not a simple topic. My conclusion, so far, is that vendors are selling as much openness as they need at the time they need. Openness can be compensated by other factors, such as, coolness. We are going to see more and more stories related to development of Open strategies. There are clearly two possible options: 1/To create excellent integrated product suites and sell them to customers (i.e. Apple story) or 2/To develop open strategies. My take – I think Open game is hard. However, the prize can be big.

How to Manage ECO without paying $1’500

The idea of this post came from a Google buzz conversation. I think, we came to the point where everybody in the organization is looking how to work differently. It is not only about how much to spend on the particular software package. It is about how to organize work better and simpler. The technology doesn’t matter. I’m taking “microshare” as an option. We need a technology that can allow to user to work in simpler manner.

PLM Lifelike Search Injection

These analyzes and thoughts came out of DS-Exalead acquisition. DS acquisition reminded us again, that PLM space is alive and will continuously provide innovative solutions for enterprises. Search is not a new kid in the PLM solutions. All PLM vendors in the past made deals with providers of enterprise searches: Endecca and Autonomy. It will be interesting to see how DS will merge Exalead concept of SBA (Search Based Application) into their portfolio.

PLM and ALM: How To Blend Disparate Systems?

I’m touching in this post a problem of work with disparate engineering and enterprise systems in the context of PLM and ALM. The landscape of application involved in this product development is very large. The number of applications is growing. The ability to absorb the requirements of all applications into one minimal single standards schema seems impossible. The new and more efficient way to interlink data need to be proposed. We don’t need to bring software build and engineering bill of materials to a single representation. However, we need to be able to interlink data related to different applications to maintain data integrity.

PLM and A Single Point of Disagreement

There is well know PLM statement about creation of “single point of truth”. Is it really possible? I’m discussing some alternative options related to work balancing between different people in an organization. To create an integrated and balanced way to manage product development is not a simple task. PLM is missing this point and assumed the actually data model integration will be created during PLM implementation and will be driven by customers. I can see it as a mistake that makes an implementation process lengthy and implementation costly. To resolve this problem will help to bring a desired simplification into PLM world.

Best, Oleg

Mobile Version of Daily PLM Think Tank is available!

January 14, 2010

I’m happy to inform you that mobile version of Daily PLM Think Tank on iPhone is available now. Search for “PLM Think Tank” on App Store or install it using the following link in iTunes.

Using this version you can extend you experience in joining PLM discussion from your favorite iPhone or iPod Touch, join my twitter stream, share posts on Facebook and more. Let me know if you like it and what additional features you are interested to see in the future.

Best, Oleg


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