PLM Definition from Dassault System’s Al Bunshaft

August 15, 2011

As you probably know, I’m collecting PLM definitions coming out of vendors, industry analysts and just customers. Here are some links on blog posts with PLM definitions: PLM Definition – Multiple Dimensions by Prof. Eigner, PLM Definition – Corporate vs. Consumer Style?, PLM Definition – Next Round?

I had a chance to read Boston Globe interview with Al Bunshaft of Dassault System. Navigate your browser to the following link to read it. In two pages, you will have a US-based perspective on what Dassault is thinking about CAD, PLM, Simulation and other related topic. However, the following passage caught my attention.

Q. Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the core product at Dassault Systems. How would you define PLM?

A. The most important word of those three is lifecycle. That’s what makes it more than just design. It’s managing the lifecycle of an innovation, from when it starts with a concept, an idea, and goes into requirements, definition, and the design phase. Then you have to simulate it. You can even simulate the manufacturing environment. After that we can track changes, parts changes, and defects.

So, what is my take? I found Mr. Bunshaft PLM definition quite balanced. Lifecycle is always a hot topic in every PLM discussion and an important element of PLM strategy. At the same time, lifecycle is also one of the biggest challenges in every PLM implementation. Let think about ECO as one of the fundamental elements of Product Lifecyle – the implementation of ECO management is still complicated and expensive. In the end of the last week, I posted about Total Integration and the Future of PLM last week. This post included some examples of Siemens PLM strategies in this space and raised active conversation with people about TLCMS (Total Lifecycle Management System). It is interesting to see how lifecycle oriented strategies will be converted into future products and technologies. What is your opinion?

Best, Oleg


PLM OnDemand Services

July 29, 2009

SaaS, On Demand, Cloud Services… Who is not speaking about these cool future capabilities these days. So, I was thinking what will be future of PLM On Demand. If you feel yourself not familiar with SaaS concepts, I’d recommend you to check this excellent video:

History of PLM related on demand services included few companies and products such as Arena Solutions (former bom.com), Windchill hosted by IBM and Agile Advantage. Regardless to what was success of these PLM on demand initiatives, I see them as a significant try to build hosted services available to a wide user audience. They presented first PLM trial on the SaaS/On Demand roadmap. Outside of PLM, amount of SaaS products is significantly bigger. From famous Salesforce.com and to many half-known and unknown products and companies building solution on top of available web platforms.

Looking back on what was done before in PLM products on demand, I see one common characteristic. All these products have tried to build solid product offering hosted for use on a web platform, (or how we call it today on the cloud). In my view, it was straightforward replication of software concepts developed as part of PLM portfolio for the last 10-15 year. However, how these concepts fit our today understanding of web as a platform. Or, saying differently, should we take a proven concept of packaged application development for PLM and apply it to the field of SaaS or OnDemand Application?

When I’m looking on the SaaS definitions and SOA, I can see trend toward more granular service development. These services are not necessarily providing an end-to-end business process or functionality, but provide a piece of functionality you can do plug-in and use in your product, another service or just implementation in the field. This is something that looks like an a little bit different concept. Instead of development fully featured packages, we will provide a set of services that can be plumbed together by solution providers, service companies or even end users. Such approach can be very beneficial, especially when you think how to provide mixed set of products, application and services in organization. Part of them will be introduced as traditional packaged applications and part of them will be a new set of PLM cloud services.

Following such conceptual idea, what type of services I can imagine? In my view first set of services need to focus on particular functionality and not on something that store/manage product IP. Since organizations are very sensitive in the way they perceive “cloud” together with ability to infringe their IP, to provide services that allow to work on IP located inside of companies will lower entrance barrier to these applications. My suggestion to the first set of services will be around viewing and different types of collaborations such as co-editing, review. Another interesting approach can be set of process applications (i.e. for change management) especially in case of multiple application environment.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find any example of such services in company portfolios today. Nevertheless, I wanted to present you an idea of composition between on premise application and cloud services. Please, take a look on the following, very impressive, in my view, example of combination of CRM-type of application and Google Map services.

I’d be interested to discuss your ideas about how you see possible to introduce cloud services for different PLM domains and how possible to introduce it in your organization.

Thank you, Oleg


Enterprise 2.0 Checklist for PLM

July 1, 2009

I want to discuss Enterprise 2.0. This term started to be popular during the last two-three years and stands for technologies and best practices around so called “social software”,  according to the main mature components such as wiki and blogs. In my view, although the functional definition of Enterprise 2.0 is still very fuzzy, the need for Enterprise 2.0 type of software is emerging and growing fast. Lately, we’ver heard many messages from Product Lifecycle Management software providers about the importance of social software for PLM. I’m sure you had a chance to see “Social Innovation” or “Social Product Development” initiatives presented by leading PLM vendors during this year.

So, with such an introduction,  I wanted to start a discussion about Enterprise 2.0 and PLM paths. Are these co-directed? Can Product Lifecycle Management leverage Enterprise 2.0 or vice versa?

I also had a chance to read Wikipedia’s definition of <Enterprise 2.0> and also was reading The State of Enterprise 2.0 by Dion Hinchcliff. I wanted to start with a checklist of what exists in Enterprise 2.0 and compare it with how we perceive Product Lifecycle Management within this definition.

In the very early view and definition of Enterprise 2.0 according to Andrew McAfee, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School, Enterprise 2.0 elements are defined as a SLATES model. So, let’s take a look at every element of this definition. Actually, I found it very interesting from the practical standpoint of Product Lifecycle Management.

Search – I think that the definition of search in the enterprise lacks maturity at the present. Enterprise Search vendors are focusing on document search and information discovery in the Enterprise. At the same time, <Search> has become a very important function in everyday life and many of our daily activities has changed as a result of the “search revolution”. Product Lifecycle Management is doing a lot of things that require an improved way of managing data about products ─ being able to find this data is one of the most important functions.

Links – URI and URL are two fundamental things allowing connections of information in a Web-enabled enterprise. PLM manages a lot of “connected” things such as product definitions, relevant documents etc. PLM can reuse a lot from models that have already been developed and will be developed in the future for Enterprise 2.0.

Authorship – Enterprise 2.0 has changed the way people perceive their roles with regards to creating and using information. In PLM, the function of creating (or designing) was belonging many years to Development/R&D/Engineering. These days Enterprise 2.0 is changing it and introduces new way to involve people to create product and services. This is will be very important for the future.

Tags – This is something that is very usable and provides an open and simple for people. For years, PLM has been classifying things mostly in a taxonomical way. I had a chance to write about tagging before and I think that the role of Tags in the future model of PLM will be increased.

Extensions – I see extensions as a natural way to grow. I think that the application of extension methods can allow us to gain a better understanding of product development and the customer environment. We can find a way to reuse these patterns to develop new products and services.

Signals – I think people need to be able to interact ─ within Product Development, in the Supply Chain, in the customer’s ecosystem. Adoption of “signals” can provide PLM with the ability to interact in a new way.

So, time will tell how the Enterprise 2.0 model will be developed in the near future, and how new software products will be developed and even change this model. It’s clear that many of Enterprise 2.0 characteristics were created as result of a major dissatisfaction with the current state of enterprise software.  Enterprise 2.0 needed a change that would adopt new methods of working and have an impact on the environment.

I’m very interested to know your opinion and views on this topic and am looking forward to discussing this in my next posts.


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