Life around us is changing dramatically. The current global economic situation and technology have the potential to change the business and industry landscapes for many existing companies. When I look at the companies’ performance indicators and on how users are looking for highly optimized solutions, I think that this will result in what I term as ‘game changers’. Crisis and downturn is always a time when you cannot do ‘business as usual’ and you need to come up with a diversified solution and technological set. So, with this intro, I’d like to sum up my potential ‘game changers” for PLM in 2010.
Product Lifecycle Management is in a complex position. The two biggest elements of this position are value proposition and enterprise software cost. What actually happened is that the market became mature for PLM. Companies have recognized the value and benefits on one side, but perceive PLM solutions as being expensive, on the other side. This creates a barrier on the PLM road to success. In the current economy, cost becomes the driver for change. The companies that will be able to lower the costs of their solutions while keeping the value of PLM value will be leapfrogging in 2010.
Microsoft Enterprise Convergence
The long-term dominance of Microsoft in the Desktop application was the foundation of enterprise productivity. MS Office and beyond-Office applications hold the majority of the enterprise market share. With the development of SaaS based alternatives, Microsoft will be actively looking at how to increase their enterprise presence by multiple product and technologies for the enterprise. For Microsoft, the next disruptive offering afterwards will be the enterprise information worker. MS Office, MS SharePoint and other products look like a very good platform for this, and MS will be actively moving in this direction. The ability to converge PLM collaborative capability with the Converged Microsoft offering can have a good potential for companies in this space.
Google Push into the enterprise is becoming more visible. GSA and Google Apps comprise a potential collaborative platform for the enterprise in the future. In addition, Google offerings in 3D technologies such as SketchUp and O3D have the potential for future mainstream deployment in applications related to 3D design and Product Lifecycle Management.
Open Source software has not reached a leading edge in the PLM industry. But, in the current economy, some vendors can consider the open source option for gaining access to new potential customers. When initial license cost is going down and there is visible increase in service and recurrent revenues trend, open source has a good potential for growth.
I’m sure that there are other trends and opportunities for making changes in the PLM industry. I’m convinced that in the near future, manufacturers will be looking for new and innovative ways to solve their problems. I think that the trends mentioned above have a good chance of being part of these new stories.