PLM Prompt: Should PLM think about Google Apps?

PLM Prompt: Should PLM think about Google Apps?

Look at this news about Google Cloud: 1. MS Office: 0. Actually, most of the discussion here is about when MS Office will die, but for the PLM minded reader I’d say – look at the customer. Automotive Supplier Valeo is on the list of PLM businesses. So, let’s discuss – where does PLM cross its path with Google Apps on a Cloud?

Google Apps Valeo


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  • Given that Excel is the mostly widely used PLM tool (for BOM management), I think Google App’s is a worthy successor. For companies that don’t want to, or can’t afford, a full PLM tool Using Google APps is a great way to take the spreadsheet model and extend it to work teams and beyond company boundaries. Also, I think Google offers the ability to “open source” widgets and extensions, which might allow for a real open source development of light-weight PLM. I think the down-side is that Google hasn’t yet earned the credibility of enterprise users and hasn’t proven they can really manage data security and integrity (they have had some failures in this regard). If they stick to it, they have enough capital and smart people to overcome these barriers.

  • Mark,thanks! I agree. This is valid point. Simplicity, Cost and availability will drive people to this type of solution. Thanks for your contribution to discussion. -Oleg

  • solidsmack

    on a personal level, I’ve already completely moved over to google apps. ya know what else? people I know that are not so computer/excel/word processor savvy are finding it easier to use. think about that one.

    Really though, what’s beyond this for PLM? We’ll begin to migrate to online apps. new businesses will find it more cost effective. how about web-based ERP systems that integrate with G apps? Cost reduction and analysis apps for stimulating business growth? There’s lots more potential that just using the cloud for storage of BOM’s. Let grab that data, mix it with engineering and production and see what happens.

  • Feeling like I am the choppy kid trying to catch up to the other runners in grasping this whole “cloud” thing. How far are we from this in your opinion, I still receive prints from major companies in the “Valeo league” over the fax for quoting, “Prints” “Fax” sound very old fashion when talking cloud.

  • I’m also amazed that people are still using fax. Although a totally different sector, I see this in tourism. Some French hotels will still have you FAX them your confirmation. Perhaps this is a question of naturally letting the dinosaurs go extinct. I’d expect there will be co-existence for some time and that with time the Cloud will be THE way. ‘Would love to get your input on “cloud concerns” in this 2-question poll. Interesting to see what others think too:

  • Josh, thanks! You raised valid point – what PLM will get from adoption of Google Apps and infrastructure. I see lots of undiscovered – storage, simple apps, availability, etc. The most important feedback for me is your personal use. You (as designer) are ready!… -Oleg.

  • Lars, thanks for joining conversation. I think Kate provided best answer. Dinosaurs will co-exist some time… Just need to disconnect from them. Otherwise we know what happened to them dinosaurs ;)… Thanks for your comments and welcome to plmtwine discussion!. Oleg.

  • Kate, fax is answer on “concerns” people still have with regards to online/cloud and other apps. Actually people already have no concern to office apps (like if you have USB stick and MS Excel, you are 100% safe). With online/cloud and other apps, this is still not true. Therefore people are printing reports and sending order by fax. I think in French hotels this is also liability concern related to existence of order. Will be glad to see results of you “cloud concern” vote. Best- Oleg.

  • Pretty interesting to read about “apps on tap” again, marketed this time via the new buzzword called “Cloud” Computing. Coming from the “old World”, as Mr bush once called it, visionary companies might see the real power here again but most german manufacturers for example won’t touch this thing for years. But I wonder, what the motivation was last time they did not jump on the bandwagon from Microsoft or other big players. Microsoft told me an interesting story about they still see a 5 to 10 years of a combined Local Installed Software interacting with Cloud Computing in the background for resource intensive actions like data analysis, etc. Let’s see where we end up this time 🙂 Jeroen

  • Jeroen, Thanks for coming to discuss on plmtwine! I understand your point with regards to German manufacturers. I believe, this is also reason why they declined SAP SaaS offering too. With regards to your comments about MS. I think co-existence is probably the most reasonable thing MS can tell. They need potentially to take care about both- local installed desktop software and future cloud computing. My main point was if we are all agree cloud is the future, may be PLM need to try cloud platforms like Google? And may be this is will be practically used by our customers in 5 years from now ;)? -Oleg

  • Oleg,

    I think technologies have long tails (see vacuum tubes). Having consulted with some traditional providers and customers, there is a segment of the market that will be a long time off in transitioning, and some that may “never” (see companies with ITAR requirements). Therefore, I think major vendors need to embrace the reality of the hybrid (some cloud/some on premise) and think about how to get the best of both worlds. I think this is the realistic long term path.

  • Mark, thanks, this is probably good trade-off. Acceptance of cloud-based solutions will grow because it will become cheaper and cheaper. I will give you an example. Your gmail is bigger by size compared to any corporate mail box. This is impact of cost in my view.
    Similar situations will happen with other solutions as well. -Oleg

  • I agree that the majority of applications will head toward cloud over some time horizon (I would say more like 10+ years). I’m not sure that cost is the only driver for selection — reliability, security, and quality of solution will matter much more for some markets and will keep them right on the ground and out of the clouds.

  • Security is important concern for most of enterprise apps today. When I’m talking about cost I mean combined cost – IT, installations, upgrades… Take for example Gmail off-line solution. Can you get something similar today for enterprise web deployments?

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