How will PLM-related software evolve on the cloud? This is actually my question for today. How will PLM get along with its big brother – the Cloud? I think we’ve spoken a lot in the past about topics related to Clouds and Product Lifecycle Management. I’ve linked a few of my previous posts below if you’d like to refresh your memory, or you are new to plmtwine and haven’t had the chance to see them before.
This time I’d like to try to outline the possibilities for the development of PLM Cloud options. For the moment, I can designate a relatively small set of available Cloud-based products in the PLM space today starting from veterans (such as Arena Solution), some past and existing services from the large PLM players (Agile-Oracle, PTC-IBM) and related services provided by ERP vendors (such as?). Definitely we don’t have a PLM-cloud-mainstream so, how PLM become mainstream using the many options available today.
Following are 5 possible options:
1. Host of existing PLM products on private and public clouds.
This is a straightforward option for today’s PLM providers. They can try to leverage value from their existing infrastructure, by using the power of the existing implementation for legacy customers now wanting to move into this space. (is this what you meant?) . This offering is also probably the simplest from the technical standpoint. It provides multiple alternatives for deployment, provides a mixed integration of existing stacks, and offers a potential for great value for existing and growing partners.
2. Development of PLM-related services based on existing and/or new ERP or other PLM-neighbor-domains
The PLM domain isn’t very friendly, and competition in this space has increased over the past few years. So, I’d expect that the PLM-neighbor will try to step into this space and provide cloud-based services that leverage their power of infrastructure, customer base and diverse portfolio.
3. Emerging PLM-related services out of emerging services and applications.
I’d expect that some of the products available today can provide a good potential for PLM-related products. We discussed MS Excel and the related SharePoint product offering. The new wave of Google Wave and maybe some additional products can provide scalable grounds for future PLM services.
4. Development of new separate PLM-related services based on upcoming Cloud platforms from large vendors.
The upcoming MS Azure and other Cloud-based platforms hold a potential future for newcomers in this space. I’m sure that platform providers will be interested in developers who want to test or try their new offering within this space – PLM will not be excluded from the list as good value providers.
5. Developing PLM services based on Cloud based infrastructure available today.
This is an addition for option #4. But a few of the available platforms today can be mature to deliver some PLM functionality.. Amazon Web Services is probably on the top of my list. In addition Google Apps and, more specifically, Force.com can also provide some alternatives to newcomers in the PLM space.
Finally, I cannot vote for one of these options. My take is that the future will come in the form of a diverse set of federated PLM services related to the space that we refer as today as Product Lifecycle Management. Will we call this space PLM? This is a very interesting question, I think we need to discuss this and, of course, to see (or influence) this in the future.