PLM Collaboration on Steroids – Google Shared Folders

When I discussed a cloud options for PLM yesterday in my article, I mentioned that a very significant opportunity comes in ability to share and collaborate on the product related content (drawings, models, bills) when using cloud models. This option comes as a pathway for those companies and people that have a concern to store overall product IP on cloud storage.

So, latest feature introduced by Google DocsShared Folders is the best example of cloud based technology to implement collaboration approach. Actually, I think PLM vendors need to take a very careful look on such capabilities of Google Docs. I do see an option when many of the smaller customers will be able to use Share Folders in their current configuration to facilitate document exchange and collaboration with suppliers and across the enterprise.

A very good review of Google Shared Folders is here.
What do you think? Do you see it practical and useful for day-to-day collaboration?

Best, Oleg


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  • Oleg,

    I call this “community collaboration”. There are many products that fit into the category. Google Folders, Sharepoint, Lotus Notes, etc…

    Some of the key areas to look at are:
    * A Secure environment (keeping your IP, secure)
    * A Scalable distributed team environment (Will the server crash at the end of the project, when everyone is accessing it?)
    * Comprehensive visual issues management (clearly communicate design concerns and route for resolution)
    * Business application integration


  • Jerry, yes, you are right. This is somewhat called community collaboration. I just figured out such community collaboration tools or platforms were delivered in the past by special vendors (I think, even TeamCenter still have similar product TeamCenter Community). But time is running fast and such options started to come from different vendors… Thanks for your comment. Best, Oleg

  • Vladislav

    Oleg, I think that problem of google-docs for enterprizes is that DB server is not located within enterprize 🙂

  • Vladislav, The fundamental question – is it critical or not? Since, I’m talking about short collaboration cycle, the IP infringement, in my view, is very short. And this is information that in most of the cases, already provided out of company for different reasons- suppliers, external designers, manufacturers. Best, Oleg

  • Vladislav

    Oleg, actually I think for all sane “persons who making decision” it’s not critical. Just because google distributed servers are much more reliable than some ‘vaults’ within enterprize. And there are many benefits of easy implementing such services for all personal all round the world against classic scheme.

    p.s. Tyazhelo po-angliiski pisat’ 🙂

  • Yep, Google reliability in most of the cases outperform enterprise back-ends with small mails and not reliable services. The big question will be to corp. lawyers… :)… Best, Oleg.

  • Ed Doctor


    Capturing, controlling and managin data is vital to sound collaboration. Yet there is a much larger population of users who will benefit from simply being able to find and view data quickly. This community will benefit from Sharepoint, Google, and new products like Partrieve to a far greater extent than the “collaborative community” will benefit from their use. Just as an aircraft manufacture never relies on a single vendor to supply all the components required to put a plane in the sky I think companies would be wise to look beyond traditional PLM systems and augment implementations with technology you mention. Putting all of your eggs in one basket could result in a great deal of egg on one’s face!

  • Ed, thanks for your comment! I think, simplicity is going to win and we will see more and more “consumer-oriented” products. This is will be challenge for today’s product and it will create new, better, products in my view… Best, Oleg