Last week I had chance to read Forbes’s article (Listen To Competitors — Not Customers), which made me think more about competition in Product Lifecycle Management. I read this article few times, and, I think, found why I felt not comfortable with position of author. The definition of customers is simple. Those people or organizations which consume products your organization manufactures. If you think about new markets, it is very simple to identify who are that organization or people you need to talk to. However, with competition the situation is not as simple. The definition of competition is subjective. You can consider the specific company (or product domain) as a competitive, but in fact, this is false reality.
In my view, today’s situation on the PLM market characterized by a very small amount of vendors that fight on the lucrative space of the specific services. At the same time, mainstream adoption of PLM is still a very significant problem. For the last decade, number of companies playing on PDM/PLM market decreased due to competitive acquisitions. If you will be listening to the PLM marketing, you can be confused by similarity of offering and messages. So, to realize a potential listening to the competitors the process of competitor’s selection need to be much different and going beyond Gartner Magic Quadrant.
So, what is my conclusion today? Discovering multiple ideas surrounding Product Lifecycle Management, I found many times that customer’s perspective on technology and product positioning is quite different from mainstream marketing presentations. Thus, you can find something, I’d call “alternative” and not “competition” to PLM. So, with such correction, I think, PLM companies need to watch alternatives to their solutions- it will create more balanced view and will focus on the competitiveness and ways to provide value to customers.
Just my thoughts…