An interesting turn in PLM trajectory of Dassault Systems – the acquisition of French based Exalead. With this acquisition, we can expect new life-like energy injected into PLM life-blood. In some announcements, Exalead was mentioned as French Google. Exalead indeed shares some Google DNA coming from early days Alta Vista and DEC search experiments. DS-Exalead deal made me think again about an enterprise search trajectory in Product Lifecycle Management. Actually, I already touched this topic at least two times in my blog before: PLM and Enterprise Search: Can We Leverage It In Downstream Applications and What Is The Role Of Search In Enterprise Systems and PLM?
So, PLM+Search=? What can be hidden behind this question mark? First of all, I wanted to put some historical perspectives in the relationships of PLM and search vendors. This is actually not the first time, PLM is catching a search wave. In 2006, Autonomy and Agile Software PLM created a partnership to provide a solution together . In 2007, Dassault made the announcement about a future use of Autonomy as a technology for search in DS and ENOVIA solutions. Endecca, another enterprise search vendor signed an agreement with Kalypso PLM solution provider. The same Edecca signed an agreement with PTC, one of the major DS completitiors. The same PTC by their significant move to SharePoint over the past 2 years, have an access to Microsoft SharePoint search solution. The same Autonomy, one of the leaders in Enterprise Search solutions is providing full stack of connectors that allow them to handle PLM related information too by their IDOL platform.
So, I wanted to put some thoughts towards possible mix of PLM and Search solutions. What can be advantages of PLM and Search merger and what need to be done to analyze previous solutions?
This is the first thing, in my view. PLM will try to fix the usability problem with application of some search techniques. All PLM applications today are surviving from user adoption rate in the organization due to the complexity in user experience. To have a search solution in this space is an interesting approach. However, what is good for web search not always can work in the same way inside of the organization. This will be an interesting to challenge for search solutions .
Search solutions have a different perspective on how to work with data. It is really not the same as to do it for enterprise application and business process management. How it will fit? What web search is doing by manage data is not really the same as enterprise data processing. Lots of interesting questions are coming here. I assume, we’ll have chance to see soon in the in DS-Exalead story.
Crawling data from multiple sources, enterprise search has a potential to become a federated access point for PLM apps. This is the most interesting turn, in my view. However, to execute this route, a significant shift in PLM openness needs to be done.
What is my conclusion today? DS acquisition proved again, that PLM space is alive and will continuously provide innovative solutions for enterprises. As one of the leaders in PLM and 3D, Dassault just confirmed it yesterday. The next important step will be technological convergence and new solutions coming from Dassault.
Just my thoughts…