PLM and The Power Of Pull

I had chance to have a talk with David Siegel, entrepreneur, speaker and the author of a new book “Pull“. We met during the Semantic Technology Conference in San-Francisco yesterday. The sub title of this book state – The Power Of Semantic Web To Transform Your Business. You can take a look on David’s web site – The Power Of Pull. My first question to David was about the idea of name “Pull”. His answer was very interesting. The working name of the book was Business 3.0. However, people didn’t get this name. So, he tried to get to the bottom line of what his ideas are about and came to the definition of “Pull”. In the nutshell of Pull, we are going to move to the world where information will be available at the time we need it. I found it interesting, since it solves, in my view, one of the most important problems we have today with enterprise software in general and PLM specifically- how to make systems more intuitive?

Pull Concept: Product Lifecycle Management

Here is my simple explanation about how to shift to Pull in PLM. On the very basic level PLM is about how to track Products and Information related to products from the early beginning (actually interaction with potential customer about what product they want) through all phases of product design, engineering, manufacturing and disposal. The interesting thing – I can see this chain does exist today. However, when we want to touch it, get information about it, analyze it, we need to push a lot of stuff around us. It related to all aspects of a product life cycle. We need to work on so many sources of information to get actually what we need. Existing systems are trying to organize everything around products. The so called “single point of truth”. So, it puts “the product” is in the middle. The shift to Pull may happen when we will put people in the middle of the circle. Then all information about a product will become findable and available for pull.

How to Pull Product Lifecycle Data

Product Lifecycle is represented by data. There are lots of data around us representing ideas, information about potential customers, requirements, product design, manufacturing, supply chain, retail, physical products. The most interesting question for me is how we can make this data available and retrievable at the time we need it? The naive answer – just search across all web sites, intranet and enterprise software products to find all what I need. However, here is the problem – I don’t know what I need to get. I’d prefer somebody will take care to organize information around me. This is “aha moment” to think about “pull” as a different concept. Product Lifecycle Data need to have an ability to be organized to become available. I can see initial shifts into this direction across multiple spaces. One of them is personalization of search and organizing of social and real-time information. I think, we will see more products going into this direction.

PLM, Pull  and Openness

Openness will play a significant role in PLM shift to Pull. Today, PLM is the kingdom of proprietary information. Software vendors take a significant care about how to make data created in their software products available only in their own products. There is a simple and obvious explanation to that- business. They are making money by selling their software products. Just think about, what if tomorrow they will make money from making data created using their software product available? This is a major shift to “Pull” concept. It will shift industry from a closed and proprietary world we live today into the open world of tomorrow.

What is my short take on this? Important. Take your time to read this book. It contains lots of ideas in diverse set of business fields. Find your problems. Focus on low hanging fruits. Get it done.

Best, Oleg



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  • Олег

    Вернусь к аллегории про слона и мудрецов.
    То какой стороной повернуть “слона” к одному из слепых мудрецов при выводе результатов поиска – это действительно проблема. Но важнее понимать, что этот мудрец имел в виду при простом поиске по слову “слон”.
    Скорее всего один помнит, что это нечто с хоботом(и менно этот хобот он ожидает увидеть при отображении результата поиска), а второй мудрец по поисковому слову “слон” ожидает увидеть хвост “слона”.
    А задача разграничения видимости и доступности поиска хобота одному и хвоста другому – это тоже головная боль. Плохо если мудрец, которому не положено знать о хвосте “слона”, а положено знать только о хоботе, при поиске вдруг обнаружит всего слона целиком. А речь идёт именно об “искомости” ?
    …Then all information about a product will become findable and available for pull…

  • Oleg, I see it as a complex allegory. In general, Pull doesn’t mean “search”. Data can be available inside of something David calls “a personal locker”. I can get as a visionary characteristic. You can think about Google Profile as kind of public personal locker. However, you can find things you don’t want to make available for all. If you are talking about data discovery, in your example of searching for trunk or tail, whatever, I’m looking for (tail or trunk), it is important to find out that 1/it belongs to elephant; 2/it related to a tail or trunk (depends on starting point). Best, Oleg. PS. we can discuss it offline in more details – oleg dot shilovitsky at gmail dot com.

  • Олег

    Я знаю про профили пользователей и вижу как работает Google. Хорошо, когда пользователь сам предоставляет информацию о себе (свои предпочтения, интересы и пр.) и позволяет собирать её и аккумулировать и тем самым настраивать результат отображения поиска и саму методику отбора искомого (понятие профиля переезжает из ИС в интернет). Однако многие не хотят, чтобы о них знали больше, чем они хотели бы рассказать сами. Мне, например, начинает нервировать, когда сайты, которые я посещаю впервые, начинают рекламировать товары, которые я когда то искал в поисковых систамах и видимо “ключики” остались в броузере. Эта “псевдоинтуитивность” надоедает.
    Это вовсе не “находимость” информации – это что то из разряда надоедливого коммивояжера.

  • Oleg, Thanks for your comment! I understand… Today all are concerned about leakage of personal data. I think, view on data findability can be different from the open web in comparison to the organization. And this is very personal. In my view, to have a system intuitively find information for you is a benefit. I’m not discussing ads, of course. Nevertheless, I think ads become smarter and, as a result, will be less annoying. The move from push to pull will be in delivery more precise information. It is much better than TV ads or browsers pop-ups that were popular some time ago… Best, Oleg