How To Make PLM in… Apple Way?

I found the following presentation by Ouriel Ohayon very interesting. Please, take a look and make your impression.

Do you think one of the companies in the CAD / PLM / engineering domain can imitate Apple strategy and become a leader in an Apple-way? This is can be a very interesting differentiation strategy. Here are some potential characteristics that outline such a company strategy:

  1. Small core portfolio
  2. High-margin premium products
  3. Superior user experience
  4. Good ecosystem and connection to users

Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • Yoann Maingon

    high margin strategy ! seems like it is what PLM editors have been applying for years?? 🙂
    Maybe after many Open Source post, we should wonder “How to make PLM… Google Way?”

  • Yoann, Thanks for commenting! Yes, PLM companies are practicing high margin strategy for a selective set of products. However, other elements of the success story need to be in place too. Open Source, Apple, Google… Sounds like a line of options :). Which one will be the preferred? Best, Oleg

  • Yoann Maingon

    Any open model is interesting (not necessarily Open Source). I think the editors have to build PLM compliant tools instead of trying to make PLM softwares. I’d like to see PLM consulting websites just like ICMHQ does for CMII where there is a grid of Compliant tools and where you could see depending on different criterias how softwares enable your PLM strategy.

  • Yoann, Agree. Open can come in a variety of flavors- Open Source, Open Platform, Open Data… Best, Oleg

  • Dear Oleg, some thoughts:

    1. High margin
    The equivalence would be selling the product and giving the services for free… :-). Along the lines of having a great product and minimal services needed.

    2. Coverage of the market
    Most of the vendors really focus on the high end, they talk the talk of SMB but dont walk the walk.

    3. Ecosystem / Openess / User freedom
    We have vendors in our industry who strive to keep their system “closed” and avoid allowing partners/users to gain access to the internals. Maybe some thoughts should be raised there in the context of the risk…

    4. User Experience
    Agreed, I think that UI and UX have become much more advanced in the past few years, especially with the mobile devices forcing application providers to use limited screen real estate wisely.

  • Guy, Thanks for your insight!

    1. The combination of free/premium is an interesting one. The biggest problem mentioned by many observers is that free is a dominant component and companies are surviving from the absence of a stable income. High-margin premium products that provide stable revenue stream can solve lots of problems and be a good component in the overall strategy. For Apple, it is hardware. For most of CAD/PLM companies it is CAD systems, etc.

    2. The focus on high-end is a result of company interests to have a stable high-premium revenue stream. It comes from the past 80s-90s experience. That time people mentioned – if we (company) have customers from the list of “Generals” (Electric, Motors, Dynamics :)), our business is not bad. It would be interesting to analyze Autodesk and SolidWorks business mode in details to understand the core of their success. I had chance to read the following article by Jeff Ray with explain about SolidWorks business model and VAR channel – Very recommended…

    3. Openness is a very speculative term. I tried to discuss it over the past few weeks on the blog. My conclusion is that you can sell openness and an opposite view as well. It depends on what you have :). Some of the companies assume that they own premium value in their product offerings and partners need to pay to become part of this success. I can understand this view too.

    4. Agree. 100%.

    I’d love to learn more about what plmplus is doing with regards to all these points…
    Best, Oleg