PLM Mobile Networks – Big Time?

PLM Mobile Networks – Big Time?

One of my blog readers asked about who is developing Mobile PLM? The question of mobile is not new. Everybody is going mobile these days. Lots of functions that require desktop or laptop workstations today can be done on mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android phones. There are expectations to have more tablets later this year powered by Android device. However, I want to take this conversation a bit different angle.

Mobile Workdesk: Is it only about Device?

Mobile life has a significant influence of mobile devices. iPhone revolution definitely presented a different type of behavior. We have never seen it before iPhone. Now we have a bunch of new devices that provide an interesting behavior and opportunity for people. Thanks to one of my reader about link to the company called Porchys, developing mobile client for Aras PLM. There are two more videos of solutions focused on mobile options.

Nevertheless, I don’t see how mobile devices (even such nice devices as iPad and iPhone) can be beneficial when just connected to existing PLM applications. Something should be changed in PLM behaviors. This is what I call- move to networks.

Databases vs. Networks

Think about your IT organization. Everybody understands databases. However, who in your organization understand networks? Not so many people. The networking story is different.  IT people are saying – “Oh… my god. This is not a movie, we want to attend”. I think, old bad days when database was dominant are gone. These days, the network behavior becomes a major point of new application styles. Everybody in the network and everybody connected. This is a point where Mobile PLM option may have a big time. The real set of Mobile PLM advantages are in the ability of these applications to commute people in the organization and help them to communicate.

What is my conclusion? We are definitely moving outside of databases to the network oriented world. Mobile is the path to join this world. PDM, PLM and other engineering and manufacturing applications can take a ride and becomes more distributed and dynamic. The faster they will do so, the more market share they will take in the future networked enterprise world. Just my opinion…

Best, Oleg


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  • MarcL


    Couldn’t agree more. Moving to Network structure is the future and is a process (not an event).

    Getting iPhone apps going for PLM is really great, and we’re glad to see innovator’s like Porchys making those first steps. Somebody in PLM had to do it and it’s nice to see it on our platform. Crawl, walk, run… don’t you think?

    Anyone who wants to take the next steps Oleg is talking about should get in touch with Porchys, us or just go ahead and do it (please send us a link to your YouTube video if you do something cool 🙂

    Think we’re going to see a lot more of this type app moving forward.

    Just my 2 cents.


    P.S. Android app also Android Demo&viewer=

    Only Aras! 🙂

  • beyondplm

    Marc, Thank you for comment! I understand your excitement :). However, my point wasn’t exactly about just making iPhone or iPad apps for PLM. My point is that “communication matters”. It is not enough, in my view, to access data from PLM system via iPhone, but to have customers organizing “network processing”. Think network- don’t think a database. Customer values information coming to him via a networked mobile device. It is not so important in which database this data is resided. These are my 2 cents :)… Interesting to know your view. Best, Oleg

  • Xueliang L

    Oleg, thanks for the great info. It’s a good start to see PLM functions to be run on mobile devices, although Porchys’s mobile ARAS PLM in iPhone/Android is just a very basic prototype to me. My opinion is that mobile PLM should focus on some key aspacts/fucntions on current PLM for some specific roles, not including all and couldn’t, at the same time extending its fucntions in “networking” as what you mentioned.
    Xueliang L

  • beyondplm

    Xuellang, thank for your comment! I agree, mobile apps need to be more focused on roles / specific use cases rather than full blown application suites. Part of this is what I called “network effect” – you less care about what database you are working on, but more focused on network / communication with people. Best, Oleg

  • MarcL

    Oleg – Completely agree. People want seamless experience where it doesn’t matter the database and information flows are organized in a networked manner. I do believe this will come.

    There are use cases where current PLM process is helpful to have on mobile and the Porchys apps represent a first generation attempt to make these types of special purpose apps available. As people experiment more & more with these types of apps they will get ideas on how can readily provide networked information in easy way and we’ll see new implementations. These are concepts that are best innovated in iterative / evolutionary way, don’t you think?

    Must start somewhere and Porchys has taken a nice first step, now next will come and next and next. This is part of the power of open source / collaborative development – if don’t like it, change it – contributions build on initial innovations rapidly to become the new solutions.


  • Mark Winnie

    I would like to add to this train of thought (roles/use cases). Oleg, your initial subject “PLM Mobile …” in itself promotes database over network or role. Mobile is role dependent. Many roles are immobile. Technology is not yet ready to provide them all of the information they need except through a desktop/laptop/POS device. To really Go Mobile technology will need to MASHUP information from disparate systems and present it to users on the device of their choice. Mobile mashups are coming. I think that’s when we’ll see PLM and other functions Anytime Anywhere.

  • beyondplm

    Marc, I agree. There is a need to start somewhere. The ability to add/update/delete objects is probably not the most needed. However, it is understood, Porchys is just about first experiments. The ability to have smooth information flow is crucial, in my view. Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Mark, completely agree. Mobile option requires a different way to operate with information. Not like it happens on a desktop experience. PLM promoted a role-based work, but it is not granular enough. Thanks for your comment! Best, Oleg

  • Divya Singh

    I would like to see, so more functionality bring-in the power for mobility and places where desk-top cannot go, i.e. Manufacturing or factories. Porchys effort to bring in PLM on go and probably they would be bringing these cool features.

  • beyondplm

    Divya, Thanks for commenting… In my view Porchys is just a try out what possible. Duplication of desktop apps on mobile is not what needed. I agree, mobile can be useful in the field. However, mobile user experience should be completely different. Best, Oleg

  • I agree.
    But I don’t think you’ll need to change application’s behaviour, smartphone will change too.
    Look here:

    It’s just concept, but it is doable.
    But ( as usual) it is totally insecure 🙂

  • beyondplm

    Agree, but mobile industry was (and will be) always very dynamic. Thanks, for sharing the link. Best, Oleg