3DSwYm: Future PLM Mainstream or Copycat?

3DSwYm: Future PLM Mainstream or Copycat?

This week on DSCC 2010 I had a chance to learn more about what Dassault is planing as their next step in the development of their Social Innovation strategies. Dassault presented their interest in social software last year by the following joint announcement with blueKiwi. However, for the moment, Dassault is planning to announce their 3DSwYm social collaborative platform. The announcement will be soon and SwYm (See What You Mean) was largely presented and demonstrated during DSCC 2010. I had a conversation about 3DSwYm with Bruno Dalahaye, Dassault Enovia VP Marketing Strategy. This conversation made me think about what actually 3DSwYm is going to be and how it can impact future PLM development.

Yet Another Social Platform?

“Social” in enterprise is trending. I had a chance to write about it in my blog. I can find multiple examples of social systems created with a strategy of so-called “Enterprise Facebook”. I can just mention few of them. Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Communities, Cisco Quad, Salesforce.com Chatter, SAP StreamWork, Oracle Beehive. In PLM world, PTC introduced their Social Product Development program with is leveraging Microsoft SharePoint platform.

PLM Mainstream Opportunity

A growing amount of social systems coming from enterprise software vendors introduces a significant challenge to present a system for product development. What can be a potential opportunity? Let me go back to original roots of Facebook, which served groups of people (originally, college alumni) to share pictures, videos and messages. The key point, in my view in converting of Facbook to a mainstream social network was Facebook’s ability to share content and messages in a very easy way. Connectivity is also playing an important role as well as the ability easy to find connections.

One of the biggest PLM problem and, at the same time, opportunity is related to the ability of PLM to become a mainstream system. Today, PLM implementations challenging most of the organization from the standpoint of ease of use and ability of all people in the organization to stay connected and to communicate. This is a potential sweet spot for 3DSwYm. The following picture presents a fragment of 3DSwYm demo on DSCC2010.

Content is a King

Content is a very important factor. Think about the internet and social networks. Content play an important role in the ability of systems to drive people’s attention. Pictures, Photos, Videos, Podcasts, Blogs – these are examples of content that drives people’s interest in the internet. However, in manufacturing organization, content is represented by designs, Bill of Materials and other elements of product data. The ability to expose this product data is the ultimate opportunity of Social Innovation system to be used by people. Main competitor is old fashioned email. Email rocks in organizations. Most of the decisions, communications and collaboration are driven by email. However, email is not content-friendly. So, social systems have an advantage. Dassault has very deep roots in 3D content. This is an opportunity, Dassault can use to support their 3DSwYm initiatives in the organization.

What is my conclusion? Social systems have a potential to connect people in the organization. The social-connection is a strong factor. People are connecting to other people based on their organization responsibilities, relations to project, teams and groups. Social system has a potential to drive people’s communication in product development. Content is a king. By enabling 3D content share, systems like 3DSwYm may have a bright future in the organization. Just my thoughts…
Best, Oleg


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  • How to encurage the volunteering activity within social xxx ? and what will be next paradigm after social xxx ?

  • beyondplm

    Janghee, thanks! Excellent question. In my view, the only reason why people will do it is one – such systems need to help people to do their everyday job. Best, Oleg

  • Oleg, I see your point about how FB grew very quickly because it was easy to share message, videos and pictures. But I think there’s another underlying enabler there too. With FB as well as many other social computing platforms, the context is always YOU. That assumption enables a whole host of simplifications in terms of the software system. Alternatively, the context in product development isn’t you, it’s the product, a project, a part or so on. That complicates things dramatically because you have to post/submit content to the right context and you also have to subscribe/follow the right context. I don’t just think it’s a design issue. It’s making it relevant to the work at hand that’s important.

  • beyondplm

    Chad, Thank you for your comment! I agree with you – product development is more complex than FB. However, I’d like to make some correction in your example. In both systems, the social context is YOU. What makes a difference is a complexity of information you need to share. This is a challenge for “social system” in product development. The whole point of a social system, in my view, is how to improve communication between people. It is the same in both situations – social network on the internet and company intranet. Just my thoughts… Best, Oleg

  • Well, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I think the challenge for software providers is to create that product, project, etc. context for the user… to make it relevant to you. Whomever can do that the best will see a lot of success. Take care. Talk soon!

  • beyondplm

    Agree. To create the context is not a simple task. Thanks for commenting!