Microsoft in the PLM Spotlight

Microsoft in the PLM Spotlight

Last week in Orlando, I had a chance to attend Microsoft’s presentation during DSCC2010 keynote presentation. Microsoft’s trajectory is interesting. Think about last few weeks of news – Steve Balmer sells stocks worth a billion to save on taxes, Ray Ozzie exits his CSA role at Microsoft.

Role-Based, OWPX and Cloud-y Services

The following two pictures from Microsoft presentation made me think about what will drive Microsoft strategy in the organization. Role-based? OWPX. You can see it stands for Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel. These individual apps are relying on Application Integration and Communication.

The next picture adds clouds on top of 200-like enterprise architecture.

Microsoft stated during the presentation – “Microsoft- IT as a service”. What does it mean? To move OWPX to the cloud? Start owning SharePoint and other Microsoft servers and sell them as a service?

Collaboration Everywhere and Technology?

Another interesting spot in Microsoft presentation is a notion of collaboration. It states – Collaboration Everywhere. It connects all silos of PLM, ERP, SCM, CRM, MES into a single box. I have a hard time to understand what does it mean. From the technological notes on the side of the slide I can learn the following – business process integration, composite apps and integrating data with analytics. For me, it means lots of consultancy hours on top of Microsoft servers to make it work. All – data, processes, applications, etc. are different. Microsoft sells individual pieces. What is missing, in my view, on these pictures is experiences.

DS V6 Organic Architecture

I found PLM experience in Bernard Charles keynote presentation about V6. The slide about Organic architecture put all enterprise architectures in a dust. V6 Organic Architecture sells Lifelike user experience. It sounds very Apple-minded. Apple is focused on experience and cool devices. Mr. Charles was focused on explaining how DS architecture will be focused on delivery a very unique experience to customers. It can be an interesting turn.

What is my conclusion? Microsoft sells servers to the enterprise. Big servers. Lots of servers. OWPX. Is it a strategy? In my view, this is Microsoft’s enterprise lock-in. On the very bottom level, PLM functions depend on Microsoft Servers. Most of PLM boxes run on Windows machines. And it deeply connected on Office / Excel. However, future belongs to experience – the number of Apple devices on DSCC2010 was bigger than ever before.

Just my thoughts..

Best, Oleg


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  • Francois Bouffard

    Oleg, on the topic of Microsoft offering OWPX on the Cloud , I see this as a counter proposal against Google Apps. Don’t you thik that this is the right objective for MS?

  • beyondplm

    Francois, Thanks for this comment! I think, you asked the most important question. MS is competing with GOOG. However, for Microsoft, Office is a cash cow. At the same time, Google Apps are free (Google Standard Edition) and just Only Google App Premium is licensed as 50$/year/person. So, from the standpoint of objectives, MS is on the right way. However, MS will have a very hard time to compete with Google from the business standpoint. What is your view? Best, Oleg