Social PLM and Email Lock-in?

Social PLM and Email Lock-in?

I found the following WSJ Pool interesting. Will you use your Facebook’s email service as you primary email? You can read about this poll in the following eWeek article. Navigate to this link to read discussion and vote. At the time I voted the result was pretty clear- email is one the most successful lock-in application.

The results of this vote made me think again about the future of collaboration and social PLM. Recently, I wrote about Facebook’s message service – Social PLM Inbox and Changing Paradigms. My conclusion back few weeks ago was clear. Social PLM is taking on email. This is a very ambitious take. The WSJ pool made it clear – email is sticky and despite the huge success of Facebook is still here.

How To Break Email Lock-in?
I was thinking about how social PLM can break email lock-in for the people using email in design collaboration. The social link is a possible ice-breaker. People value ease of use and data connections. The main place where email gets crazy is when you need to connect people’s communication and relevant CAD files. I can see an attempt of companies PLM space to make it happen. PTC Social Link, Dassault Social Innovation, Vuuch. This is my short list of trials.

What is my conclusion? To break an email lock-in can be a big deal. Will it happen or not? People are asking this question all the time. You need to think about really sticky application to make it happen. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • Oleg, I agree email is a sticky application, however realize that the WSJ poll was just that – an unscientific poll. The WSJ caters to a certain demographic and few 13-18 year olds or sub 30 year olds or people under a certain income are consumers of their content. The poll is directional at best. The Relevancy Group has just completed a comprehensive consumer survey and that research document will be released just after the new year. Our data shows similar trends, but is far more detailed in the attitudes, behaviors, ages and demographics related to email inbox behavior and specifically interest in a Facebook email address. All the best, D.

  • Abhishek

    I agreed with David that people from different age group must have diff view.But still people consider much casual, so using facbook’s email service as primary mail not seems to be possible now. However no body knows that after few years what will be the condition. I often think may one day email become a thing of past only.

  • Vuuch

    Do you need to break the email lock-in? I do not think so. You need to embrace email and add to it. Here is some recent feedback I got from a Vuuch user in the AEC market (We now have customers in discrete, AEC, software and we are working on one in financial).

    “Thus far, we have been very successful in using Vuuch as a non-disruptive, almost viral inclusion into our workflow. By this, I mean that people choose when they want to use Vuuch, or when they just want to use email, and it works quite seamlessly. Further, Vuuch has begun slowly propagating throughout the organization in an almost viral manner – someone who knows nothing about Vuuch is added to an Activity, via their email address, and is able to fairly quickly decide and implement the method by which they would like to interact with Vuuch, either by using a Vuuch UI or by replying to the email.”

    This quote details why “social” is a new layer within the enterprise versus a feature added to an existing tool. Product development groups do three key things – Author, Manage and Interact. These three key elements align to technology layers. Teams replaced drafting board with CAD to Author, microfiche and flat files with PDM to manage and meetings have at this point been replaced by email. CAD, PLM and PDM tools are all basically the same at this point making it hard to distinguish one from the other, you can say the value from these has stagnated (a customer using NX or Catia gets the same advantage as a customer using Pro/ENGINEER). The last technology change in product development is the evolution of the Interaction slice and this is where email will be replaced by an Enterprise Social System (ESS).

    Interaction is of course key to the ESS… In order for Social to be applied to product development the ESS must understand “Product”. Product is a key element of the Vuuch ESS. Vuuch embraces all interactions across the organization that are related to or about the company’s product.

  • Vuuch

    Not sure you noticed but in one post you talk about a company moving to a new email platform and then the next post is about emial being daed. The juxtaposition of these two posts in telling.

  • beyondplm

    Chris, the new platforms will try to break email lock-in. I don’t see a problem here. Do you? Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Chris, I think, this is an interesting input. The most important point is how possible to mixing communication by email with the ability to exchange messages using Vuuch. At the same time, the phrase “must understand Product” seems to me unclear. Is it the ability to “manage” product data? Or by saying “must understand” you assume Vuuch has an internal data model for a product? Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    David, thanks for your comment! Can you share /if /when the result of your survey when it will be ready? Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Abhishek, thanks for the comment! Yes, I believe the email can be transformed into a more efficient messaging/communication system. However, it is still not here… Google Wave was an option. Now it is Google Messaging. Just my view… Best, Oleg