Winter Slowdown, SharePoint and Enterprise PLM Scale?

Winter Slowdown, SharePoint and Enterprise PLM Scale?

Winter slowdown is a good time to clean back logs of RSS readers and work on urgent development projects. Especially when it comes together with the snow blizzard. Take a look on the fresh picture I just made out of my house in Brookline.

I read ECM Connection post Benchmark Test Results Show SharePoint Ready For Enterprise Content Management Scale. I downloaded the white paper mentioned in this post using the following link. I never heard about StorSimple. According to the website, the company provides an appliance and data solution with the focus on SharePoint and Exchange. Recently I  had few discussions about SharePoint and PLM on the blog and on twitter. In that context, I found the following passage from this post and related links interesting:

“SharePoint has been a great product for us since we managed 300 gigabytes (GB) of content, but there were severalcategories of content we could not let our users store in SharePoint, including CAD drawings and video, which are critical to day-to-day operations,” said Shawn Partridge, vice president of information technology for Rockford Construction. “WithStorSimple we are now able to let users collaborate on this content in SharePoint, and plan to double or triple the amount of SharePoint content over the next six months. The increased performance and unlimited usage of SharePoint has had a major impact of user satisfaction.”

I can see PLM companies and solution providers are making statements about SharePoint usage for the collaboration purposes. For me, it says to expand core PLM with the ability to leverage SharePoint infrastructure for content sharing. Such long time players as Siemens PLM having their TeamCenter Community product already many years, probably accumulated an experience of scalable for with SharePoint. PTC is rolling out their Windchill ProductPoint solution is an example of another PLM company having large stakes in SharePoint PLM business. Here is the interesting quote from PTC’s website:

With SharePoint as its foundation, Windchill ProductPoint exemplifies social product development, namely, the convergence of Microsoft’s social computing initiative—the use of social networking technologies and associated Web 2.0 services for business-related purposes—and product development activities. The result: A heightened degree of collaboration, productivity and effectiveness in the use and leverage of CAD data across organizations.

What is my conclusion? Microsoft is working hard to put strong stakes in the mid-range and enterprise scale organizations. 300GB is not a big chunk of content when it comes to CAD/PLM data. I wonder to see the latest experience of customers using SharePoint solution to work with heavy content (3D CAD, 2D Drawing, etc.) together with hardware solutions they are deployed for this type of content. Kind of important to understand a potential SharePoint slowdown before starting the project.

Best, Oleg

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  • I literally had this conversation with the manufacturing sector team my first week with Microsoft (on what is now the BPOS-Dedicated team) back in March 2006, and there’s still work to be done to make SharePoint a viable solution for the space. Partners have stepped up with storage solutions, and there are a host of vendors offering WAN optimization. While Microsoft will not likely get into the business of CAD readers and mockup tools, there’s room for improvement in how these tools integrate within SharePoint. And finally, some may disagree, but I believe the next step is a SharePoint-specific large file transfer (LFT) protocol. Support large file storage, improve network speed, provide native or easily integrated reader capability, and then allow easier transport of large files between sites.

  • I literally had this conversation with the manufacturing sector team my first week with Microsoft (on what is now the BPOS-Dedicated team) back in March 2006, and there’s still work to be done to make SharePoint a viable solution for the space. Partners have stepped up with storage solutions, and there are a host of vendors offering WAN optimization. While Microsoft will not likely get into the business of CAD readers and mockup tools, there’s room for improvement in how these tools integrate within SharePoint. And finally, some may disagree, but I believe the next step is a SharePoint-specific large file transfer (LFT) protocol. Architect for large file storage on the back end, improve network speed, provide native or easily integrated reader capability, and then allow easier transport of large files between sites.

  • beyondplm

    Christian, Thank you for this comment. In my view, Microsoft’s strategy was always heavily based on partners’ involvement. The only problem with that is when you need to calculate your TCO as a customer of a specific solution. Best, Oleg