PLM Collaboration and SaaS Wake-Up Call

PLM Collaboration and SaaS Wake-Up Call

I read on Forrester Blog about acquisition of Dimdim by Salesforce.com. T.J. Keits of Forrester is discussing various aspects of Dimdim advantages as well as Salesforce acquisition details. Last year, I had a chance to try out Dimdim and I found the environment very convenient. The following characteristics of Dimdim mentioned as very complimentary to Salesforce’s Chatter released earlier –  tools for social collaboration. Here is the quote from T.J. Keits blog:

Dimdim’s real-time communications technology fleshes out the collaboration story Salesforce began with its social offering, Chatter, last year. This blending of tools will boost the collaborative power of some key Chatter features:

  • Profiles. On its own, this social tool is the foundation for information sharing and expertise location in an organization. Users can post information about themselves and their job and associate their profile with certain shared information in a searchable format. With added conferencing capabilities, employees can locate an individual and start a meeting with them, allowing the parties to communicate and jointly view data in real time.
  • Groups. Salesforce’s turn on team workspaces allows employees to share information and work together in a central location. Unlike a team space in SharePoint or Lotus Quickr, though, there was no integration with any tools that would allow for synchronous interaction. With the inclusion of Dimdim’s conferencing tools, information workers can now communicate within the context of the team space, allowing for real-time collaboration within a workflow.
  • File sharing. This is a recent addition to the Chatter offering, but an interesting one because it allows for content sharing within their activity stream. Of course, the real potential of this will be unlocked when the option to start a web meeting is included with that shared document, allowing a worker to start a live discussion with the individual who posted the content.

PLM, Social Collaboration and Platforms

Vendors in PLM space put a significant emphasize of “social aspects” of collaboration. Social Link of PTC, Social Innovation of Dassault and some others are best examples to present an interest of PLM vendors not to lose “social aspects”. However, none of PLM vendors didn’t decide to have a core collaborative functionality as part of their own portfolios. Most of the work PLM vendors are doing was about integration of existing collaborative features and platforms (i.e. SharePoint etc.).

What is my conclusion? Salesforce presented an interesting case related to the acquisition of platform capabilities. In my view, this is a very logical step in the future development of Saleforce’s platform. What it means for PLM? In my view, it makes Salesforce more competitive. Some of PLM vendors are thinking about their cloud / SaaS offerings. The wake-up call for owning some fundamental technologies can be too late. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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  • Yong Kim

    SAP has provided cFolders as a part of core collaboration functionality.

  • beyondplm

    Yong, thanks for your comment and reference! Best, Oleg

  • Fredrik

    Hi Oleg,
    Can you broaden your thougth why a PLM company need to own the platform for the social object like chat forums, personal profiles and “IM” direct connection to author of content…
    The publication processes of content is a part of the qlm/qms to not over load the internal system with crap. I am webit affraid that social platforms are breaking some protocol behaviors that are needed in a professional environment. But it is a change of doing you work and new social protocol is developed but as a personal user of social medias I seeing some subcultures that I personaly do not like to jump in to the professonal arena.
    Social medias is good…if not you and me have never been in contact…

  • beyondplm

    Fredrik, thanks for your comment. I think, social platform can bring some advantages in communication inside an organization, as well as in the outside world. However, I agree, automatic application of systems like Facebook, Twitter, IM to the PDM/PLM and other enterprise systems may be dangerous. I can see some systems like Chatter, Social Link, Vuuch and others are trying to figure out how this functionality needs to get in. Just my thoughts… Best, Oleg