I’ve got an email from one of the blogging colleagues about the acquisition of Manymoon by Salesforce.com. Manymoon was a company developed so called “social productivity software”. I tracked Manymoon as a company doing some nice work in developing applications complimentary to Google Apps. The question I’ve been asked by my reader was “Is Salesforce is thinking about PLM?”. This question made me think about the dynamics in the development of various types of collaborative applications, but specially those that can be used to run product development and manufacturing projects
Manufacturing and Project Management
In my view, business life is about projects. Project Management software is a straightforward decision in many companies. Microsoft Project is an easy choice after you discovered that you cannot control your projects just by using the power of Microsoft Excel. However, when it comes to product development and manufacturing life becomes more complicated. With multi-discipline project management involvement you will prefer a software packages that integrated with product design and manufacturing information. You can see few examples of such a type of software coming from different PLM and ERP suppliers.
Aras PLM Program Management
Enovia V6 Program Central
TeamCenter Express Project Management
This is, of course, not exhaustive list of possible solutions. I can see multiple pros and cons in adopting them – complexity of implementation, price, integration with other applications and many others.
Emails and Social Productivity
I think, many companies and product development projects are literally run by emails. It is very easy in the beginning. However, within the time it creates a lot of complications. Lost emails, complicated message threads, different versions of documents. However, email remains the simplest and easiest tool to use for many people. I found Manymoon example interesting. Their connection with Google Apps tools looks powerful and the manage additional aspects of communication and project related information such as tasks is simple. Spend some time on the following videos and make your opinion if you like it or not.
What is my conclusion? I think complexity of applications needs to go down. In my view, Manymoon apps are demonstrating that. Even if conceptually it seems similar to project and program management products PLM companies developed before, future won’t be going the same way. Simplicity always wins. I can see some signs of interest in how to make PLM applications simpler. New applications like SolidWorks n!Fuze and Vuuch social tools are following the simplification path. Even if these new applications are not covering the scope of existing solutions, it seems to be a right way to go. Just my thoughts…