Moving from PLM to PLMSocial?

Moving from PLM to PLMSocial?

Social Media and Networking are important. There are vendors in the business world that are paying attention to the importance of “social”. Just think about Salesforce’s Radian6 acquisition earlier this week. I can see how business software vendors are trying to hire “social” terms to improve the business and catch attention and focus on different social features. I read InformationWeek article “ Panorama Applies Social Network to Business Intelligence.” Business intelligence is something that definitely requires improvements. Despite the catchy name, normally BI tools are not getting a significant expose in the company and limited their install base to a very small number of people with special “analytical” skills. So, to bring social into this space can be interesting and, in my view, Panorama is trying to accomplish this goal. Here is my favorite passage from the article:

The core differentiator for Necto is the organization of sets of analytic reports, charts, and graphs into workspaces. Like many other BI software vendors, Panorama has supported the concept of personalized dashboards for years, but the workspaces are part of the Necto social BI user interface, where workspaces are sort of like mini-dashboards that can be shared. When you view workspace , profile pictures of the other people who are connected to that workspace are shown across the top of the screen. You can initiate a conversation with someone about the data by dragging their icon onto the analytics screen and sending them a message, which will include a link to the item you want to share or ask a question about.

Now, how do you think it is related to PLM? Simple… PLM is talking about dashboards for years. Nothing happens. Actually, something indeed happens. For a long time, dashboard was a favorite world of PLM marketing people. In reality, dashboards ended up to become a feature that requires deep customization and tailoring of the system. I can see vendors in PLM world are experimenting with various technological innovation. To have an ability to link people’s profile and information is not a new. However, with an updated flavor of social innovation it can catch more attention. PLM vendors and new companies in this space are flirting with Ms. Social and trying to bring more clicks to their website. Dassault 3DSwYm, PTC social product development, Vuuch and maybe some others are on the run to bring “social” to explain what they do.

What is my conclusion? Do you think we are moving from PLM to PLS(Social)? I think, it is important to differentiate “technology” and “technological buzz”. Social has a power. People like to watch their friends’ pictures on Facebook and thinking about new Color startup supposing to change a way in photo sharing in small communities. Do you think, the same technology will change the way people work with CAD drawing and Bill of Materials? The adoption of social networking (and associated technologies) is defined primarily by “social interests” in photo sharing and people belonging to the social net. User experience is important. That’s why Salesforce’s Chatter very similar to Facebook UI. Technology is secondary here. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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  • Hello Oleg,
    yes – I do think that social will change the way people work in PLM processes. But not by replacing traditional PLM applications for ECO, product structure management, CAD etc.. I would consider “social” as fundamental paradigms & technologies that will find their way not only into PLM IT, but into the basic infrastructure such as operating systems and browsers. For the next few years, we might still talk about them as separate and work on integrating social into PLM – but then it will be as natural communication and collaboration infrastructure as a full-text search function is today.
    Best regards
    Jens

  • beyondplm

    Jens, I agree with the fact “social” as a more fundamental paradigm will change many aspects related to how people communicate. Therefore, I can see “social” will impact how people communicate in business. Here is the thing. Social communication in the everyday life was driven by a massive change in technologies related to information exchange – video, photo, messaging, voice. In order to make the same shift in business/enterprise space, the technology behind information exchange needs to re-born. What we have today won’t work. This is something different from “just full text search”. Just my thoughts… Best, Oleg