Earlier today, I was running Beyond PLM panel discussion on ACE 2011. I’d like to say my special thank you to Peter Schroer, Aras CEO; David Sherburne of Carestream Health and Vasco Drecun of Siemens IT Solutions. We had a great triumvirate of a vendor, customer and IT/service people. I hope video of this panel will be available soon. The context of the panel was around what will impact the next 10 years of PLM. You can see my slides with talking points and questions from the panel. Below is a quick recap of discussion about the following topics:
How PLM will manage data?
The topic of management will change the focus from the ability to control data to the ability to retrieve and share data. Data ultimately can live in multiple places. PLM as a platform needs to be open to provide an access to data. Federation, Search and other technologies can help to share data.
What will be the ultimate PLM device?
The conclusion of panelists was that device will be less important compared to the capability of PLM platform to provide a ubiquitous access to the information. We probably are going to see 2010 iPad similar to wheel mouse nowadays. However, the usability of devices and interfaces is an absolutely critical factor these days.
How we will communicate?
The agreement of panelists was that “communication” is one of the most important factors that can change the future of PLM applications. Multiple aspects of the communication were discussed: synchronous vs. asynchronous, visual, messaging and emails. An interesting perspective on communication based on Gen-Y was discussed as well.
Will future belongs to Suites or Apps?
According to Peter Schroer, there is no PLM vendor that can provide 100% of products and functionality required for the company. Therefore, his vision of PLM is a combination of “platform capabilities” and a diverse set of applications. According to David Sherburne, his preference will be obvious with “best of bread”. However, the focus needs to be on the openness, data sharing and optimization.
How we will sell PLM in 10 years?
We probably are not going to sell PLM products in 2020. The software will be free and vendors will be selling expertise and subscriptions. Value proposition will play much more important role in the future. The granularity of solution is another factor that will come to play. An analogy with Google Ads model is an appropriate comparison.
I’m looking forward to your comments, opinions and thoughts about these topics.