Whenever I had a chance to speak about cloud solutions in the context of PLM, the normal reaction of people was like that – company never agrees to put their IP to the cloud. The question of data privacy, especially when it comes to sensitive data like company IP (design, manufacturing, etc.) is obvious. However, the devil is in details, of course. I think, the view of manufacturing companies on data security and cloud is sometimes biased (especially when it comes from IT people). I talked about that on my blog – Cloud PLM and Security certification, Top 3 Cloud Killers and some others.
Database.com and DRO
Salesforce.com made lots of announcements on their last Dreamforce conference earlier this month. You probably had a chance to read my earlier comments about “Social Enterprise“. However, another interesting thing salesforce.com announced is somewhat called “Data Residency Option”. The option is part of database.com service – a cloud database saleforce made generally available. The service supposed to compete with solutions like Microsoft Azure Cloud SQL and some others. Database.com is going to play an important role in future development of Force.com platform. Navigate to this link to learn more about Database.com. You will find it interesting.
Salesforce is recognizing the challenge behind data placement outside of a company firewall. DRO solution supposed to solve this problem by providing an option to keep data inside of the company. I didn’t find a lot of information about how DRO supposed to work. The general availability of this service is planned for the next year.
This service is also associated with the acquisition salesforce.com made earlier. The Israeli company Novajo Systems was acquired by Salesforce.com a month ago. You can find more information from this eWeek.com article. The company was in the business of data encryption.
PLM, DRO and Database.com
What is going around database.com and DRO is interesting. There are two aspects I want to mention. It first is related to DRO and IT acceptance. Salesforce.com is working with sensitive corporate data. And they are getting more customers. Some of them are probably customers buying CAD and PLM solutions from today’s mindshare vendors. Security is a tough problem indeed. However, once solved it provide an opportunity to other companies and vendors to leverage this option. Another aspect is related to Database.com as an infrastructure layer that can be leveraged by somebody interested to develop a cloud PLM solution. The trust of vendors and existing Salesforce.com relations with IT can be an excellent opportunity for gotomarketing and the foundation of technological acceptance.
What is my conclusion? I think PLM vendors need to pay a close attention on what is going on salesforce.com cloud. The DRO innovation is about how to solve one of the biggest firewalls to enable cloud business solution pathway in large companies working with sensitive data. Manufacturing companies are obsessive about IP. At the same time, IT of these companies are playing with the security “red herring” to protect their territory from companies providing cloud solutions. However, it is not going to stay forever. Just my thoughts…