Back to the beginning of this year, I came with the post – Integrating PLM and PDM. Wrong question? My initial thoughts about integrating PDM and PLM was driven by growing interest to integrate existing software assets in the companies. However, thinking more I can see some additional aspects of PDM / PLM integration in a longer-term perspective. Few weeks ago, I posted From PDM to PLM: Unify vs. Integrate. I can see some examples of “integrate trend” happens now. I wanted to discuss two examples. Both Aras and Autodesk, in my view, are trying to integrate existing PDM systems with agile and flexible PLM environments.
Aras Enterprise PLM
If you haven’t had a chance to review it, Aras EPLM is a new packaged offering coming from Aras and expanding SolidWorks Enterprise PDM horizons by providing additional process oriented applications in Aras PLM. I recommend you to take a look on Aras EPLM on-demand webcast. Based on the information I found on the website, the functional scope of Aras EPLM related to Item and BOM Management, Product costing, Supply Chain processes, Project management and Change Management.
The clear strategy of Aras is to provide a complementary solution to SolidWorks and EPDM. I believe SolidWorks customers are looking for this solution as the opportunity to keep SolidWorks EPDM, to have an additional functionality and eliminate probably more expensive and unclear migration towards future Enovia V6 solutions DS is planning to deliver in the future.
Autodesk Nexus PLM
Another interesting example that just came last week – Autodesk made the announcement of Nexus PLM. Thre is little information and hands-on experience available about Autodesk PLM. You can navigate to my earlier posts about Autodesk Nexus PLM and Autodesk PLM strategies. At the same time, from the top slide presented by Steve Bodnar, Autodesk VP of PLM, we can learn that Autodesk is building their PLM strategy as a combination of two products – on-premise PDM (Autodesk Vault) and cloud based future product (Nexus PLM).
Looking on the scope of solutions Autodesk is promising to deliver as part of Nexus PLM, you can see some similarity with Aras EPLM Solution.
PDM / PLM Integration: pros and cons
If I think about possible advantages of combined solutions PDM+PLM, the one that stands clear to me is the interest to leverage existing software assets and re-use implementations cost already made by customers. When I think about the way Aras and Autodesk articulate what they do, I can see lots of similarities.
In that context, the cost of integration between PDM and PLM becomes one of the most important elements. Mindshare PLM vendors like Siemens PLM and Dassault are driving customers towards unified solution. They are trying to convince customers that unification will reduce the total cost of ownership and optimize the implementation. At the same time, if cost of integration is low, the type of solution proposed by Autodesk and Aras can have some grounds.
What is my conclusion? PDM / PLM integration looks like an interesting trend. We are going to see to see more examples, in my view. What is the fundamental reason behind it? I think many companies are having trouble to drive their IT infrastructure towards unification. It requires longer projects and expanded budgets. If PLM companies find an efficient way to integrate and access data between systems, it can definitely provide a competitive advantage on the market. Last one cannot be guaranteed, but it sounds as an interesting opportunity. Just my thoughts…
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