PLM Innovation and Top 5 PLM trends

by Oleg on October 30, 2012 · 10 comments

Last week I attended PLM Innovation event in Atlanta. If you haven’t had a chance to follow my blog last week, you can catch up on this post – PLM Innovation: Who will provide PLM to Boeing in 2015? In my view, Boeing presentation during the event provided an important “mind changing” message. Today, I wanted to provide more organized and systematic view on trends I discovered during the event from presentations and talks with people. Here is my take on top 5 trends in PLM software and industry:

1. Usability. Usability. Usability…

You cannot stop it. Bad user experience is “so ’95″. You can see how PLM companies are focusing on that. Take a look on the following slide presented by Boeing. I think, it is very self explaining:

Here are few examples of PLM vendor strategies in this space – Autodesk PLM 360 cloud alternative, Dassault 3D Experience, PTC Whindchill 10 focus on user experience, SAP Visual Enterprise, TeamCenter Active Workspaces. So, vendors recognize the importance. The delivery of user experience is a tricky thing. It takes time, experiments and effort to deliver good user experience. It is not a simple task.

2. Global Access

Today even smallest manufacturing companies and business are global. You cannot build the system today assuming on a single location. PLM industry has a long history of investment in global access. Web architecture, global collaboration and data sharing. The biggest challenge and opportunity I can see these days is related to the ability of vendors to bring new technologies from web to PLM space. Large companies and small startups are investing in this space. Few examples – Autodesk PLM 360 on the cloud, Dassault Enovia V6 online, GrabCAD, Sunglass.io and others.

3. Affordable business models and simple pricing

PLM is too expensive. You can hear this message very often. One of the clear messages I’ve heard during PLM Innovation is related to how PLM vendors can provide a simple and affordable pricing model. Take a look on the slide below presenting how and why the existing pricing model are limited PLM business.

Fundamentally, customer’s demand is to have a predictable pricing model.

4. Mobile Applications

Mobile is a king of the road. Everything is going mobile these days. So, if you don’t have a mobile strategy you are literally dead. The biggest challenge for vendors is how to deliver mobile applications right. One of mobile challenges is related to platform and device diversification – there are too many platforms and devices. Another one is business and licensing. Sales usually are not interested how to sell an app for $4.99.

5. Beyond engineering

Last, but not least. Historically, PLM was very focused on design and engineering business. However, companies recognize an increased value of PLM to be delivered downstream in the company beyond engineering. PLM is recognized as a system(s) that can manage and distribute information about product across the lifecycle.

What is my conclusion? I think we move from “changes are coming” to “changes are here” status now. The focus of customers like Boeing on usability introduce the new era of PLM software. Enterprise IT (PLM included) is finally “on fire” to deliver systems with desired quality. The next five years focus will be on how to deliver PLM leveraging massive experience in technology and business of consumer and web business. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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