CIMdata PLM Forum: PLM Never Ends

by Oleg on April 10, 2013 · 9 comments

I’ve been attending North American PLM Market & Industry Forum organized by CIMdata earlier today. CIMdata is running these forums across the different geographies. Navigate to the following link to learn more about future locations and forums. Here you can see the agenda. I’ve made some calculation. The pure presentation time was about 6 hours. CIMdata planned to present total about 369 slides. It means attendees supposed to digest slides with the average speed of 1.02 slides/min. The top slide/min speed was captured by me during Big Data and PLM presentation. Ken Amman performance was 1.86 slides/min.

The amount of information shared by CIMdata was huge. There is no sense to copy/paste all graphs and charts. I will take time to digest it and probably will come later with some thoughts and ideas. Nevertheless, there are three topics that stand out in the overall stream of information presented by CIMdata earlier today. I wanted to share some of my thoughts about them. These topics are software and service revenues; PLM evolution chart and Collaboration.

PLM Revenues: Software vs. Services

An interesting piece of information was presented by Peter Bilello during his State of PLM presentation. The following slide shows the overall state of 2012 PLM Market. The data point that caught my attention was about software vs. services revenue growth.

According to CIMdata, in cPDM/PLM segment of market services grew slower than software. Traditionally, service component of PLM implementation was significant. It is not unusual to see 50/50 split of software and services revenues. What means this data point from 2012? Is it a local 2012 anomaly or, maybe it represents a trend towards different ways to implement PDM/PLM solutions? Interesting question to ask. I hope CIMdata will follow up this topic with additional research.

PLM technologies

It is always interesting to see how analysts are presenting the history of PLM. I found the following slide showing the evolution of PLM market quite interesting. Here is a main reason why. I’m sure you are familiar with the theory presenting evolution using spiral patterns.

Interesting enough, PLM evolution slide doesn’t address the spiral of evolution. According to that slide, the evolution of PLM went from data and technology to processes and “bottom line” of business solutions. However, we  need to remember a massive disruptive technological innovation that happens around us now with web, mobile, big data, open source, etc. Many legacy PDM/PLM solutions were built back using the technologies of 1980s. Do you think, the technology of 1980s and 1990s is keeping up to speed with the bottom line of processes and business solutions? I don’t think so, therefore, I’m looking to see next spiral of PLM technologies. New technology will drive the change across the whole solution chain.

Re-think Collaboration?

Last, but not least – collaboration. PDM/PLM industry spent significant amount of time working on solutions for collaboration for the last 2 decades. Nevertheless, the following research presented by John MacKrell demonstrate that collaboration is actually weak link in the landscape of PLM system engineering solutions.


People are expecting vendors to make improvements in all aspects of collaboration – people, data and processes. The are two main reasons for that, in my view. Traditionally, vendors have a difficulties with the openness and data access. It leads customers to disappointment and anger about unwillingness of vendors to make a change in their strategy. On the other side, modern web and social networking tools are providing a good examples of collaboration – Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn. This is only short list of available products and technologies. In my view, it is a time to re-think collaboration by reusing social web paradigm and modern web technologies.

What is my conclusion? I captured the title of this blog post from one of the final tweets from CIMdata PLM forum. PLM never ends. PLM has deep connections to product development processes and innovation. You cannot stop the innovation process. If you don’t do it, innovation will happen anyway, but in another place. I think, PLM vendors need to remember that. The technology is democratizing these days. The question how to democratize technology becomes more and more relevant. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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