Let say it. PLM companies are going to the cloud. It is interesting to look on the perspective of cloud PLM solutions for the last decade. It was BOM.COM (later Arena Solutions) that made first try in the cloud back in 1999-2000. Later on, several PLM companies made their own experiments with web platforms and hosted deployment. Fast forward in 21st century – Autodesk broadly and bluntly push forward with their cloud strategy of Nexus later renamed into PLM360. The last two years were marked by significantly increased of interest in cloud from all – vendors, partners and customers. In my view, manufacturing and PLM world is moving for the question “why… cloud?” to the question “how… cloud?”.
I was reading NYT article – The Cloud Era Begins for Enterprise Tech. The article speak about transformation among enterprise software company and businesses moving toward mainstream cloud business these days. Here is an interesting passage:
The world now passing away consisted of business systems dominated by computer servers and personal computers. The new one subsumes these into cloud computing and devices like smartphones and tablets. The inability of companies like Microsoft and Dell to cope quickly enough with this change led to their current problems. The steady, thorough way that companies like Amazon and Salesforce have used the new technology to go after their elders’ business is what makes them contenders.
It is interesting to see how cloud companies are moving from islands of SaaS and cloud apps into platform continuum. Cloud business such as Salesforce.com and Workday originally started with the focus to provide applications, thinking about better sharing of information. It clearly reminded operational system on the cloud. One of the interesting indication is focus on file data sharing. Salesforce.com recently announced their file share platform. The intent to Sync, Share and Make Files social.
Navigate here to read more. Here is an interesting quote from Salesforce explaining their intent to share and collaborate with files:
“The way to remove friction among all these repositories is to virtualize everything into a common repository,” said Nasi Jazayeri, general manager of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s corporate collaboration product. He added, “We’re not trying to compete with the other repositories – we’re trying to make it easier for people to find things.”
The move towards the cloud is visible not only among “born in the cloud” companies, but also well established companies like Cisco, Oracle, SAP and others.
What is my conclusion? Solid and scalable data platform is a guarantee of future cloud success for every business. File sharing and data access becomes mainstream functionality required by any customer these days. My hunch file sync platforms from companies like Salesforce and Google can provide a potential cloud platform threat to PLM cloud businesses. PLM businesses can repeat the situation with Microsoft SharePoint that happened back in 2005-2007. IT directors and PLM vendors must take a note. Just my thoughts…