Why Siemens PLM can develop PaaS option

Why Siemens PLM can develop PaaS option


PaaS is a category of cloud computing service providing platform and solution stack. This service model is including not only computing infrastructure (IaaS), but also application design, development, testing, team collaboration, integration features, database integration, scalability, security and others. In addition to that, it might provide service management capabilities such as monitoring, workflow management, etc.

As cloud market becomes mature, IT, customers and application development are looking into complete solutions. All PLM vendors are in full swing into IaaS cloud PLM option. Cloud PLM experience brings the need to dig more into nuts and bolts of cloud business. It includes understanding of cost, scale, service maintenance, application development, partnership. So, fundamental question many vendors and customers have is what is the best way to make cloud PLM efficient? Understanding of PaaS option is an important step. I shared some of my thoughts about PaaS and PLM before- Cloud PLM and PaaS dilemma, Will cloud PLM develop PaaS options?

My blogging buddy and well known PLM analyst Chad Jackson tweetstormed  what he learned at Siemens PLM about furure TeamCenter platform development. While I’m still waiting for full blog post on Chad’s Lifecycle Insight, the following filtered tweetstorm can give some idea about  Siemens PLM platform strategy:


It resonated with my previous thoughts about cloud PLM and PaaS and made me think  why Siemens PLM as well as any other PLM vendor can consider PaaS as a right option for their cloud PLM strategy. Here are my 3 reasons to develop PLM PaaS:

1- Agile development.

Vendors should be able to go fast in the development of applications, ability to customize existing features and supporting new opportunities. Businesses are much more dynamic these days. Everyone wants to be agile. PLM vendors too. So, to get up to speed with business, PLM vendors need to have a stable platform to build on. PLM PaaS can be one.

2- Better upgrade strategies

Let’s take marketing gloves off. Regardless on deployment options (on premise; private cloud; public cloud), you need to deal with upgrades. Databases, services, data model changes- this is only a very short list. PaaS can hide upgrades from customer and application developers by providing a stable platform layer. This layer requires less frequent upgrades.

3- Scaling factor and cost.

Cost is important. Cloud is not cheap as many of us thoughts from the beginning. Customers are demanding new business models and optimized cost. The development and customization cost is another problem. Scaling and keeping cost low is also huge challenge. Utilization of enterprise servers is still relatively low. PaaS can answer on the question how to share resources and scale with low cost.

What is my conclusion? Most of PLM vendors took IaaS option as a starting point to develop cloud business. It is okay and will provide important experience from different perspective – technologies, business, user interface. However, IaaS won’t remove fundamental enterprise PLM issues – implementation complexity, upgrade challenges, high diversity of requirements and business changes. PaaS option can become the next logical step to optimize platform and application for agile delivery. It looks like Siemens is making steps towards this direction. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • pgarrish

    The crux of this will be customisation. *aaS doesn’t work with customisation – you need ALL users to be consistent so you can upgrade the underlying item with one round of testing. That means the Apps, schemas, and DATA need to be consistent. *aaS will be a great option for smaller businesses who accept the system ‘as-is’ and will use it ‘locked-down’ – just like everyone gets the same version of the apps and iOS, no-one has a customised version of anything. (We wont mention iOS upgrade problems…..)

  • beyondplm

    Pgarish. you are right – customization is important and this is very tricky part in engineering software, PDM and PLM. The diversity of PLM implementation is much higher even if you compare it with CRM and ERP. To build a platform that will provide a consistent customization capability and will have all advantages of SaaS could be an interesting goal.

  • Per Jannok

    Just want to chip in my thoughts here too. Yes, I agree, customization / configuration is key when it comes to *aaS solutions for PLM. But *aaS doesn’t necessarily mean “one for all”. You can still have a for. ex. PaaS solution that is just for you.

  • beyondplm

    Hi Per. thanks for sharing your thoughts! It is hard to imagine manufacturing organization using SINGLE product for a specific vendor. Even small shops are using multiple software products. Although, existing PLM platforms are very defensive in terms of how to stitch them together. The famous Daimler story of move from CATIA to NX is just one example to demonstrate that.