There is no secrets – traditional PLM systems are running on top of relational databases systems. Although I didn’t find any public data source that can confirm it, my hunch that majority of PLM installations are using Oracle databases. (If you have public information that can support or reject this assumption, please contact me). Nothing wrong with that – for many years Oracle was one of the best RDBMS providers for enterprise. But, changes are coming…
Oracle new cloud push won’t be easy article by David Linthicum gives us some fascinating data points about enterprises looking how to move off Oracle databases.
AWS, Google, Microsoft, and IBM own the market, enterprises want to drop Oracle databases, and Oracle’s short on innovations. Database services won’t save Oracle. Most Global 2000 enterprises are looking to move off Oracle’s database, if they can. With cloud-based alternatives such as Amazon Redshift (a clear poke in Oracle’s eye—its hidden meaning is “shift away from Oracle red”), Amazon RDS, and a bunch of NoSQL services, enterprises can easily achieve that “good-bye, Oracle” goal.
Which made me think about what will happen when enterprise companies will consider how to move existing PLM systems and installations to cloud and use IaaS based solutions. IaaS hosting is the strategy used by most of PLM providers today trying to adapt their existing PLM platforms to the future of cloud.
Not all PLM companies are providing detailed info about hosting and infrastructure architecture. However, I found the following paper from PTC as a good example. As you can see Oracle database is part of hosting solution.
PTC PLM cloud pricing is published here. I cannot make it public, but you can get it in exchange of registration with email and some additional information about what your business. The pricing is consistent with cloud PLM pricing data points I published earlier.
As you can learn from Teamcenter web application deployment document, Teamcenter PLM configuration is very much connected to Oracle database and services.
The following article from 2013 Oracle’s biggest cloud customer highlights its biggest cloud problem is a bit old, but gives you a great idea about complexity and expenses of hosting Oracle database in the cloud. All existing PLM architectures were created before that article was written anyway.
As you can see PLM is very much tightly connected to Oracle databases and, at the same time, trajectory of future technology in the cloud is moving away from Oracle.
An important question to ask is how fast manufacturing companies will move to the cloud and how critical will be to move off Oracle databases. There is no simple answer on this question. CIMdata PLM industry form which will happen in a bit less than two months is introducing cloud PLM discussion. Here is a passage I capture in the agenda:
Cloud PLM Market Assessment. Stan Przybylinski, Vice President of Research. Cloud adoption is expanding in other enterprise software categories, but more slowly in PLM. The major PLM solution providers are talking about cloud, but are their cloud revenues material? In this session, CIMdata will discuss the state of cloud PLM, some successes to date, and where the market needs to go.
I look forward to attend CIMdata forum and learn more.
What is my conclusion? PLM technology is moving to the cloud and infrastructure cost will play a critical role in forming a perception how much manufacturing companies should pay to PLM vendors for PLM cloud services. My hunch is that all major PLM vendors are locked in Oracle database. And it can a significant impact on solution cost. So, what will be the next PLM move? It is a good question to ask PLM architects and IT managers.
Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased