Recent CIMdata cloud PLM research brings attention to PLM cloud circa 2017 and trying to figure out reasons why manufacturing companies are not running fast to adopt cloud PLM products from established PLM vendors. Despite being discussed many times in the past few years, cloud PLM technologies keep driving controversy among PLM vendors. For some of PLM vendors, cloud is just a delivery mechanism that can eliminate IT complexity and allows to host PLM servers elsewhere by using variety of cloud infrastructure providers. A second group of vendors recognizes cloud technology as an enabler to make PLM available to everyone and improve collaboration between OEMs, contractors and suppliers.
I’ve made PLM cloud service comparison almost a year ago. Read here to refresh your memory. Not all PLM clouds are the same and to understand what is the difference is important before you take a decision to adopt specific product or service.
My attention was caught by recent CIMdata article – Dassault Systèmes’ Cloud Strategy: An interview with Vincent Frerebeau & Garth Coleman. Read the article and draw your opinion. I want to highlight two passages from the article. The first speak about DS public cloud development:
Dassault Systèmes has placed the cloud at the heart of our business experience strategy. The cloud is the foundation for next-generation applications and business processes on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The platform is designed and optimized for cloud and mobility usage, connecting people, data, and resources. Since the launch of our Public Cloud portfolios in 2014, we have continuously expanded our product coverage. With the latest R2017x release in December 2016, more than 87% of our design, engineering, and governance portfolio is available as Software as a Service (SaaS) on our multi-tenant public cloud offering.
The second one speak about differentiation of DS cloud solution.
We have made significant investments in cloud operations, providing much more than a simple installation of an on-premises solution into a cloud hosting provider. As part of the SaaS subscription, we perform solution provisioning, licensing, and maintenance, and full monitoring and management of the worldwide network of multi-tenant data centers to ensure maximum performance and protection from emerging security threats.
It is interesting how the following passage is creating distance between “simple hosting installation” and multi-tenant data centers. In my view, it provides clear acknowledgement to cloud architecture and requirements to build global cloud solution. However, the article gives very little product and technical details about how DS is doing it and how 87% of DS product portfolio can be provisioned and used in the network of public data centers.
I checked the link with Enovia V6 cloud videos from the article. Here is few videos:
The videos speak about 3DEXPERIENCE, CATIA and ENOVIA V6 products, deployment, multi-CAD data management, multiple locations, formal processes and many other things usually typical for PLM deployment. Videos are highlighting the advantages of cloud PLM solutions from IT standpoint and cloud based licensing. However, I didn’t find specific information related to Enovia cloud deployment in multi-tenant data center environment.
What is my conclusion? The devil is in details and cloud devil is very much invisible from user standpoint. According to what I’ve seen in the video, DS products are deployed and running in cloud environment. DS is managing data centers and deploying existing solutions in these data centers, which is by itself very encouraging to see. My hunch, these products are probably tuned for cloud deployment, but at the same time, seems to be regular products. Questions such as difference in customization, administration and integrations are not covered and this is one of the most interesting aspects of cloud deployment that can differentiate between existing product with multiple deployment options and native cloud solutions. Just my thoughts…
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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