Earlier today, I attended Solidworks webinar providing details about new PDM package SOLIDWORKS Manage. The system was first time announced long time ago during SWW 2018 in Los Angeles. Check my earlier blogs – SOLIDWORKS Manage and 3DEXPERIENCE PLM: Clash or co-existence? and SOLIDWORKS Manage – Does it look, swim and quack like PLM? How to choose between SOLIDWORKS ENOVIA R2017x and SOLIDWORKS Manage 2018.
There are many Solidworks PDM systems already. Check my article – How many PDM systems Solidworks customers need. Nevertheless, here it comes – a new data management package from SOLIDWORKS.
So, the tag name for SOLIDWORKS Manage 2018 is Distributed Data Management – not PLM. According to information from the webinar, Distributed Data Management is going beyond what typical PDM does by providing functionality such as Project, Process, Item Management and Dashboard. According to Solidworks, there is gap between PDM functions and full PLM system provided by all vendors including DS owned ENOVIA. As Solidworks explained, PLM is usually the system that fully focused and tailored to a specific industry such as aerospace or automotive.
This is how SOLIDWORKS Manage modules are presented.
I captured few details I wanted to share with you about File Management, Process Management and Workflows, Project control and Dashboards.
What about packaging? SOLIDWORKS Manage will be available on top of SOLIDWORKS Professional package. It won’t be available for SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard (because of lack of API) and will be only sold as a whole package.
SOLIDWORKS Manage and PDM acquisition perspective
The webinar made me think about history of Solidworks PDM. Solidworks never developed its own PDM system. All PDM systems owned by Solidworks were acquired at certain moment of time. SOLDWORKS Manage is similar, but not the same.
The fist Solidworks PDM was acquired in 2002. Before that, many Solidworks users used SmarTeam, which was acquired by Dassault Systemes in 1999. First Solidworks PDM was developed by small company – Design Source Technology and was originally called PDMWorks. It was targeting to meet the needs of small companies with few copies of Solidworks. It did not use relational database such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL but, rather, maintained model and drawing data using the basic file management capabilities of the Windows operating system.
The next acquisition was Conisio PDM in 2006, which added Solidworks Enterprise PDM to the portfolio. Conisio filled the gap of much needed multi-site technologies and provided more powerful PDM functions to large Solidworks customers located in different sites. Here is an Cadalyst article with quote by Jeff Ray from that time. Note “integrated data management” position.
SolidWorks announced last week that it has acquired GCS Scandinavia of Sweden, developer of Conisio enterprise product data management software. “SolidWorks recognizes the importance of integrated data management solutions in the product design process,” says Jeff Ray, SolidWorks COO. “The Conisio product line has a proven track record within the SolidWorks customer base and within the SolidWorks reseller community. The acquisition brings us valuable data management technology to meet the needs of customers working to design world-class products.”
As much as I can learn from online sources, SOLIDWORKS Manage is not an acquisition, but partnership and rebranded product called RevZone Manage. According to the information on RevZone Solution website, RevZone is partnering with Dassault Systemes to bring exciting solutions to the market. Navigate to the following link to see RevZone Product Data Management for Solidworks. This is a product that is integrated with PDM Professional and can provide missing function to growing demands of Solidworks users looking for PLM-like functionalities. You will find lot of similarities with pics above. Learn more about RevZone products here. I found fascinating that RevZone indeed uses word “PLM” on their website. SOLIDWORKS doesn’t call it PLM, but use a new terminology – Distributed Data Management, which is probably marketing translation of “multiple location”:
RevZone Solutions has been providing innovative solutions since the mid nineties. RevZone is one of the world’s most innovative and high integrity Product Lifecycle Management systems. RevZone tools provide end-to-end integration, are scalable and dynamic. These are solutions that make the real-time enterprise a practical reality. Modular, secure, intuitive, shareable and easy to use, it delivers a tailored and personalized user experience across single or multiple locations
What is my conclusion?
SOLIDWORKS Manage is 3rd PDM “extension” made by Solidworks to satisfy the demands of their users. RevZone technology with roots back to 1990s according to their slide is probably good match – SQL based, Windows app (although you can find some notion of ‘web forms’ and ‘mobile’ on the website). But, I wonder how SOLIDWORKS Manage based on RevZone will integrate with 3DEXPERIENCE and future Solidworks xDesign. These products with much newer technological platforms will be hard to mix with aging Windows/SQL data management stack.
Webinar didn’t disclose SOLIDWORKS Manage price, but my hunch you can expect it to become the most expensive PDM package on top of Solidworks PDM portfolio. I can see how Manage can fill gaps in data management and collaboration solution provided by Solidworks for large customers. At the same time, Solidworks is eliminating Workgroup PDM in Solidworks 2018. It will potentially expose those 3-5 Solidworks seat customers to new competition.
And last, but not least – SOLIDWORKS Manage doesn’t answer on the question “where is Solidworks cloud customers can trust” to share information in distributed teams. I thought “Distributed Data Management” is about distributed manufacturing and teams. But, maybe SOLIDWORKS has a different perspective. I hope to learn more in coming days. If you have information you can share about SOLIDWORKS Manage, please reach me out – oleg at beyondplm dot com.
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.