PLM Pulse Industry Survey and Paradigm Shift

PLM Pulse Industry Survey and Paradigm Shift

One of my readers, asked me earlier today why PLM ISVs are not talking much about paradigm shift. I thought it is a great question, which is really hard to answer. Vendors are using many buzzwords. I don’t want to mention list of buzzwords here, but I’m pretty sure all of them are available in vendors’ marketing materials. And also included by analysts in industry Hype Cycles. PLM vendors are talking about many new things in the industry and each vendor is different. Although discussion around vendors ranking is convincing us that there is no much functional difference between current established PLM vendors.

I decided to look for answers in the notes I captured last week during PLMx event in Hamburg. I was listening to Nick Leeder presentation about PLM Industry Survey he conducted. I don’t have an intent to put all slides here. You can contact Nick and talk to him. However, I want to share few that caught my special attention.


So, first who attended. This is an important data point.

And here is a summary, which shows many issues and problems with PLM.

PLM is still very much around engineering and related functions.

And after many years of “simplification”, PLM is still complex.

This one is shocking. Even data is created in PLM applications, a huge number of users are not using vendors’ tools to get data out of these PLM databases

Cloud is still a myth and existing PLM vendors aren’t doing much with cloud.

Siloed approach and absence of integration is a major showstopper.

What is my conclusion? So, getting back to the question from my readers. I think existing vendors are here for 20 years and their business is established using current technologies and business models. Paradigm shift will demand vendors to change. And it might not be for their advantage. Remember Nokia, Kodak and some others that missed some industry changes and technological transformations. However, I think, It is a time to introduce paradigm shift in PLM industry. To move from from data control to data intelligence. To provide easy data sharing and communication. Connecting data in different silos, streamlining processes and simplification of experience. Easy to say. Simplicity is hard. But, I’m pretty sure, it is a right time to work on these problems. Future of PLM looks exciting. Just my thoughts..

Best, Oleg

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.







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  • Paul Empringham

    Oleg, great article. I do think that vendors are investing in solutions (ActiveWorkspace, 3D Experience, etc.) to make the data and visualisation more approachable to different user profiles across the business enterprise, i.e. a customised menu or simpler interface for manufacturing engineers vs production engineering staff. We have seen vendors move to zero install clients to achieve this, with a lot of back-end platform innovations.

    However, I believe the problem is adoption. PLM rollout in large organisations can take 3+ years until the latest and greatest PLM technologies are adopted, due to a whole number of different reasons. This is a problem for the vendors, as investing in new platform technologies can take many years for wide customer adoption and therefore the “industry” to acknowledge the benefits. Maybe Digital Transformation across industry will speed up the adoption process, as the organisations will be more prepared at running change through the business?

    The PLM survey referenced in your article is available to download for all your readers. Please visit, where the entire report can be downloaded if you register your email address.

  • beyondplm

    Paul, the project you mentioned even considered as “new” in PLM space are actually at least 5-7 years old. So, PLM is going very-very slow on everything.

    Thanks for sharing link to Survey. I’m sure Beyond PLM readers will appreciate it.