What PLM architects can learn from CES 2019 report?

What PLM architects can learn from CES 2019 report?

I’m not going to CES these days, but I probably should. Time is too big constraint. But I always read reports from CES – they can bring a lot interesting perspective. One of these, I’ve been reading over the weekend. – CES 2019 – A show report – learning by shipping. Check it out and you will find lot of interesting things.

These two things are my top favorites and I want to share them with you.

1- Smart and Integrate

The progress of integration and communication is amazing. The ability of devices to be connected, send data across networs, devices and data centers is very impressive.

Over the past couple of years with the arrival of voice assistants, the growth of streaming, and the maturing of substrates of home automation networking we are in a new world of consumer electronics — for the first time most everything can be connected to everything else and most everything can seemingly integrate with everything else.

Ever-Expanding Software Protocols. What used to be viewed as a physical connection layer or physics experiment, such as HDMI or sending IR codes, can now all be accomplished using much more flexible and capable APIs that traverse between elements of a system via WiFi, GSM, or Bluetooth and are brokered by cloud services providing some elements of authentication and identity. Sit back and think for a minute that it actually got easier to turn off your lights in New York by tapping a button on smartphone and sending the off command into outer-fricking-space and back through a datacenter in Idaho than to simply send 4 bytes worth of infrared 12 feet across the room.

The amount of “smarts” available to enable a smarthome surpasses what most anyone thought would be the case say 15 years ago when WiFi or HDMI made their first appearance at CES. Of course the iPhone played a huge part in accelerating all of these by providing a much simpler point of integration, but now we see the role the cloud plays in making possible many of the scenarios people aspire to.

Reading it with my PLM twisted mind I still remember that integration is still the biggest challenge during PLM implementations. So, watching standardization in consumer place, I tend to believe that the next 10 years can bring a visible progress in standards and enterprise integration, data sharing and collaboration.

….we are in a new era. The challenges of the past have turned into a whole new set of enabling technologies, potential implantations, and an evolution of scenarios that brings us much closer than we ever have. That is why you should read all of this as a positive — in a sense one should stand in awe of CES 2019 as a statement of the agility, investment, and opportunity even if so much of what you can actually do today seems like needle threading at best or a gimmick at worst.

2- No wires

This is an interesting perspective on connectors, cables and adapters.

By far my favorite thing to do at CES is notice the ever decreasing amount of wire we have to deal with. There was a time when going to CES literally meant looking at wires, connectors, and adapters. The whole of the Hilton (now Westgate) used to be filled with booths that did nothing but adapters and strain relief packaging. Now there are no wires. Actually there are two: USB charge cables and HDMI video cables.

It made me think about number of adapters enterprise technologies including PLM are developing. There are must be a better way to tackle integration without multiple connectors and plug-ins. How to make it happen? Great question for smart PLM architects.

What is my conclusion? Enterprise software and PLM have their own challenges and specific aspects of integration and communication. Even so, I think there are lot of things PLM vendors can learn from the last 10 years of progress in consumer technologies and integration. Remember, 20 years ago, to connect printer to computer using cable was a big deal. I think we past this problem long time ago. But new integration problems are here and many of them are solved in consumer space. Time to learn. This is a note to PLM architects and service companies making their living from enterprise integration. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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

Image credit of learning by shipping.

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  • David Sherburne

    Hi Oleg, Yes integration is a bad headache. We have at least 12 running and its difficult to manage and be productive, its a drain and also always a problem at upgrade time. Its a big challenge now and I think we need to revisit how we approach integration again as I stated in the article I posted. Might be a good topic for COFES 2019. Would love to get a good discussion on this going.

    https://data-integration.cioreview.com/cxoinsight/the-evolution-of-enterprise-information-nid-27162-cid-125.html

  • beyondplm

    David, thanks for sharing! The is topic is one of my favorites – data integration is the mess. Enterprise companies have so much to learn from web and consumer brands. I will try to put some write up about it soon.