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Top 5

2013 Beyond PLM – Top 5

by Oleg on December 30, 2013 · 1 comment


End of the year is traditionally associated with “top stories” and “next year predictions”. So, it is hard to resist… In the past, I was publishing my “top 5″ stories every month, but the tradition somehow went down. However, later better than never. So, in the spirit of coming 2014, I decided to list 5 posts published in 2013 that drove most of my readers interest:

BOM 101: How Many Levels Do You Need in BOM?

The fact you can create multiple levels of BOM doesn’t mean you need to utilize it at full capacity. Multi-level BOMs are complicated and adding an additional work in the process of changes. How to maintain the right number of BOM levels? I’m interested to learn more about your experience. How many BOM levels do you have in your company ERP/MRP/PDM/PLM system?

3 Modern BOM Management Challenges

Bill of Materials is a critical element in the success of many manufacturing companies. Think about driving maps. In the past we printed it on a paper, folded and put next to your driver seat. Now it is different – social GPS systems can alert you about driving conditions and suggest alternative routes. You need to have a new tools to manage BOMs. Traditional BOM management systems won’t survive in a modern manufacturing world. This is a wake-up call for PLM vendors and other software companies in manufacturing world.

Will IBM return to PLM software business?

Business intelligence, decision support, system engineering and integration. These functions are quite desired by manufacturing companies to solve prod development  problems. Large companies these days are looking how to streamline product development processes. Enterprise PLM business seems to be impossible without system services and integration support. IBM is collecting a significant software stacks that can be used for this purposes. Maybe we see IBM renaissance in PLM soon?

Will Tesla Motors build their own PLM system?

I have no clear answer on the question placed in the title of this post. The IT innovation in manufacturing companies is getting interesting these days. The dynamic of business, pace of changes and specific customer requirements will require IT managers to innovate beyond the level of OOTB tools. Thinking about PLM space, customer focused configuration options combined with complexity of supply chain can be very challenging these days. These days Tesla is practically building a single model car – Model S. However, with new car model (model X) is coming soon, I can see the level of complexity growing as well as the needs for specific unique PLM system. It would be very interesting to see the change in the future.

Single Bill of Materials in 6 Steps

Depends on the nature of your business, one of these topics can become a key and showstopper for your organization to transform into the single BOM. Some of you will disagree of structures and some you will not have a system to share BOM across the organization. The multi-BOM paradigm evolved during many years as a result of fundamental organization silos. However, these days, the efficiency how organization can resolve the problem of connected cross department processes is a dominant one. BOM is a lifeblood in these cross-department processes. If you switch to a single BOM, you have an opportunity to optimize processes.

What is my 2013 year conclusion? Beyond PLM is getting about 20-25K page views monthly. I want to thank all my readers for contributing to this number and hope to see you on my blog in coming 2014. I can see a clear trend of interest moving towards PLM roots such as Bill of Material and customer related development. Also our ‘Big Blue PLM’ is still here. Cloud and everything related to that clearly drove less attention than before. Of course, it is very subjective and just my thoughts :) .

Happy New Year!

Best, Oleg


1 comment

BEYONDPLM’s top stories of 2012

by Oleg on January 3, 2013 · 0 comments

It is always interesting to take a look and see what posts drove the most attention of my readers in the past. So, I’m following this tradition. Here is a short recap of beyondplm top stories for 2012. It was a year with lots of transformation and changes. So, I wasn’t surprised to see PLM Perfect Storm 2012 on the top of the list. The second topic actually surprised me a bit. I thought, technology is something people are less interested these days. Nevertheless, the discussion around the post What is the future of PLM databases? drove lots of readers’ attention. Autodesk PLM 360 was a new product introduced by Autodesk in the beginning of 2012. So, readers interest in this topic was almost expected. Complexity is another topic which drives lots of attention these days in PLM industry. PLM and the death of complexity article confirms that. Another “logical” choice was an article about SolidWorks mobile app for iPad. Please find below list of posts and brief conclusions.

PLM Perfect Storm 2012

It is an interesting time to be in the PLM market these days. As I wrote in my recent blog -SolidWorks community and opportunity for PLM, there is a significant opportunity to deliver PLM solution to the white space market these days. Gartner’s PLM market dynamics slide is highlighting the same opportunity. It is clearly a perfect storm. Large PLM companies have a lot of money to play the future PLM game. They have a lot to win as well as to lose, in case something will go wrong. Who will take the best “stormy seat” in this game? An interesting question to ask.

What is the future of PLM databases?

The complexity of product lifecycle problems brings the need of new concepts in data modeling and data management. One of the main questions – how to break the boundary of a single database? This is a key question, in my view. It will solve the problem of logical scalability and provide a platform for future information discovery.

My first take on Autodesk PLM 360 system and technology

I have a positive impression about PLM 360. It is stable, and I could perform my research experiments as well as some customization and development work. The overall maturity of the system even higher than I would expect from the system developed from scratch (as it was mentioned by Randal Newton in his article) – Autodesk PLM 360 is the first PLM product written from scratch for contemporary cloud technology. Autodesk is betting it will be a hit with companies of all sizes. At the same time, I didn’t find special novelty in the data-management paradigm. Also, I didn’t find any confirmation about flexibility and scalability of the system going beyond traditional PLM solutions (in the case systems like Enovia, Aras, etc. will be hosted on the cloud). The concepts of integration of PLM 360 are not clear and provide a concern with regards how PLM 360 can be embedded into overall company IT strategy. With all that, I found my user experience quite enjoyable, and I liked how PLM 360 performed tasks.

PLM and the death of complexity 

The death of the complexity is here. PLM and other software vendors in the manufacturing and engineering space need to take a note. The user experience will not be set by enterprise monsters. New generation of people will not tolerate the complex PLM software. This is a time to rest the expectations.

First Look of 3DS SolidWorks e-Drawings for iPad

Later is better than never. I think, many of SolidWorks users will appreciate e-Drawing iPad app. I’m going to experiment how easy to use e-Drawing as a viewer on my iPad in addition to other mobile apps I already have from Autodesk and other vendors.

Thank you for your commitment to Beyond PLM blog in 2012. I’m looking forward to keep blogging in 2013.

Best, Oleg

Disclaimer: In 2012, the company I co-founded (Inforbix) was acquired by Autodesk Inc. For the moment, I’m responsible for product development of Autodesk PLM360 and other Autodesk PLM/PDM product and technologies.

Image courtesy of [stuart miles] /



I screw up my promise to stop blogging during my vacation. I’m in Israel these days with my family. You are probably asking what this picture of Pink Lady apple does on my blog. I made it yesterday evening in the hotel in Tel-Aviv where I’m staying. Of course, I appreciate the hotel for complimentary welcome service. At the same time, what struck me is that this apple was absolutely identical to the apple from local Costco store in Brookline, Mass I ate just before leaving home. Amazing example of global supply channels. What potentially can make apple made in USA travels all the way down to Middle East? I found hard to find the answer on this question. Is there a chance future PLM data services will be able to answer these questions? If you have an idea of explanation, speak your mind. Now, let me turn it back to a traditional top 5 post.

What is the right data model for PLM?

Many of the technologies used by PLM companies these days are outdated and came from the past 20-25 years. There is nothing wrong in these technologies. They are proven and successfully used for many applications. However, in order to achieve the next level of efficiency and embrace future of PLM, new horizons need to be explored. Data flexibility, openness and interoperability – these elements are absolutely important in the future of PLM. Options to use future data models coming from past 10 years of web experience need to be explored. Important.

What is the future of PLM databases?

The complexity of product lifecycle problems brings the need of new concepts in data modeling and data management. One of the main questions – how to break the boundary of a single database? This is a key question, in my view. It will solve the problem of logical scalability and provide a platform for future information discovery.

PLM Supply Chain – Go Big Data or Go Home

Big data is one of the big things PLM can use to optimize supply chain, in my view. PLM vendors need to switch gears from supply data exchange towards supply chain optimization. In order to do so, PLM vendors need to bring additional capabilities to analyze supply chain, related information. It is an important topic to for coming years.

How to Shift from Noisy PLM to Calm Technologies?

In Designing Calm Technology, Weiser and John Seely Brown describe calm technology as “that which informs but doesn’t demand our focus or attention.” I want collaborative software to stop to behave as a noisy monster and move to state of “an invisible quite servant”. I don’t think, there is a simple recipe how to do so. PLM vendors can look for examples in consumer devices, web and mobile application behaviors and other consumer-oriented technologies and companies. I see it quite possible.

Will DoD Strategy Change Cloud PLM Future?

Speaking about future cloud systems, I think the keyword “optimization” is the most important one. Everybody is looking towards efficiency these days. It is equally important to small companies and large institution. In my view, larger companies will come soon to PLM providers with questions about how PLM environment can be optimized towards cloud computing. And this is just a matter of time when it happens. PLM vendors have some time for preparation. However, not too much time.

Best, Oleg



Will ERP be on cloud ahead of PLM?

July 31, 2012

What do you think about PLM vs. ERP competition? Err… Good question, right? In my view, PLM sales people are long time jealous about ERP sales success. The mainstream adoption, CxO focus, the amount of money organizations are spending on ERP and many other factors. PLM companies felt like a step child in front of […]

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PLM Think Tank – July Top 5

July 29, 2012

Usually, we expect some relaxation during summer time. Even we are still in end of July, this summer already provided lots of events, news and surprises.  Last week was dominated by news about financial activities of Dassault Systems and PTC. Week before was marked by Autodesk acquiring SocialCam for 60 million dollars. I can see […]

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PLM Think Tank Top 5 – May 2012

May 30, 2012

Time is flying. My monthly top 5 posts are coming too fast. Which made me think about so many changes that happen in our life these days. The root cause is so-called “re-imagination” that coming from web, new devices, connectivity, new trends in user experience and… beauty. I captured “re-imagination” word from the presentation of […]

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PLM Think Tank March Top 5

March 22, 2012

I wanted to start by quote one of my blogs earlier this month – PLM is a fun place to be again. After almost a decade of slow motions and acquisitions, we are coming again to the state when new companies are created, and you can see some interesting alternatives appear in the market. There […]

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PLM Think Tank Top 5 – January, 2012

February 10, 2012

I’m coming to SolidWorks World 2012 this weekend. SWW is always a special event for me. This year, SolidWorks World is very interesting. Last two years were under the mark of ‘something happens’ at SolidWorks. It started as the “cloud announcements” during SWW 2010 and later on, hints on SolidWorks V6 running on top of […]

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PLM Think Tank Top 5 – December and 2011

January 16, 2012

Silicon Valley is well known by the high concentration of web start-up companies. My recent conclusion about PLM Highway (Rt. 128) in Greater Boston was picked up by Boston Globe article – Carmakers flock to Massachusetts for digital design help. Navigate to the following link to read this article online. I noticed an increase in […]

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PLM Think Tank November top 5

December 11, 2011

I’m a bit late with my top 5 review for November. It was a tough month for me because of travels. I made double-Vegas. What does it mean you can ask? It means that Vegas this year became a top PLM destination. Back in June, PTC organized their annual conference in Vegas. However, in November, […]

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