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The amount of data created in the cloud and transferred to the cloud is growing. You probably noticed few of my last blog posts about cloud CAD – The stage for cloud CAD competition and How CAD vendors “murdered” PDM business. CAD vendors are moving to the cloud, but the truth the competition between other cloud vendors are heating up for the ability to generate content and manage it in the cloud. The following article caught by attention over the weekend – Dropbox is working on a new note taking applications. Together with few other larger and smaller vendors, the dynamics of getting our data up to the cloud is increasing.

This is probably a good time to ask a question – what are products that can help you to organize and manage your engineering data in the cloud. Few years ago, I’ve been sharing some of my thoughts about CAD file sharing in my public discuss with Hardi Meybaum of GrabCAD. You can navigate to my old post here – Debunking the cons to CAD file sharing tools.

Today I want to take a short review of tools that became available since that time and focus primarily on managing engineering and CAD data in the cloud.

Generic cloud data (document) management tools

Yes, there are many generic cloud data management tools. Most of them are coming from vendors focused on cloud data storage. Google, Microsoft, Dropbox. There are few other tools. These tools can give you a way to put you files in the cloud without much focus on what is there (3D models, drawings, specifications, etc.)

A bit outstanding, but still a generic tools is BOX. You can learn from the website about BOX focus on industries. I shared some of my thoughts about that here – Can BOX become a platform for PLM?

Another interesting recent development is Adobe Document cloud.

Cloud CAD data management tools

New cloud CAD systems are coming with solid data management foundation. Two examples here – Autodesk A360 and Onshape data management. Both systems are capable to manage CAD data coming from multiple CAD systems.

You probably heard and seen Autodesk Fusion360. In fact Fusion360 runs on top of A360 – backbone and platform to manage data and collaborate socially about projects and changes. Project collaboration approach is a central concept of A360. You can read more here. A360 is a platform to create, collaborate and compute in the cloud. And it is capable to manage different CAD files from Autodesk and other CAD vendors. More about features and what you can do is here.

Onshape is providing core data management capabilities around Onshape documents. In of my experiments with Onshape, I’ve learned that I can upload other CAD files into Onshape documents, manage their versions and translate it into native Onshape data too. You can find this approach a bit different from A360 project. However, we can only guess where future Onshape product development will go. I found the concept of Organization management in Onshape, which can be developed in the future.

Cloud PDM tools

GrabCAD Workbench is probably one of the earliest cloud CAD data management tools. Workbench can give you an option to put multiple CAD data into cloud and manage versions. It is combined with GrabCAD Open Engineering community that allows you to leverage CAD data openly shared by about 2 millions of GrabCAD community members.

Kenesto Drive is another product you might pay attention too. After few product pivots, Kenesto came with a simple concept of “Drive” – a place where you can synchronize engineering data (including CAD files, of course) and keep using this data with your desktop tools.The following video gives you some overview of what Kenesto Drive does.

What is my conclusion? Growing interest to upload, share and manage data in the cloud will require better tools and probably new concept of data management. Customers won’t be happy with “double PDM tax”. I’m sure, the idea to move existing complexity of CAD data management in the cloud won’t excite users. My hunch customers won’t move into 100% cloud environment and we will be using both cloud and desktop in parallel for some time (I even don’t want to predict for how long). So, new paradigms will be developed to manage and collaborate heterogeneous CAD and engineering data in both cloud and desktops. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image courtesy of watcharakun at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Time off…

by Oleg on February 12, 2015 · 0 comments

beyondplm-mountain

I will taking time off with family next week. It is hard to pull the plug and disconnect from “Beyond PLM” thoughts. So, occasional PLM thoughts can come. However, don’t expect me to keep up with daily pace of writing. I’m sure to share all my PLM thoughts with you when I back.

Yours, Oleg

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How PLM will catch the wave of analytics

by Oleg on October 31, 2014 · 1 comment

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Data has tremendous value for any manufacturing organization. Nobody can dispute that. One of value propositions of PLM is to have an access about product data and process information in a meaningful form. You can find lot of information about it online. Here is just one example. Navigate to Tech Clarity report – Business Intelligence extending PLM value by Jim Brown. I liked the following passage from the blog post introducing the report:

The perfect storm of application and implementation maturity has set the table for significant value to be unleashed from PLM. The data currently buried in PLM systems is an untapped source of value for manufacturers. Now, companies are turning to Business Intelligence (BI) in order to tap into the wealth of product knowledge generated and available in PLM repositories. And like ERP, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and other enterprise applications have proven in the past, there is strategic and tactical business value waiting to be delivered.

However, not much was done to bring it into reality. Most of reporting functionality of PLM products is clunky. Significant effort needed to bring right data in the right form. In many situations, customers are using services to generate and run reports. I touched the topic of PLM analytics a year ago – What is the future of PLM data analytics? My main point back one year ago was about speed of report generating and analytic processing. I can see some changes in the recent time. PLM vendors are starting to focus on how to improve data access user experience and speed of reporting.

PLM vendors are not alone in the hunt for data analytics these days. Few weeks ago, Salesforce.com announced about their plans to democratize analytics and bring it to every user in a simple way. Navigate your browser to the following link to learn more about Salesforce Analytics Cloud powered by Wave technologies.

The following  screenshot captured from Salesforce Analytics cloud website made me think Salesforce is not limiting analytics to CRM data. The vision of Salesforce Wave is much beyond – the plan is to reach out to data located on the desktop, public internet, social networks and enterprise applications. It includes partnership with other vendors too.  Sort of grand vision…

sf-wave-cloud

It made me think about the role PLM vendors and PLM products will play in new analytics wave plans. My attention caught by PTC announcement – PTC Joins New Salesforce Analytics Cloud Ecosystem to Extend Internet of Things Technology.

PTC will use its PTC ThingWorx and PTC Axeda Machine Cloud® technology to extend Wave by providing access to streaming Internet of Things (IoT) data from smart, connected products. Specifically, the integration will empower PTC and Salesforce customers to view data generated in a unified experience. The insights gained from the data will allow business units across an organization to more easily develop data analytic strategies that deliver stronger business value to their customers.

CIMdata provided an additional insight on PTC and Salesforce partnership here. To me, the key thing is related to unified experience. That was the key missing part in business intelligence, reporting and other data extraction technologies developed in the past.

What is my conclusion? Salesforce made a huge platform step by introducing Salesforce Wave. However, the future success of Wave is dependent on data availability. How fast Salesforce will be able to provide access to data locked in other enterprise platforms? The value of mixing CRM and PLM data can be significant and it can help PLM vendors to bring customers to their platforms. However, to catch the wave can be a tricky part for PLM platforms. It will require significant shift in openness and state of mind. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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Who will make PLM for eXtreme Manufacturing?

July 3, 2014

I’m sure most of you are familiar with XP (Extreme Programming) – software development methodology, which intent to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. The history of XP goes back in the end of 90s. Despite very short history XP is very popular and it is hard to find a respectful software […]

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Manufacturing BOM is the next cool thing in PLM

May 9, 2014

I’ve been doing data management system for the last 20 years. The one thing you learn very fast – 3D and visualization are cool. Data is boring. So, if you want to impress somebody (journalist, analyst, your boss… whoever else)  you need to create realistic representation of your future product. And show how to can […]

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How to Dogfooding PLM in your Family Inc.

February 10, 2013

Dogfooding or “eating your dog food” is a fascinating topic. It came to us from computer software company. This slang word means use what you do in your own company. I know many people that passionate about PLM and trying to use it in many situation that going much beyond traditional concepts of design, engineering […]

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Thoughts before ACE 2012: Why Aras PLM is different?

May 1, 2012

I’m in Detroit today to attend Aras PLM user conference – ACE 2012. I’ve heard in the halls before conference that the theme of the conference – “Aras is different”. Few months before, Aras blogged about the same topic here. You can learn about the conference agenda by navigating to the following link. I wanted to give my […]

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PLM and My Reading List

November 26, 2011

It is a long weekend in US. Even if my day-to-day business activities are not completely US oriented, I can feel some relaxing moments since yesterday. I was sorting out my bookshelf today. Since 3 months ago, I made myself switching completely to digital reading. Nevertheless, I found quite many books that were on my […]

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Electric Design and PLM Roadmap

June 29, 2011

In the early beginning, solutions for manufacturing were focusing primarily on machinery and mechanical design. The historical reason here is simple – mechanical design was a key element of manufacturing for many years. However, the era of ‘mechanical design only’ ends. We can hear more and more about various aspects of combined solutions – Siemens […]

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COFES 2011 Rountable Discussions

April 13, 2011

I’m out for COFES this week. It will start tomorrow. My blog and COFES have some common roots. COFES is an annual think tank event that brings executives design, engineering, manufacturing, architecture and construction industry to think and discuss the role of engineering technology in the future of their business. My blog started as a […]

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