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I spent my last two days attending Dassault System Customer Conference (DSCC 2011) in Las Vegas. It will take some time to digest and re-think everything I learned. Today, I wanted to provide you some of my initial thoughts about what I’ve seen and heard.

PLM Vision: Lifelike + Industry Value

Dassault is embarking into the 4th generation (wave) of PLM vision. The name of the “game” is lifelike experience. Bernard Charles was very expressive when explained about lifelike experience. In a nutshell, you can think about lifelike experience as a move towards the PLM in a form of a video game. However, you will “play with a real stuff”.

I found this vision cool and interesting. It will take a time, in my view, until customers are able to adopt it. Another part of the vision is “a holistic industry value creation platform” presented by a new EVP of industry solutions – Monica Menghini.

Shift from Best Practices to Innovation

Dassault was talking a lot about innovation. In my view, DS step towards innovation is an interesting one. It presented as a game changer and justification of PLM expenses. In the past, PLM companies was very focused on so-called “best practices”. I always had a mixed feeling about “best practices” story. So, finally, DS decided to move out of “best practices” story and approach “innovation. Invited blogger (Stephen Shapiro) was talking about Innovation and Best Practices.

Transition to V6

V6 is here. This is a very strong message you can get listening to all DS presentations. I hope everybody understand, it is still too early to talk about massive V6 adoption, Dassault is carefully discussing this strategic move and all customers and companies that are involved into V6 adoption and migration. The migration story is also important to DS and you can see some investment that was made in this domain.

ENOVIA is a power behind everything

Dassault is presenting ENOVIA V6 as a big deal, the only one “unique online cloud platform”. In the first day, Bernard Charles shared the information about $2B investment into R&D effort that “converge” with all technologies under a single platform available on the cloud. Later today, in a conversation I had with Enovia CEO (Andy Kalambi), he mentioned Enovia a true “multi-tenant” cloud solution. The following slide can give a sense of how Enovia positioned among other DS products.

3DSwYm and Social Innovation

Dassault is speaking a social language too. It is not surprising these days. Earlier today, I had a chance to watch a detailed presentation of 3DSwYm environment and talk to people involved into this product creation. I have to say, in the beginning, 3DSwYm story was very confusing to me. The biggest question I had was “what are main differences between 3DSwYm and other tools such as Facebook, Google+, Chatter, etc. I think, I finally found the answer on this question. To me, 3DSwYm is a logical continuation of Windows File Explorer (don’t jump on me – I will explain :) ). Look on the picture of 3DSwYm environment below.

In a nutshell, I can say – 3DSwYm is a content delivery environment, which has a capability to deliver rich (3D and PLM) content and the ability to be social and engage people with communication. Time ago, when computers just started, “file explorer” played the role of content delivery, since everything was about folders and files (local and networked).

What is my conclusion? Dassault didn’t make any big announcements this year. Nevertheless, I found the overall conference content relatively solid. For my taste, presentations (especially general session) were too high level. However, it was compensated by networking and communicating with other people. The biggest DS challenge remains V6 adoption and finding a way for companies to optimize their transition in this platform. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg



Social PLM Inbox and Changing Paradigms

by Oleg on November 18, 2010 · 1 comment

The Facebook announcement about introducing of FB messaging system triggered a flood of posts. I’ve been looking over them for the last couple of days. I liked the following one – Locked in paradigms. This is my favorite quote about what Facbook is doing:

I very much get it that this is [Facebook messaging] a lot bigger than email and that’s kind of the point. Facebook apparently isn’t interested in building an email system and because they don’t already have an email system that acts like Gmail or Yahoo Mail they can break free from that paradigm.

Facebook Messaging Paradigm

Take a look on the following video. I found it impressive. The idea of simplification in communication and message tracking is powerful. Facebook is taking on an email paradigm and trying to change it. You don’t need to keep an email address of people you want to talk to. You just look for them on FB and talk. Simple? Yes. However, only if these people are on FB.

Product and Social Context

The battle of Facebook with Google isn’t exactly a topic for my blog. However, the idea of paradigm breaking made me think about some attempts to leverage the power of social business in PLM business. Few days ago, I posted an article about the potential of social systems like 3DSwYm to turn PLM into a mainstream. The key point, in my view, was about how to improve content sharing in the organization to streamline collaboration between people. Chad Jackson of Lifecycle Insights commented in a very interesting way:

With FB as well as many other social computing platforms, the context is always YOU. That assumption enables a whole host of simplifications in terms of the software system. Alternatively, the context in product development isn’t you, it’s the product, a project, a part or so on. That complicates things dramatically because you have to post/submit content to the right context and you also have to subscribe/follow the right context.

I found this a bit confusing. If I’m thinking about communication, it focused on the social aspects of communication. When I’m on FB, I’m communicating with all people and/or friends, depends on my privacy settings. Lately, FB came with the idea of ‘Groups’ which allows to think about community building in a similar way 3DSwYm, Chatter and other are doing. The context of communication is a content I put on Facebook. Alternatively, if I’m communicating with my blog readers, the context is my blog post. By finding an interesting content, I can interact with people on FB, Twitter and other social network.

If I turn it to product development, the picture is absolutely similar. I need to communicate with people. The purpose of my communication is business matters. Product design, changes, discussion, etc. Who is the people I need to communicate? The purpose of a social system is to identify them. If I will think about a system like 3DLive, Windchill Social Link of HD 3D, I can see how people can find who made changes for Assembly, Part, Drawing, etc. System like Vuuch, introduce an interesting way to find who are the people connected to Product, Part, BOM by enabling an explicit creation of these social links. The efficiency of a system to identify who is the right person(s) to talk to will define the overall value of the social system.

Will Social System Take Over the Email?

This is one of the most important questions to ask. Email is simple and dirty. People hate it and use it all the time. Facebook is trying to change this paradigm. They are eliminating the need to handle “email body” – to/cc/bcc/subject, and just communicate with people you’re connected to. Social system like Vuuch, 3DSwYm or Windchill Social Link can probably do the same. I found the following quote in another email by Chad Jackson – Vuuch: A unique approach to social computing is product development.

Centralized correspondence is a significant improvement over email. Despite availability of PLM collaboration capabilities, social media sites and instant messenger, I’ve found that email is the medium used most frequently for this sort of correspondence in product development today. I’ll get into the pitfalls of email for product development correspondence in a future post, but suffice it to say that emails can be forgotten, deleted or lost in your inbox. Use of a centralized server to manage the correspondence means it’s kept as a traceable trail that can be accessed by wider audiences at a later date.

Well, email also operates with a centralized server. Do you think a social system in product development will be able to lock everybody in the same server? My hunch is that this will be a very hard thing to do. Email is reliable because it operates in a virtual space of SMTP servers. Google talked about Wave Servers a year ago. PLM collaboration tried to lock people in a single point of a truth system. I can search in my Gmail. Is it equivalent to a single collaborative server? I don’t think so. However, it is still an email. It is relatively easy to find things in my gmail box. The question of simplicity is important. If “a social” or “whatsoever other system name” will be simpler compared to the email and can find people to collaborate in an easier way than your email inbox, it wins.

What is my conclusion? I can see the goal of a social system is very high and ambitious – to replace our old friend email. Facebook pretends to do so in the internet now. Companies like Vuuch will try to achieve it in a product development space. Google failed to deliver it with Google Wave. To learn this lesson is important. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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3DSwYm: Future PLM Mainstream or Copycat?

November 11, 2010

This week on DSCC 2010 I had a chance to learn more about what Dassault is planing as their next step in the development of their Social Innovation strategies. Dassault presented their interest in social software last year by the following joint announcement with blueKiwi. However, for the moment, Dassault is planning to announce their […]

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