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Dassault V6

PLM, Fun and Innovation

by Oleg on February 4, 2013 · 2 comments

Fun and coolness are trending topics these days. Are you doing boring business or having fun? Fun is much better and, speaking seriously, much more productive. That’s why the most efficient ways to educate kids are usually involving some elements of fun and games. Enterprise IT and business software are probably one of the most conservative places. Go to many companies IT departments or speak to business consulting and you can find yourself in a social environment back 15-20 years back with not much fun. Consumerization and BYOD trends created some holes in old fashion business software culture, but the overall balance is still very much conservative.

So, what about PLM fun? Frankly, not much PLM fun these days. Nevertheless, I can see some positive changes. Thanks for social media, social networks and blogs, PLM companies and PLM consulting people are now talking in an open way about what PLM is about why a way they propose to approach PLM is different. Sometimes, it is very funny like in the following video clip of Gangnam compass explaining Dassault 3DExperience style.

However, pure PLM is still very boring place according to one of my blogging buddies Jos Voskuil. Navigate to his recent posts – How come PLM is boring? I found his post quite entertaining. Find few minutes and have a read Jos’ post. It reminded me old IBM days when every manager knew that nobody will fired after signing a contract with IBM. In other words, regardless of how you perform if you sign with IBM, your life is saved. You can see a similar line here. According to Jos, changing the way to work is the problem and not PLM software as it is now. So, if you find the way to connect you business problems with PLM technology you are on the right path. The change is what important according to Jos. Here is the passage:

It is not the friendly user-interface of PLM system XYZ or the advanced technical capabilities of PLM system ABC,  that will make a PLM implementation easier. Nothing is solved on the cloud  or by using a mobile device. If there is no change when implementing PLM, why implement  and build a system to lock yourself in even more?

Speaking about innovation, cloud remains one of the topics that drive most controversy in PLM. The buzzword itself, history of the topic and vendors strategies are creating a combination of complicated terms. Almost all PLM vendors today are reported about “cloud-ready” or “cloud-enabling” technologies. In that context I wanted to bring funny video from 2009 showing Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison speaking about cloud technologies. You can watch more here.

I specially liked the following phrase- “Our industry is so bizarre. We just change a term and think we change the technology”. It is so true… The amount of buzzwords is the marketing materials of PLM companies produces on one side and the amount of “business practices” introduced by PLM consulting on the other side is skyrocketing. Enterprise software is undergoing the most radical shakeup since the turn of the century. These days, I’d recommend college “101″ courses and “for dummies” series of books for many enterprise software and consulting people.

In few weeks, I’m going to attend Product Innovation Congress in Berlin. The same event was called PLM innovation before in 2012 and 2011. Looking on the list of attendees and companies presented it sounds like a solid business event.  Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Prof. Martin Eigner, practically all PLM vendors and many other attendees. I’m looking forward to learn about innovation and find some fun there.

Best, Oleg



Monday was my second day in San-Diego. SolidWorks World 2012 was officially launched with general session with presentations of SolidWorks CEO Bertrand Sicot and Dassault CEO Bernard Charles. Yes, it is the coolest show in the town. 5500 attendees, 110 companies in the partners pavilion. I think, SolidWorks beat all scores in absolute and relative numbers. According to SolidWorks people, this is the biggest SWW show ever. In addition to that it made me think about the following comparison with SolidWorks rival – Autodesk. Autodesk University 2011 two months ago in Las Vegas gather about 8000+ attendees. However, AU included AutoCAD, AEC and other businesses. On the picture below Bertrand is dancing on stage during the kick of SolidWorks World 2012

The power of community

Solidworks clearly has the best community on the market. The following numbers (I haven’t had a chance to check them) shows SolidWorsk jobs market on US website compared to SolidWorks competitors – PTC, Siemens and Autodesk.

SolidWorks Future Versions

This is the picture that was presented by Bertrand Sicot when he talked about future SolidWorks V6 (or maybe it will be called differently) version. Bertrand mentioned “next year” as a target date for future version. The target is moving, which doesn’t mean necessarily bad thing. However, SolidWorks clearly misscommunicate this issue from 2010. On Wednsday, SolidWorks will be presenting future of SolidWorks 2013.

SolidWorks PDM and PLM opportunity

No big news here. As far as I know, SolidWorks is not introducing new products. SolidWorks EPDM and SolidWorks n!Fuze remains two products in the focus. It seems to me SolidWorks is focused on EPDM and sales of this product are growing. At the same time, this product requires some re-architecture to support the reality of today’s business and technological environment. n!Fuze, the product first introduced last year, is going through the turbulent time. Gian Paolo Bassi (SolidWorks new VP R&D) mentioned that some mistakes were done at the release time. He hinted on two aspects – pricing and usability. So, we can expect the next gen of n!Fuze in the second half of this year. There are also no news about future PDM / PLM products on top of Enovia V6. The joke I shared with my community on tweeter about EPDM V6 is that SolidWorks is still running on 4 cylinders V6 car will come later…

What is my conclusion? I think SolidWorks community has an incredible power. When you can see how many people are united by SolidWorks (or how Bertrand called it “united by design), you can understand what potential it contains. The development story of SolidWorks today can be summarized in a single word – transition. n!Fuze, the future of SolidWorks on V6 – the time to judge will be in one year when a new team and leaders will be able to show results. For the moment, they can only promise. If you have customers and revenues, you can fix the rest. So, in my view, the potential of SolidWorks community for PLM is not realized yet. This is a white space, opportunity for DS R&D and an open call to competitors and partners. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Disclosure: SolidWorks sponsored my registration fees, lodging and some meals during the event.


1 comment

PLM 2.0: Born to Die?

by Oleg on August 26, 2011 · 16 comments

PLM 2.0 is a new term that was born about 5 years ago. The term was introduced by Dassault Sysetemes as part of their V6 platform. At the same time, Dassault didn’t put “an equal” sign between V6 and PLM 2.0. The consideration about PLM 2.0 was mostly related as a vision and the next fundamental step in the development of PLM solutions. According to the Dassault’s definition of PLM 2.0, you can find that it combined of 5 elements – 3D, Online, IP, Web 2.0 and Communities.

Do you think PLM 2.0 is taking off? Watch the following video from one of the Dassault conferences 2-3 years ago. I hope you will find it funny. As you can see the familiarity of ordinary people with PLM and specially PLM 2.0 is below average :) .

Web 2.0 roots of PLM 2.0

Thinking about PLM 2.0, you cannot miss the analogy with Web 2.0. The fundamental elements of Web 2.0 are related to the ideas of information sharing and collaborative activities of people on the web. Here is the definition of Web 2.0 according to the Wikipedia article.

The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing,interoperability, user-centered design,[1] and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.

Take a look on the following interesting comparison between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 I found online:

Enterprise 2.0 roots of PLM 2.0

Another association with PLM 2.0 is coming from somewhat called Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0). Enterprise 2.0 term was invented by Andrew McCaffee back in 2006. Here is another definition from Wikipedia:

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of “Web 2.0″ technologies within an organization to enable or streamline business processes while enhancing collaboration – connecting people through the use of social-media tools. Enterprise 2.0 aims to help employees, customers and suppliers collaborate, share, and organize information. Andrew McAfeedescribes Enterprise 2.0 as “the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers”.

Another comparison – now between Enterprise 1.0 and Enterprise 2.0 (picture credit of Enterprise 2.0 conference)

I was reading Jos Voskuil blog yesterday. Jos started a long series of post about PLM 2.0. Navigate to the following link to read the first one: Why PLM 2.0? Jos brings another comparison between PLM 1.0 and PLM 2.0. The analogy between previous definitions and comparisons are clear.

This picture made me think about V6 and PLM 2.0 realization. Actually, I didn’t find many components of PLM 2.0 in previous definitions made by Dassault. V6 is a big leapfrog for DS and delivers a completely different PLM experience. Even so, the question about PLM 2.0 remains open.

What is my conclusion? I think the key word in a failure of PLM 2.0 is openness and availability. On a contrary, think for a moment about Web 2.0 – Blogs, Wikipedia, Flikr, eBay, Twitter… These and many other applications and technologies turned Web 1.0 into what we know as Web 2.0. It allowed many people bring web to a completely new level. I can influence the content published on the web, and many people simultaneously can have an access to this content. What I’d expect from PLM 2.0? I’d say, first, the ability to all people in the organization to have an easy access to product lifecycle data and processes. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, until now. So, we have a new version of PLM. It applies to DS V6 and to other PLM vendors as well. However, I cannot call it PLM 2.0. Just my thought…

Best, Oleg