The world around us is changing much faster these days. It happens in many places. Business environment are much more dynamic. New technologies are disrupting existing industries and eco-systems. PLM systems were developed to help companies to manage and follow product development processes in the companies and extended eco-system. As businesses are going through the changes, we can see a need to change the way product development processes are organized. The question I want to ask is how it will impact and change PDM/PLM development.
Originally, PDM/PLM systems were build to bring an order in a chaotic world of technical and engineering data. You probably remember the early acronyms used for these purposes – EDM/TDM. For many years, the fundamental proposition of PDM/PLM systems was to organize a centralized data storage and to define rules to store and manage data. It certainly helps in many sense to companies to move from chaos to order. However, with all modern changes in business ecosystem, it gets harder to get to the final state of the PDM/PLM implementations. These implementations are unsustainable in front of frequency of changes.
I’ve been listening to Jon Hirschtick earlier this week at COFES 2013. Jon was talking about changes in the culture of programming tools. Programming and product development methods and technologies are going through lots of changes these days.
One of the analogies Jon made resonated. Jazz product development model. I found it funny and true at the same time. To go from from closed world of controlled development systems to open source and with community of developers replacing manuals. This is a very interesting change – community and development eco system can provide much high level of agility.
It made me think about different approaches in development of PDM/PLM systems. What is the potential to use agile product development methods, open source eco-system and the power of communities.
What is my conclusion? The changes are coming. Internet and open source helped to develop a different eco system. This system is completely different from what we know many years in PDM and PLM. I’m curious if and how the new model will influence the development of enterprise software. I think vendors need to take a note. Openness, flexibility and agile methods are trending. These are important and irreversible trends, in my view. Some companies will lose the connection with the reality and disappear. However, the smart ones will evolve. These are just my thoughts. What is your take? Speak up…
I want to continue the theme of disruption started in my post last week. I can see two major forces that will disrupt traditional PLM approach nowadays - cloud and open source. Both have some strong position points and some weaknesses. I put some of my thoughts about cloud and open source disruption last year – PLM cloud and open source disruptive trajectories. I want to get back to this topic. I was reading TechCrunch article- Oracle Is Bleeding At The Hands Of Database Rivals. Read the article. It clearly influenced by recent Oracle financial results announcement. Nevertheless, I found some facts and opinions there very important and interesting. Here is my favorite passage:
Until this past week, the extent of Oracle’s problems were not known. But there is a cut, a slight bleeding that’s now visible. But how deep is the cut? How much is Oracle really bleeding? That’s exactly the question analysts asked in a Reuters story after the earnings results: “Data base revenue, which has been the cash machine of the company, has changed. There are now alternative databases, as well as the cloud,” said Mark Moerdler, an analyst at Bernstein Research. “That pressure is still a tiny bleed, but it is out there and the question is – is it bigger than we think it is?”
Another interesting case built around solutions and databases built on top of open source. One of them mentioned in the article is Datastax – outfit providing solutions based on open source database Casandra. Here is the quote:
Oracle reported this week that new software licenses are down two percent. And that decline is in part reflected by the adoption of NoSQL databases offered by Datastax and a variety of other services that use in-memory technology at the database layer. The reason for the drop has more to do with the enterprise acceptance of online applications more than anything else, said Datatastax CEO Billy Bosworth in an interview last week. That’s the truth. NEA Ventures Scott Sandell said to me at SXSW that CIOs are convinced to move their workloads but cloud security is still an issue. That’s where companies like Datastax enter the picture. Datastax is built on Cassandra, a high performance Apache open-source database technology with security at its core.
TechCrunch’s article made me think about influence of open source and cloud solutions in PLM market and the potential to provide solution alternatives to customers looking how to get a different PLM implementations. I can see many customers are moving to the cloud. A particular segment of customers might be interesting to find an alternative, but still struggle with the justification of their security procedures can be changed to adopt open source solutions that can provide them alternative licensing models and optimized cost. However, the most interesting is a combination of both approaches. Even if open source and cloud might sounds as orthogonal approach, business combination can be interesting.
What is my conclusion? It is an interesting time in enterprise and PLM market specifically these days. Changes are coming from all directions. Technological disruption and new business models are coming across interests of customers to find alternatives to existing PLM solutions. The primary focus of customers is flexible solution, fast ROI and reliable solution framework for the future. The coopetition of cloud and open source can play an interesting role and become a game changing factor. Just my thoughts…
I’m sure you are familiar with the term DIY (do it yourself). While the term is not PLM specific, I’m often using it when explaining the way many manufacturing companies are approaching PLM implementations. Because of high cost and complexity of large integrated PLM suites, companies are deciding to make “homegrown” development by using variety of tech infrastructure. For the last 5-7 years, SharePoint was adopted by many companies as core element of infrastructure. In parallel, Microsoft Office and, specifically, Excel and MS Outlook/Exchange are by fact the most popular elements in building homegrown PDM/PLM solutions.
The last decade of web software development, open source and mobile apps brought significant amount of new tools and technologies. As a result, it open new horizons and opportunity to develop new tools that can be much cheaper and efficient for DIY biz apps compared to outdated Lotus databases and complicated and costly SharePoint deployments. Recently, I found two examples of applications that can be potentially used to develop business and product data management applications.
One example is so called STOIC platform. You can navigate to the following link to learn more. It realized the idea of simply tables combined with different data presentation and arrangement. The following video shows a short demo. The platform is not released yet. However, what was impressive in the video is ease of use and speed of application creation. It is far from being ready, but it shows the potential and direction.
Another example is application called mysimplegrid developed by startup mydatalynx. The idea of mysimplegrid is to provide a flexible and fast way to develop data models that can be transformed into grid-based applications. Learn more about what this app can do here. In a nutshell, it allows you to create a data model, fill it with data, play with data and collaborate it in a way of a table with other people. The following video shows you how it works. The app is available in beta stage now.
What is my conclusion? The cost of web developed is a fraction of what it was a decade ago. As a result of this we are going to see much more examples of product and technologies available to manufacturing companies to manage data. They will have a potential to disrupt SharePoint and Lotus Notes empire as well as provide a reliable tool to companies to build applications. While they are not mature enough to be used for large deployment, I can see see them growing fast. What is also important, the cost of this apps will be probably a fraction of today’s enterprise solutions. Enterprise software and PLM vendors should take a note. Just my thoughts…
Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net