PLM 2.0: Technology or Facelift?

Since last year, I have seen many discussions on the Web about PLM 2.0. The number of posts is growing…

I searched on the PLM side, starting from the initial Dassault Systems announcements last year: Dassault Systems: PLM 2.0 Online for all based on V6 Platform. This topic was continued by multiple blogs and news articles PLM 2.0 – lifelike experience. In addition, I found a section in a Wikipedia article about PLM 2.0. Wikipedia outlines PLM 2.0 as Web-based SaaS applications focusing on collaboration, social networking and easy created business processes. At the same time, lifelike experience (i.e. handling of CAD-based models in virtual reality using game controllers like Wii) wasn’t mentioned. A few months ago, PTC came out with a SharePoint based on Windchill ProductPoint, enabling social product development. This is based on the usage of SharePoint User Interface and the ability to share CAD data in social networks. Actually, I didn’t find a consolidated view about how PLM 2.0 is defined.

On the Web side, analyzing Web 2.0, in a nutshell, I can summarize a technological short list of Web 2.0 as following:

RSS Feeds for data syndication allows the manipulation data coming from different sources (i.e. web services etc.)

Web Services for interoperability and APIs

Rich User Experience also, maybe, known as Rich Internet Applications

Folksonomies – the ability to make data classification based on a user’s definitions of tags, social indexes etc.

Mashups – technology that allows you to mix data delivered by multiple sources (i.e. web services, websites…)

Blogs – user generated content that can be easy created, shared and used for collaboration purposes.  

So, where is PLM 2.0 going? Is it new technology that will create a revolution in product development or facelift existing PLM by reusing of Web 2.0 technologies? Or maybe this is just an “Everything 2.0” marketing buzz?

Comparing the above Web 2.0 technological with the announced capabilities of PLM products has not shown me any similarities. Lifelike experience and the ability of DS V6 to run everything on top of an application server backed up with RDBMS allows me to think that RSS and Web Services can be enabled to deliver data to relevant social communities. But, at the same time, PLM content continues to be complex and not easy to Mashup. Therefore, I see that there’s a long way to go for PLM in order to solve these problems and crash the barriers among today’s PLM people and the larger communities of manufacturers, supply chain users and consumers. 


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