SharePoint 2010 Communities and PLM Social Demands

Picture 14PLM is moving fast towards social computing and social product development. I had chance to share some of my previous thoughts related to social features in PLM  few weeks ago and we had a very good conversation. If you haven’t had chance to be involved, I’d suggest you to take a very brief look on the following posts as well as comments to these posts.

Emerging Social Economies and PLM communities

Social PLM Challenges

PLM Goes Social – Don’t forget your daily job!

Looking back I definitely would like to mention few very visible activities related to PLM and Social Trend: DS announcement of collaboration with Community Platform BlueKiwi, PTC social product development. Don’t miss also small vendors such as Vuuch stepping into this space with Social PLM and Business Communities.

Now, Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is coming with some very strong messages related to communities too. As you can see on the  slides, Microsoft put Community as one of the key pillars in their new SharePoint 2010 marketing mantra. With four key areas of experience- social content, social networking, teamwork and groups, SharePoint provide wide spread of potential benefits.

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What is behind this? Actually quite many things. Microsoft is taking huge bulk of stuff, some of them are old in SharePoint such as Sites and Workspaces. Some of the features got a face – lift such as blogs, wikis, podcasting tools. Several new features and some of them very impressive released around people-related searches, tagging and social networking. You can see Microsoft’s marketing slide below. What is clear is that SharePoint 2010 is introducing a very significant bundle of tools that will make new SharePoint reminding even more than before “A universal enterprise hammer”.

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However, I think, the biggest advantage of SharePoint as a platform is the ability to combine in the single box these multiple capabilities that in the normal situation need to be purchased from the different vendors and combined together.

So, with such background, SharePoint 2010 Social Computing presentation severely hit my mind with SP capabilities around social tools. It’s clear Product Development Activities can be significantly improved by using technologies and techniques developed by social networking tools. Software vendors developing products for manufacturing intensively investing in such features and concepts as communities, voting, the crowd-sourcing, tagging, micro-blogging, wikis and others. So, introducing of such features on popular Microsoft’s platform can be an interesting turn for Product Date/Lifecycle tools to jump over new capabilities. However, on the other side, I see SharePoint 2010 platform capabilities in business collaboration, information and knowledge management as very broad and requiring a very significant additional investment from future customers.

What is my conclusion today? SharePoint 2010 is a new kind of platform enterprises are going to experience in the near future. To see, how these technologies can co-exist without significant overlaps – this is a key for future PLM and SharePoint success. So far, we can wait until SharePoint 2010 BETA next month and expect some interesting new features and implementations.

Best, Oleg


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