SaaS and Open Source: PLM Future Rides

Recent announcements about new company PLM+ stroke me to think again about these two interesting trends – On Demand (or SaaS if you will) and Open Source Software (OSS). In one of my previous posts, I talked about promising future trends for PLM. In my view, both (On Demand and OSS) are there.

On Demand
On the positive side of this model, I can figure out the following: no releases and upgrade milestones (at least an option to do so), no need for IT/Servers, completely web oriented, available everywhere, potentially much more mobile friendly. On the negative side of this model bold are security concerns, integration with organizational enterprise systems zoo and potential performance. The long future of on demand looks to me much brighter in comparison to today’s reality. Ability to deliver focused application using this model will be a key to success. Full blown PLM deployment with tight enterprise system integrations seems like not an option for 2010. PLM On Demand option was discovered by Arena and Agile (in the past). Both didn’t make it big enough yet to become mainstream option.

Open Source Software
OSS is a very interesting option for PLM. Huge customization and flexibility potential, services and partners involvement, business model benefits – all these factors are bold advantages for PLM. However, it is not clear if PLM community is big and mature enough to generate enough service business for PLM vendors today.

So, what is my conclusion today? On Demand option looks like favorable to those customers who are interested to get predefined functionality out-of-the-box. Do you think such set of functionality can be defined today similar to what happened to CRM? This is not clear. I want to quote Jos Voskuil blog saying “ERP systems came on the market 15 years before PLM, how many ERP on demand solutions do exist“. OSS is a very interesting opportunity to generate service money for PLM community. However, customer volume is the requirement to make this option viable.

I’m looking with great interest for both Arena and Aras experiments with On Demand and OSS. In my view, the potential change in this space can come either by newcomers with a new and interesting solution as well as by existing big vendors stepping into this space.

Just my thoughts. YMMV.

Best, Oleg.


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