PLM and Mobile Options

I think, mobile becomes more and more important every day. The amount of mobile devices surrounding us is growing. Today’s mobile devices are a powerful unit that can help us to handle many tasks when we are out of our desk. In my view, the decade of 2010s will change a lot in terms of mobile devices, environment, applications. I had chance to read a very summary by Lou Gallo about Mobile Engineering tools. Mobile revolution is going in two main directions – cool devices and services that available for multiple devices. I’m going to explore different options and opportunities, we have in this space.

Mobile Devices
You cannot be mobile without appropriated device. Recent introduction of Apple iPad is a game changer. Until now, mobile screen was a show stopper for many of us. I think it finally changed. I’m expecting new devices to come very soon. The connectivity, touch user interface and screen real estate will move innovation in this space.

Virtual Environments
It sounds like not completely related to “mobile” space. However, I see it an option to create my virtual environment and be connected to this virtual environment from every place. I see multiple directions of virtual environments. One of them is to replicate the overall environment you are running on your desktop to another desktop or mobile device. Another one is to make a granular access to the specific applications. The following video is an interesting demo of how possible to share multiple apps and use them remotely from iPad.

Cloud Applications
Cloud has a significant implication on the mobile option. Since application is not connected to the specific desktop environment, it opens the opportunity to use them everywhere. The simplest one is about sharing of your files and the content. I use the following two apps every day – Evernote and Dropbox. The idea is simple – you can use it every place and every device. Another example is the cloud application you can run on multiple devices. The best example is Google Apps or Microsoft Office apps online. The killer apps, in my view, for the engineering space will be Excel-like application.

PLM applications
I’m trying to figure out the right use cases for a mobile option in PLM. I think, granularity is a key here. In my view, we need to split our big systems into small pieces of services we can use when we need it. And mobility will be one of the drivers behind this process. I see multiple areas where PLM applications can be useful on different mobile devices – viewers, reporting applications, business process agents.

What is my conclusion today? Mobile options are growing. In my view, mobile is not about mobile phone or device. For me, the key point of a mobile option is about “deviceless”. We need to disconnect our applications from the particular devices and make it ubiquitous. The key problem I see with most of PLM modern PLM software is that granular access to the specific action actions and tasks is not always possible. We need to re-think our PLM apps in this dimension.

I’m looking forward to you sharing your mobile options and examples of PLM and engineering applications.
Best, Oleg



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