How To Redefine Collaboration in PLM?

Collaboration is the world that massively used by CAD/PDM/PLM and other non-TLA oriented companies in product development, engineering and manufacturing community. For the last 10-15 years, we had chance to see many successful and un-successful examples. Do you think everything is going well in this space? Should we put “collaboration” on fire in product organization?

Enterprise IT on Fire
Collaboration is heavy dependent on IT organization. I had chance to see Geoffrey Moore presentation during Google’s Atmosphere 2010 event. One of the very interesting points he made was about Enterprise IT on fire.

From his standpoint, for the last 10 years, IT was very busy with consumer’s technologies. In 2010s, IT is going to be very busy with enterprise technologies. So, by redefining what we can get from IT to have better collaboration, we can significantly improve everything. My short list to the IT organization is following:

1. Online access to everything
2. Unified communication
3. Multiple devices

Unified Collaboration

The worst thing we have today is disparate collaborative channels. We need to find a way to end up with this mess. This is the next step after unification of communication channels. Today we started to understand how positive could be to unify email, phone, cell phone, video, etc. After that, to unify multiple collaborative and social channels. Few examples in this space I had chance to see recently. Gist– company that thinks about how to unify all emails, contacts, social networks into one single stream. Huddle – company focuses on how to connect, share and work better together.

Contextual Collaboration
I had chance to write about PLM moving from content to context few days ago. I think, now is a perfect time to say – Context Is King! To make collaboration contextual, we need to think how to focus communication on the specific product data (i.e. CAD, Bill of Materials, etc.). By putting collaboration in the context of the specific data, we can improve people’s performance and decision making process. There are few interesting technologies and initiatives I can see in this space.

In this context, there are few very productive ideas in the Dassault 3D Live. One of the features is the ability to have a contextual connection between various participants during the design and review time.

Also, I like very much experiments Vuuch is doing in this space.

What is my conclusion today? The time is coming to change the way we collaborate. Consumer software and social networks will play a significant role in this process. The key question is how to make is seamless and contextual. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg



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