PLM Competition and “MEH”?

I’ve been reading SolidSmack postJim Heppelmann. Dassault Arrogant Competition. Siemens Invisible. This post made me think more about competition.  Competition is very important and this is a part of any healthy industry. So, I want to suggest a short discussion about PLM competition and modern competitive strategies. The way companies behave, can show what are their motto, believes, technological position.

Blue Ocean Strategies
If you haven’t had chance to read this book, I highly recommend you to do so. In my view, it can be considered as a modern “bible of competition”. You can find lots of interesting examples from the past and present about how companies managed their competitive strategies. The blue ocean metaphor explains the world of competition-less, where companies are focused on untapped market places, new opportunity for growths and compare it with the dominant competition strategy (red-ocean) of finding ways to cut costs and growth by taking a market share from competition.

MEH and Competition
Relax, ‘MEH’ is not a new PLM  TLA (three letter acronym) for a new super technology that will outperform all other competitors. Take a look in urban dictionary definition of “meh”. It states for “Indifference; to be used when one simply does not care.” It seems to me, MEH is going to be a new way to compete in the world when software will be available for PULL and vendors will stop PUSHING it to potential customers. I want to credit Steven Arnold KMWorld article about Google and their MEH strategy in mobile phone space. Time will show if Android will be able to outperform iPhone and RIM. This is an interesting perspective, though.

PLM Competition
PLM and associated space of CAD, CAM, CAE is not simple from a competition standpoint. In my view, the most problematic aspects of PLM-related competition are customer’s lock-in on software, sotware versions, data formats. Cost of change (or switch to a competitor’s solution) is another thing that plays as a competitive factor. On the other side, customers are starting to be tired of such competition and looking for alternatives to get the job done.

What is my short conclusion today? I think, PLM market is too focused on competition and less focused on customers. To be able to listen to customers is probably the first tool to win a competition game. PLM competition needs to learn from how to win over customers and not over competitors. This is not a simple shift. However, this is one that needs to be done to make PLM associated industry stronger.

Just my thoughts..
Best, Oleg



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