PLM In The Azure Box?

My new website and blog is BeyondPLM. The original post is here.

If you listened to the news stream from Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference last week, you probably had a chance to get some information about future Microsoft Cloud Strategy.My attention was caught by the following announcement related to Microsoft Azure Appliance.

Microsoft has announced that it will sell Azure appliances to its considerably larger customers. A select few technology giants, along with online shopping portal eBay, have bought Microsoft-specified, pre-configured “cloud-in-a-box” appliances designed to let them run Microsoft’s Platform as a Service (PaaS)offering from their own premises.

If you are not familiar with what is Microsoft Azure, take a look on the following video.

The announcement about Azure Appliance seems to me interesting. The Microsoft’s strategy reminded me some old PDM slogans: In-A-Box. I think, future Azure Appliance can become a silver bullet for today’s PLM vendors looking how to make a complex PLM platform delivery to their big OEM customers. I can see the following key advantages of this solution for customers, PLM vendors and Microsoft:

1. It solves the problem of cloud services, security and privacy.

2. It provides complete platform delivery and cut cost and complexity of installation and configuration.

3. It presents interests of Microsoft and major PLM players to make their enterprise level deliveries.

What is the reaction of PLM vendors? One announcement from Siemens PLM already came from Microsoft WPC. It would be very interesting to see on the reaction of other PLM players as well as a customer’s reaction.

Where is my conclusion? Microsoft Azure Appliance was probably a missing link in the overall Microsoft Cloud Strategies. It will allow to enterprise software providers catch up on cloud world and stay in the comfort zone of Microsoft’s infrastructure. So, life is good? Almost… Large enterprise OEMs have a tendency to make a significant customization and adjustments to PLM solutions. How all these things will be delivered in the Azure-box? A good question…

Best, Oleg


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  • Thanks for the post. I think PLM & Azure-box is a very required topic which will drive the PLM deployment future. I think PLM solution which are based on Web technologies will be migrating more quickly to cloud infrastructure than client/server/mixed approach.
    The important question still not answered clearly is the data security/ownership over cloud & I think that will be major concern.
    I think PLM vendors will react to it positively, but key concern is how the BIG PLM using enterprise will react to this change as the business decision. PLM users will not get impacted with this changeover.
    I think PLM has partially accepted the use of virtualization in terms of deployment & not its time to consider the cloud, but yes I think cloud & virtualization will go hand-in-hand for PLM deployment.
    Just my thoughts! … Chandrajit

  • Chandrajit. I agree. Azure-box has a potential. In my view, VMWare and Azure-box are following the same market space – operation system for corporate clouds. Today VMWare is capturing this market using their virtualization strategies. And this is a place where corporations will need to make their decisions about how they want their PLM systems to be deployed. Thanks, Oleg