iPad and Enterprise PLM

iPad sales are skyrocketing. I read “Global CIO: Top 10 Reasons Steve Jobs & Apple Are The Future Of IT”. Take a look and make your opinion. My first impression was – CIO readers are those who potentially can face the end of their carrier if future Apple’s movement into enterprise organization will be so successful. A very interesting quote, in my view:

“The iPad, very surprisingly in the first quarter, during the first 90 days we already have 50% of the Fortune [100] that are deploying or testing the iPad. This is incredible” (emphasis added). Yes indeed—that is incredible,—particularly for a company that doesn’t actively court corporate business. So folks—don’t get caught way behind the trend!

The Global CIO article made me think about how enterprise PLM can solve some of their fundamental problems by leveraging iPad trends in the enterprise. Among the list of the most important enterprise PLM challenges is to make PLM systems to be available for the broad range of the users in the enterprise. PLM generally failed to achieve that because of PLM system complexity and PLM price point. Users voted to corporate emails, Microsoft Excels and lately Microsoft SharePoint to help them to deliver PLM IP to the end users beyond an engineering department. Here are my 3 points why I think iPad may help enterprise PLM to achieve their original goals.

Coolness Factor
iPad can definitely unlock “coolness factor” and help PLM to deliver their message to end users. Business management, mobile users, manufacturing shop floor – this is my short list for the first users to adopt future iPad PLM apps. Some application restructuring is required, indeed.

PLM continuously criticized for their complexity and lack of usability. Following some Apple standard may help PLM to clean their application misbehavior in this space. Everything PLM vendors need to do is just following Apple development standards. Sounds crazy, isn’t it?

Pricing Strategies
The price becomes an issue. When complexity is kicked out, the issue of commodity can become an issue. The PLM differentiation strategies will stop work to protect PLM vendors in their high-margin software model.

What is my conclusion? I can see iPad can be bootlegged into enterprise organizations much sooner and faster than we can expect. If history repeats again, it can be done in the same way PC does it in the beginning of 1980s. Is it a potential danger for existing software outfit and specifically enterprise PLM? Certainly not. Their core business is protected by data locking strategies. However, it can finally lock down their potential growth if organizations will move fast into iPad infusion rally. Time to think fast, in my view. Watching TeamCenter iPad video, I can say some of the PLM companies recognized this potential. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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