PLM and Social Technologies Dating?

PLM and Social Technologies Dating?

In my view, has been discovered a significant bias towards collaboration and collaborative software. Since last year Salesforce made strong focus on development and acquiring of collaborative technologies. Dimdim and Manymoon are just two latest examples of Salesforce acquisitions. I read the following article on Read Write Web and Facebook Strengthen Ties Through Platform. I found this passage interesting:

Provide Technical design, configuration, development and testing of custom applications, interfaces and reports Model, analyze and develop or extend persistent database structures which are non-intrusive to the base application code and which effectively and efficiently implement business requirements Integrate applications to other facebook external or internal Business Applications and tools Develop UI and ACL tailored to facebook employees and suppliers

What is behind this? The two companies are looking for app developers to write app for business purposes. Salesforce is an enterprise cloud leader. Facebook is a social network king. Both are interested in the opportunities coming out of this dating. Facebook is thinking how to proliferate into the enterprise space. Salesforce has an interest to make their social connections stronger. The last thing made me think about what PLM companies are doing in the social space.

PLM Collaboration and Social Dating

Product Lifecycle Management software vendors are developing so called “collaborative software” for years. In my view, the idea behind this software was good. However, the implementation cost and complexity weren’t appropriate. PLM needs to go outside the firewalls and make some “social dating” in Web 2.0 cafes. This is can be a good experience. I can see some movements in this space. DS 3DSwYm, PTC Social Product Development, Vuuch are examples of these “dating” experiments. The biggest problem of these dating, as I can see, is the try to take social technologies inside of enterprise product suites. The biggest value, in my view, is exactly opposite – to take “product content” out of current PLM databases. Fresh air will make some cleanup. The example of Autodesk Inventor Publisher for mobile is a right one. First make content available. Then magic will happen.

What is my conclusion? I found Facebook and Salesforce tie up interesting. This is a place for PLM vendors to learn, in my view. Try to invent yet another TLA won’t work anymore. Customers are looking for cool stuff similar to websites they are using during the weekend. Facebook may have some advantages here. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • Jens Krueger

    Hello Oleg,
    I’m just reading “The Facebook Era” by Clara Shih. She developed one of the first business applications for Facebook – based on her experience of working for This was initally called FaceForce and connected the contacts with the information from Facebook profile and relationship information.
    Best regards,

  • beyondplm

    Jens, thanks for your comment and link to this book! Best, Oleg

  • Darius Lahoutifard

    I’m convinced, the collaboration frame-work of the future will be more “social” , more “real-time” and more “visual”. Products are more than pictures; they need to be visualized in 3D. “Social” means “people”, and “people” look more real when represented visually by a 3D avatar.
    All the above leads to 3D social immersive spaces for synchronous design review.
    See an example here:

  • This is fun to watch this space explode…. a few short years ago speaking about social networks in engineering was a way to get fired because you were not working hard enough and you had this time to be social! Many social communication concepts apply to engineering and I fully agree that the key is to extend the data inside the enterprise where people can freely consume it as needed given the proper authorization (privacy settings 🙂 ). So I can vision a tweet when a part number I’m following because I make it and it has an engineering change as an example. I can then follow the link in the tweet to the drawing and a quote form. This is the future, I choose information I need to follow and clean up my focus to what I value most and collaborate with people I want to. So as this concept evolves and dating becomes more serious it will be interesting to see what platforms open to a Sharepoint, Facebook or similar platform to leverage the social elements from an enterprise level platform and not invent them all over inside. Exciting times!

    PS – On a side note I’m slowly becoming more of a data bigot……

  • beyondplm

    Altadyn, thanks for comments and sharing of the video. I agree with you about social. Visual is another interesting space. In my view, not everything is going to be a straightforward in this 3D Video collaboration game. I’m not sure replication of “existing” scenarios is a way to success. However, I think, this is a good experiment. What is important is to see a customer’s reaction. Just my thoughts, of course. Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Dave, thanks for your comment! I found your observations very compelling. However, it is hard to follow “part number” or “ECO” when this information is hidden in multiple proprietarily systems. The internet is an excellent space for social networks and systems to innovate, since it is by definition “open”. The situation is different in enterprise and manufacturing organizations. Just my thoughts… Oleg. PS. – nothing wrong to be a “data bigot”.

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