Social Media and Networking are important. There are vendors in the business world that are paying attention to the importance of “social”. Just think about Salesforce’s Radian6 acquisition earlier this week. I can see how business software vendors are trying to hire “social” terms to improve the business and catch attention and focus on different social features. I read InformationWeek article “ Panorama Applies Social Network to Business Intelligence.” Business intelligence is something that definitely requires improvements. Despite the catchy name, normally BI tools are not getting a significant expose in the company and limited their install base to a very small number of people with special “analytical” skills. So, to bring social into this space can be interesting and, in my view, Panorama is trying to accomplish this goal. Here is my favorite passage from the article:
The core differentiator for Necto is the organization of sets of analytic reports, charts, and graphs into workspaces. Like many other BI software vendors, Panorama has supported the concept of personalized dashboards for years, but the workspaces are part of the Necto social BI user interface, where workspaces are sort of like mini-dashboards that can be shared. When you view workspace , profile pictures of the other people who are connected to that workspace are shown across the top of the screen. You can initiate a conversation with someone about the data by dragging their icon onto the analytics screen and sending them a message, which will include a link to the item you want to share or ask a question about.
Now, how do you think it is related to PLM? Simple… PLM is talking about dashboards for years. Nothing happens. Actually, something indeed happens. For a long time, dashboard was a favorite world of PLM marketing people. In reality, dashboards ended up to become a feature that requires deep customization and tailoring of the system. I can see vendors in PLM world are experimenting with various technological innovation. To have an ability to link people’s profile and information is not a new. However, with an updated flavor of social innovation it can catch more attention. PLM vendors and new companies in this space are flirting with Ms. Social and trying to bring more clicks to their website. Dassault 3DSwYm, PTC social product development, Vuuch and maybe some others are on the run to bring “social” to explain what they do.
What is my conclusion? Do you think we are moving from PLM to PLS(Social)? I think, it is important to differentiate “technology” and “technological buzz”. Social has a power. People like to watch their friends’ pictures on Facebook and thinking about new Color startup supposing to change a way in photo sharing in small communities. Do you think, the same technology will change the way people work with CAD drawing and Bill of Materials? The adoption of social networking (and associated technologies) is defined primarily by “social interests” in photo sharing and people belonging to the social net. User experience is important. That’s why Salesforce’s Chatter very similar to Facebook UI. Technology is secondary here. Just my thoughts…