One of the products I had a chance to review more closely earlier this week was PTC Social Link. I had a chance to post about social technologies before. Navigate your browser to the following links to read my earlier blog articles. Social PLM, Collaboration and Structured Discussion; PLM and Social Technologies Dating? Social Enterprise Discussion and Next Collaboration Buzz.
The following video provides a quick round trip for what PTC Social Link can do. Watch it and make your conclusion. I found it educational. According to the information PTC provided earlier this week, they are using Social Link internally to improve product development processes.
I found “an activity” concept interesting. Watch the following screen shot. As an engineer or a person in the organization you are interesting about what activities are running around a particular CAD model, drawing or similar piece of data. Social link gives you a summary view of activities placed alongside to this data.
Social Link, Technology and Web Parts
PTC is using SharePoint to implement Social Link. I can see some advantages in taking a leverage of Microsoft technological stack. SharePoint provides a good platform and Social Link leverage existing user experience, infrastructure and customization capabilities. To give you a glimpse of what is possible, navigate to the following link and read SharePoint 2007 Automatically updated web parts post. Web Parts is one of the fundamental elements of SharePoint technologies and Social Link uses it as well. However, if you don’t have in your team people familiar with SharePoint, this advantage can become a problem. It is your choice, of course.
What is my conclusion? PTC is thinking about social technologies. Social Link follows social hype, and you can find similarities with products like Salesforce.com Chatter, SAP StreamWork, Vuuch and some others. The question I’m asking myself is what should be the preference of users in a company if they will have a choice between SAP, PTC and other “social technology” applications. My intuitive hunch is that integration with product content (i.e. CAD files, BOM, etc.) can be important. Just my thoughts.