Why PLM Should Care of SharePoint?

Why PLM Should Care of SharePoint?

Business professionals around the world are using SharePoint to organize information and streamline the business processes. I talked with many people about SharePoint for the last years. The conclusion across the board – SharePoint is a technology that requires lots of IT and services involvement. SharePoint Dev Wiki shared an interesting article last month: SharePoint Development Orientation – Why Should We Care? by Lou Estrada. The following passage caught my attention:

SharePoint serves as an 80% solution for 100% of the organization. It provides value for everybody. It cannot solve all business problems, but it is not pigeon-holed to any one in particular, either. Chances are, more people will use SharePoint to help solve more problems than any custom application you have written. I have never written an application that had such potential.

SharePoint – an Advanced Development Platform

What I learned for all these years of dealing with multiple SharePoint usage examples is that SharePoint became a great platform for development of solutions of any kind. Similar to last 20 years of Microsoft Windows, you have an army of SharePoint developers who are interested to develop point solutions to solve business problems in any organization. Here is another quote from the same blog:

Furthermore, SharePoint is a springboard for professional solutions. Developers start with the 80% solution (or 5% or 95%) and simply close the gap. This is much more cost effective than developing or purchasing completely custom solutions. Businesses are likely to catch on simply because their custom development dollars can go much further. Developers start with all the features and infrastructure SharePoint has to offer. We get a head start with out-of-the-box (OOTB) features like easy integration with data and assets stored in SharePoint, easy integration with other solutions in the environment, a built-in API to access even custom data and functionality, built-in authentication and authorization, and much more.

Why PLM people should care?

When it comes to Product lifecyce management in manufacturing companies, organization of information and processes are two top critical questions. Let’s bring few more facts. A significant portion of cPDM business is delivered by service organization. According to analytical companies in this space, the number is about 50%. Another fact – because of complexity of usage, the majority of PLM implementations have problems to be delivered downstream. I believe, already today, organizations have complicated choice between proprietary PLM platforms and less-proprietary SharePoint as a platform to develop business solutions for product development . The question PLM people need to ask is what solution will be preferred by developers in manufacturing IT to deliver next business process feature?

What is my conclusion? I think, SharePoint can provide a good competition to many PLM platforms to deliver business solutions for product development in manufacturing organizations. When it will come to IT, the decision towards lower TCO can be a killer feature to define future of proprietary PLM platforms. Just my opinion. What is your take?

Best, Oleg


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