PDM/PLM and Future Competition

PDM/PLM and Future Competition

Google-Moto deal created a lot of fuss and speculation. At the same time, it created an example of cross-domain innovation, which in my view, worth being analyzed. I’ve been reading Forrester blog earlier today – What Signal Does The Google-Motorola Marriage Send To Product Strategists? Thinking about PLM future, I found the following strategic guidance important:

1. Forget what you know about traditional competitors. If you think you have a rock-solid understanding of your biggestcompetitive threats — think again. You’re probably wrong.

2. Learn as much as you can about adjacent innovations. Look around the fringe of your organization and yourindustry. There are likely to be several pockets of adjacent innovations all around you. If you can’t see them, you’re not looking hard enough. In fact, the next big disruption in your industry will be the result of the unexpectedconvergence and application of those adjacencies.

3. Learn how to control the chaos of idea overload. If you calibrate your R&D spend to stay within your traditionalindustry guardrails, you will fail to see the big adjacent opportunities that may be staring you in the face from theoutside. To be clear, this doesn’t mean to spend more on product development. It means to spend differently, in otherwise unexpected ways.

PDM/PLM eco-system today dominated by a small number of giant providers associated with either large CAD vendors – Dassault, Siemens PLM, PTC and large ERP vendors – SAP and Oracle. The number of smaller companies in this space decreased significantly for the last few years as a result of acquisitions and retirements. I decided to put some of my thoughts related to the potential future of PDM / PLM product, technologies and market space.

Innovation and Consumer IT technologies

I think, manufacturing companies these days are facing a very interesting and even maybe a unique situation. I want to name two most important trends – globalization and cross-organizational optimization. Product cost is the issue on the table, in my view.  Because of the current economic situations, companies are not ready to follow the solution path they used before. At the same time, in order to have an ability to decrease product cost, companies are looking how to introduce new solutions, which will be different from what companies have been doing last 10 years. It requires the next level of IT development. Today’s systems are squeezed to the highest level of their potential.  Existing PLM software is too expensive and relies on the technologies developed 15-20 years ago. Consumer and web technologies is a potential place where future innovation can come from.

During the last 10 year, the enterprise IT was very busy working on existing software assets and implementations. After Y2K, the enterprise PDM and PLM space wasn’t a place where people focused their innovative ideas. However, last 10 years accumulated huge amount of technologies coming from the web and consumer web space. Web 2.0, online games, social networks, photo-sharing services, e-commerce. This is only a short list of places where real innovation happened. Open source and technological platforms are coming from this place. Manufacturing companies and stagnated enterprise data management deals can be a place to apply these technologies. Focus on how to decrease the cost of change and low TCO can create a future shift in this industry.

What is my conclusion? I think, there is a significant pain in today’s PDM / PLM market status quo. We can see some movements made by existing players on the market. However, in most of the cases, they just put a “lipstick on a pig”. To change existing platforms and business models is very costly and painful. Not every business can afford to do so. Especially when you have lots of existing customers and revenues. As it usually happens, outside players can get in and disrupt the space. Do you think it will be possible? I want to know your opinion. Speak your mind.

Best, Oleg

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Share This Post