Gartner, PLM Social Networking and Technological Enablers

Gartner, PLM Social Networking and Technological Enablers

I want to talk about a social-networking topic again. I was reading Gartner Top Vertical Industry Prediction for 2012 and Beyond. Spend some time reading the short summary provided by Gartner. Navigate here if you want to get a full report. Gartner emphasized significantly the value of social networking. Read this passage:

Cloud computing and social media will continue to provide industries with new avenues for effective customer communication and engagement, facilitating increased revenue and sustainable interaction with key customers…

One of the predictions related to “social networking” and PLM caught my attention.

By 2014, the five largest PLM software providers will make social networking an integral part of their solution.

So, who are these companies? In my view, top 5 are Dassault Systems, Oracle, PTC, SAP, and Siemens PLM. The question is if we need to include Autodesk in this list. After the announcement about Nexus 360 – a new cloud based PLM, we probably need to counter Autodesk at least in the list of pretenders.

PLM vendors and Social Networking platform

The companies I mentioned above already spent significant efforts in implementation social networking and social platforms. Dassault Systems development 3DSwYm platform. I wrote about it multiple times. You can start here. Oracle presented few research and development projects in this space as well. The one I noted was Oracle Web Center. PTC made significant effort to develop social platform development capabilities called Windchill Social Link. During my last visit to PTC, I had a chance to speak recently with David Blair, VP of social product development. Navigate here to read more. SAP development product called SAP StreamWork. I probably less familiar with what Siemens PLM is doing. However, TeamCenter Community product is clearly focused on some sort of social networking and collaboration. You can read more here – Siemens augment social product development.

Social Platforms and Technological Enablers

I found a question of what technology PLM vendors are using to implement social networking and social collaboration quite fascinating. From user perspective the functionality provided in these platforms can be considered as very similar. Some of the vendors – Dassault, SAP, Oracle development their own platforms. PTC and Siemens PLM are relying on Microsoft SharePoint as a technological platform. In that context, I’ve read the following interesting article – 5 myths about SharePoint as a Enterprise Social Platform. Have a read and make your conclusion. The following passage was one of my favorites:

When SharePoint 2010 arrived in the marketplace, the platform included new social capabilities to improve productivity and collaboration. However, as the consumer social web exploded, it became clear that the 2010 platform only provided the basic building blocks of social computing.

What is my conclusion? A little more than two years ago, I asked a question – How many social platforms we need for enterprise? In my view, this question is still valid. The run of all PLM vendors towards developing social platforms will re-create one of the existing problem in enterprise software – silos and fragmentation. I’d expect customers to ask questions about what platform to use in case more than one vendor involved and how to integrate social platform capabilities coming from multiple providers. So, what do we have – an old problem with a new face?. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image credit Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot /


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