I’m coming to SolidWorks World 2012 this weekend. SWW is always a special event for me. This year, SolidWorks World is very interesting. Last two years were under the mark of ‘something happens’ at SolidWorks. It started as the “cloud announcements” during SWW 2010 and later on, hints on SolidWorks V6 running on top of CATIA platform. Few months ago, we’ve seen the exodus of two executives – SolidWorks founder Jon Hirschitick and VP R&D Austin O’Malley. Taking all these things together and you have a perfect event where everything will be re-evaluated, challenged, validated and tested. I’m looking forward to listen to from new VP R&D – VP R&D, Gian Paolo Bassi. Also, I’d be interested to catch some stories about Netvibes acquired by Dassault just few days ago (don’t miss Netvibes SolidWorks World 2012 dashboard). It sounds like we are going to learn a lot during coming SolidWorks World. Beyond PLM will be in San Diego, and I promise you the best possible coverage of SolidWorks World with spicy PLM flavor :). Now, let me turn down to my traditional list of Top 5 posts from January.
PLM: Mobile-optimized Sites vs. Mobile Apps
PLM vendors followed technological and consumer trends to develop mobile applications. It sounds as a very important strategy these days, which cause huge interest from companies, users, analysts and industry watchers. Taking into account the long development cycle of enterprise applications and speed of adoption in manufacturing domain, I think software companies better have been not only short – term, but some longer-term development strategy that will allow them to jump to the next trend when it comes. For the moment, let’s rock available PLM mobile apps on iTunes app store and Android Market.
Visiting PTC HQ: Social Link, AnyBOM, Mobile and more…
You are probably familiar with statements “beavers do what beavers do”. Don’t expect beavers to build PLM. Beavers build dams. So, PTC is a “beaver type” company. PTC builds Product Lifecycle Software. Don’t expect them to build something else. They will talk to you about CAD, BOM, Parts, Assemblies, Configurations. The biggest question – will PTC shake the industry with Creo – is still not answered, in my view. They are clearly moving towards that goals. However, the speed is important.
Future PLM platforms and SAP / Oracle technological wars
The complexity of enterprise PLM software is skyrocketing. PLM products are running on proven, but outdated platforms. My hunch – all major PLM vendors having some future technology platform projects on their back-burner. I don’t know if it comes as Enovia V7, TeamCenter Future or Creo Enterprise. What is clear to me is that PLM companies need to come with the next technological platforms to leverage last 10 years development of web and consumer space. Otherwise, they will be dismissed by newcomers. ERP vendors such as Oracle and SAP also keep stakes in this enterprise software game and need to be watched carefully by PLM players.
PLM and the evolution of integration
I think, integration will become even more important soon. There are two main reasons for that. 1- companies are looking how to deliver business solutions faster. To create three years integration project is not an option anymore. Information availability for decision making or cross-department optimization becomes a top priority for IT. 2- cloud. Many companies are checking how to deliver hybrid on-premise/cloud solutions. To take data exchange to cloud won’t an option any more. Future data federation will introduce new web technologies to PLM integration space.
Aras Corp: Different PLM and new open office
I found Aras more focused on the competition with major PLM suppliers – TeamCenter, Enovia and Windchill than before. To me, it is good and bad signs at the same time. It is presents the level of maturity of Aras platform and solutions – it is interesting to see how emerging platform like Aras can compete with mature products coming from large top 3 PLM vendors. Even so, I’d like to hear more about Aras community. I found some community examples such as “feature roadmap voting” interesting. However, I haven’t seen any public numbers about how Aras community is growing. Strong community base can become a much stronger competitive factor for Aras than a feature by feature comparison with TeamCenter and other PLM vendors.
For those of my friends and colleagues, who is San-Diego bound, I’m looking forward to seeing you during SWW 2012.