PLM Perfect Storm 2012

PLM Perfect Storm 2012

I’ve been listening to Marc Halpern‘s presentation Executing PLM Strategy in a Disruptive Business Climate last week during PLM Innovation 2012 Congress in Munich. I found PLM Market Dynamics slide very interesting. However, let me speak about Gartner Magic Quadrants before. Gartner has a long history of Magic Quadrants (MQ) research methodology. For some unknown to me reasons Gartner didn’t publish MQ related to PLM during the last few years. The last one I found takes us back to 2007. What is very interesting is that this MQ doesn’t include any vendors in the quadrants of niche players, visionaries and challengers.

Gartner PLM Magic Quadrant 2007

PLM Market in 2012 is different from Gartner’s MQ circa 2007. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to discuss it with Marc Halpern in Munich. I’m sure will do it soon. So, the slide Marc presented last week in Munich is below.

PLM Market Dynamics 2012

This diagram made me think about a very interesting situation we have today in the PLM market. Here are some of my thoughts.

Big PLM money – is it forever?

Top 3 CAD / PLM vendors are making good money these days. We have seen all financial reports went out during the past few weeks. At the same time, PLM vendors’ reliance on large customers becomes very clear to me. Dassault, Siemens and PTC were focused on the convergence of platforms and unification of portfolios. The examples of these activities are TeamCenter Unified, Dassault V6 and PTC Creo. In my view, all major PLM vendors failed to deliver scalable PLM solution for mid-range manufacturing companies and supply chain. This is a contradiction to the dynamics of manufacturing business these days. Manufacturing becomes more distributed and diverse and we see a larger number of small and lean manufacturing companies replacing large behemoths of the past. These companies are very concerned how to build lean and efficient product development practices. And from the standpoint of software, manufacturing companies are looking for a modern approach to PLM.

Large PLM vendors and Small Manufacturing companies

Despite the promises made by Dassault, Siemens and PTC, they didn’t deliver any PLM product to the market of small manufacturing companies. Dassault SolidWorks failed to deliver a full range of SolidWorks Enovia V6 based products, SolidWorks n!Fuze introduced last year was not very successful. During SoldiWorks World 2012 two weeks ago, SolidWorks was talking about n!Fuze V2 to be delivered later this year. PTC shutdown their Windchill ProductPoint product. Siemens didn’t make any new product delivery in this segment of market for the last 2-3 years.

Autodesk and New PLM

The appearance of the Autodesk in the market of PLM was almost predicted. However, it wasn’t clear what path to PLM Autodesk will take. The development of consumer and web technologies created the situation when PLM on the cloud can be possible. I’m curious to see how Autodesk will keep cloud / on-premises balance in their way towards what I define as final step of cloud strategies. There are lots of challenges Autodesk can face before Autodesk PLM 360 becomes “ of PLM world“. I’m going to attend Autodesk Media Summit later this month in San-Francisco and looking forward to hearing more about it from Carl Bass.

PLM Perfect Storm

You are probably familiar with the definition of “perfect storm“. Reading from wikipedia  “perfect storm” is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically. The term is also used to describe an actual phemonenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude.

Two arrows on Gartner’s picture between Dassault, Siemens, PTC and Autodesk will form a situation of perfect storm. Today, no company claim they have a guarantied recipe of how to success with PLM at that place.

What is my conclusion? It is an interesting time to be in the PLM market these days. As I wrote in my recent blog –SolidWorks community and opportunity for PLM, there is a significant opportunity to deliver PLM solution to the white space market these days. Gartner’s PLM market dynamics slide is highlighting the same opportunity. It is clearly a perfect storm. Large PLM companies have a lot of money to play the future PLM game. They have a lot to win as well as to lose, in case something will go wrong. Who will take the best “stormy seat” in this game? An interesting question to ask. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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