Aras PLM, Microsoft Azure and cloud competition

Aras PLM, Microsoft Azure and cloud competition

BAM…BAM…BAM… My cloud is better than your cloud. Aras PLM made a step into cloud game with a new product called – Aras Spectrum. PLM cloud ecosystem was  boring place until last week. Autodesk PLM 360 was practically playing solo “PLM Cloud” game with some additional voices coming from DS made by SolidWorks n!Fuze and n!Volve. DS products are more extension to existing design environments – CATIA and SolidWorks. So, what happened last week?

Aras Spectrum

Last week, during ACE 2012, Aras presented a new cloud PLM strategy and new product – Aras Spectrum. So, what is behind this name? In a nutshell, Aras is partnering with Microsoft Azure team to deliver Aras Cloud PLM solution to mega-customers with high level of scalability and unique Aras cloud strategy. The main point Aras made is related to the reality of the PLM deployment requiring on-site integration between “multiple-clouds”. You can see this point presented on the following slide:

Aras introduces the three-way strategy to deploy Aras PLM on cloud with some mirroring functions on-premises. They called it 1/cloud mirror; 2/failsafe mirror; 3/dual deployment. You can see slides bellow. However, it is still hard to me to understand the difference between these options. What I understood from short conversation with Aras people, these options represent a different mirroring strategy.

Aras strategy is to leverage massive scale of Microsoft Azure platform to reach significant performance and scalability achievements. It includes the ability of Aras PLM to run across the world – wide network on Microsoft Azure data centers, 50,000+ users load test and more…

Which Cloud Better?

Aras is the first PLM vendors that introduce the question of “which cloud better?” to us. Until now, the main message we’ve heard from cloud providers was about how to eliminate the complexity of deployment and IT by using cloud PLM. That was the main message provided by Autodesk PLM 360 – instant on. The difference introduced by Aras is taking us to the reality of on-site customization, which unavoidable as was stated during Aras cloud presentation.

Another point of potential differentiation is cloud infrastructure. Aras is strategically positioned with Microsoft Azure. Autodesk didn’t provide any information so far about data centers and cloud infrastructure they provided. From a very brief public message provided by Autodesk publicly, PLM 360 is a true cloud application:

Autodesk PLM 360 is a true multi-tenant cloud application. Users and managers will never again have to worry about upgrades and broken customization; the application is always up-to-date and compatible with any customer-specific configuration.

Opposite to that, Aras Spectrum is by definition cloud/on-premises solution with some elements of mirroring. Aras is using additional services provided by 3rd party vendors to support so called “Aras Connected Cloud strategy:

What is my conclusion? Autodesk was a first major PLM broadly available on the cloud. However, cloud cannot be ignored these days. Aras Spectrum just confirmed that. Aras Spectrum is not released yet. I’ve heard Aras is talking about July-August 2012 timeframe (still need to be confirmed). However, it is interesting to see different views on how PLM cloud strategy can be implemented. I think, there are enough space to innovate with the cloud solutions, and I’m looking for more news.

Best, Oleg


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