Will Social PLM Work Only for Execs?

Will Social PLM Work Only for Execs?

Social. New buzz. You can hear it in many places. After the tremendous success of social networking and web, many companies are trying to apply it in different domains. So, PLM does. I’ve been watching the activity of big companies and small startups in the intersection of social and PLM space – Social Product development by PTC, 3DSwYm Social Innovation by Dassault Systems, Vuuch Enterprise Social Software, Nuage Social Business Collaboration – this is only a short list of products and companies chasing PLM social horizons.

Jim Brown, well-known industry analyst and my PLM blogging buddy, raised the question on twitter – Is Social Computing in Product Development Still Growing? You can navigate to the following link to read what is Jim’s opinion about the “social” topic.

Jim is running a survey on social product innovation and product development here. I recommend you to read blog and article written by Jim about social computing in product development. My favorite passage from Jim’s blog post is this:
My (Jim Brown) Belief. I am on the record saying I believe the use of social computing techniques in product development is inevitable. To me, there is an obvious benefit of pairing the “team sports” of innovation and product development with technology that helps teams better share information (within the team, with other experts, and with customers).

However, Jim doesn’t have a crystal ball. So, who has a different opinion? Navigate here to read Mashable article- 45% of Executives Think Social Media Has a Positive Impact on the Workplace. This article is quite interesting in the context of social product development. And here is a reason why. When 45% of execs are confident “social” has a positive impact, only 27% of employees agree. Here is a snippet of Mashable publication:

Executives think social media has a positive impact because it allows managers to be more transparent (38%), helps build and maintain relationships among colleagues (46%), helps build company culture (41%), and fosters a feeling of connection to the company and its leadership (37%)… However, employees disagree with their workplace superiors. Only 33% saying compensation and 24% saying financial performance have effects on company culture. Employees rank regular and candid communications (50%), employee recognition (49%) and access to management and leadership (47%) as having the largest impact.

What is my conclusion? I think vendors need to separate technology from marketing buzz. I can see cases when technologies and social media can create many opportunities for PLM vendors and companies. The examples are communication with customers, big data and others. However, I believe many of these values are not connected directly to all employees, which creates a concern from their side. In addition to that, I can see also how vendors are trying to wrap existing technologies into “social envelope” and hope for good. It is not gonna work. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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