What “social features” PLM can steal from SharePoint?

What “social features” PLM can steal from SharePoint?


Collaboration is still one of the hot topics in PLM space. I was watching PLM TV report about Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE Platform from Engineering.com. A bit long (my taste) video provides a comprehensive overview of what Dassault’s key execs are saying about 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the last Dassault conference. Lots of them are related to complexity of data, connecting information sources, provide better user experience especially for top tier mangers. However, “social” remained the key word in many of conversations connected to the value of 3DExperience as a “new way to collaborate”. Social was one of the key points of new DS platform innovation. This is how engineering.com captured that:

Verdi asks about the platform and architecture and also how the changes will impact product development teams. He delves into how Dassault envisions that teams will use the social and collaborative tools as part of their engineering processes.

However, very often, it is not simple to see what specific “social” features can enable a new way to collaborate. As I mentioned in my previous blog – Why Social PLM 1.0 failed, a single social utility is what most of vendors missed in their plans to deliver a new way to collaborate socially. An interesting article caught my attention few days ago – 3 Cool Things about SharePoint in Office 365 Enterprise. One of features was specifically “social oriented”. It was about simple and well-known tagging – hashtags (#) and at tags (@). I captured the following passage:

Bring social inside the walls of your organization with SharePoint’s social features. With SharePoint 2010, you could follow sites and tag colleagues. In the 2013 flavor, you can have a newsfeed where you can use social features like hashtags (#) and at tags (@) to track ideas and topics and mention people in your posts. In a news feed for a particular team, you might put hashtags on customer names, industry publication names, or create a tag for a particular issue. Then someone can just click the active tag to see all posts relative to that topic.

SharePoint cool features made me think again about “single utility” that can provide some practical sense to a new way to collaborate presented by PLM companies. Tagging feature can be quite powerful. If I combine it with the ides of data complexity, multiple data sources and user experience, we can get a complete new way to collaborate.

What is my conclusion? Social is a very powerful topic. However, most of enterprise companies lost the focus to provide a specific meaning to social features by applying the same principles companies like Facebook and Twitter empowered their own solutions. In the context of engineering, manufacturing and, probably, any enterprise organization, Facebook-like functionality is clearly not enough to change some fundamental collaboration principles. I think, SharePoint folks understood it quite well after all ups and downs SharePoint had in the past. Therefore, I can see the value of some specific features in the overall social collaboration domain. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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