PLM and Apple Watch: uncharted territory?

PLM and Apple Watch: uncharted territory?


It looks like CAD industry was too busy with Onshape for the last two days and forgot about Apple Watch event that actually happened almost at the same day and time. It took me some time to get up to speed with all publications about Apple Watch. Full disclosure – I didn’t buy Apple Watch yet. However, I’m using Android Watch for the last six months, which gave me some additional sense about wearable device use cases .

There are so many publications about Apple watch these days, so it is hard to pickup one. However, the following TechCrunch article caught my special attention – Salesforce First Enterprise App To Jump On Apple Watch Bandwagon. Salesforce is enterprise application and platform. It has some connection to the same eco-system of customers CAD/PLM companies are focusing on. Here is an interesting passage:

Salesforce wanted to be a part of the wearables revolution and even launched a Wearables SDK last June. Today they released three products designed specifically to work on the Watch. First of all, there is the previously mentioned Salesforce Wave for Apple Watch. This provides an at-a-glance view of important information you want to be notified about. He acknowledges that this is not about detailed analysis, but getting key data when it matters. If you want more, you are going to go to your phone or tablet on the road (or your computer in the office). The second piece is Salesforce1 for Apple Watch which provides quick access to the entire range of Salesforce information including sales, service, marketing and employee community. For instance, a sales manager might get an alert when a discount is required on deal and a marketer might get an alert when a campaign reaches its pipeline goal.

The second group of application made me think about some use cases for product lifecycle management applications, which is consistent with what I experienced with my Android watch for the last six months. I call it “short session”. It is an interaction with the device which long usually very short time. Let’s call it less than 2 minutes. How I came to that 2 min threshold? Actually, this is an outcome of my experience with GTD two minutes rule. If you have a task which takes less than 2 minutes to accomplish, you better do it now. Taking action to accomplish this task later will be not cost effective and will take more time.

Here is the thing. I can see some PLM related tasks that really have a very short time span. Few examples – ECO alert, document approval, task notification. To have quick action delivered to your watch can be an interesting opportunity PLM developers can discuss with their customers.

What is my conclusion? I think we are getting into uncharted territory again. Almost 5 years ago, I asked the question – Who can generate 3D/PLM content for Apple iPad? It raised many debates back in 2010… Fast forward into 2015. Nobody is asking questions about usefulness of mobile devices and tablets. It seems to me your wrist  is a new place to innovate for PLM and we need to watch that :). Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image credit – Salesforce and TechCrunch


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