PLM vendors and multiple IoT platforms

PLM vendors and multiple IoT platforms


How are you doing this morning? About joining IoT world and create (or buy) IoT platform? You are not alone, by the way. Just two weeks ago, I mentioned Autodesk/SeeControl acquisition in my article “How IoT can eclipse and outcompete PLM vendors“.

Earlier this morning, the big news coming from Dreamforce 2015 conference – Salesforce is jumping into IoT bandwagon and announced Salesforce Thunder. I picked few articles from endless list of publication already available about Salesforce/IoT. Here is my favorite short explanation about Salesforce Thunder:

The platform will collect data from connected sensors, mobile devices, social networks, wearables and cloud technologies and will be powered by a new events processing engine called Thunder. Thunder is the massively scalable events processor while IoT Cloud is the user interface built on top of the information it provides. Salesforce plans to release the product in trial for in early 2016 and make it generally available later in the year.

ComputerWorld article brings few interesting examples of companies making early testing of Salesforce Thunder. Read the following passage about two use cases from Emerson climate and Hexagon-Metrology.:

Wanting to go one-up on Next, Emerson climate used the platform to connect thermostats for both commercial and domestic settings. Emerson used the sensor data to generate insights into problem identification, preventative maintenance, proactive alerting, and customer life cycle management.

Hexagon-Metrology, a global manufacturing company headquartered in London, used the IoT platform to monitor real-time data feeds from laboratory and production line machinery. They used this data to identify catastrophic event and combined the insights with a real-time manager information system to send notifications of these events directly to the person responsible.

Both examples are coming from “manufacturing” space. The use cases mentioned by Salesforce are very similar to those I’ve heard earlier from PLM IoT presentations – machine monitoring and predictive maintenance. Which made me think that a competition for customer IoT mind have started.

Does it mean Autodesk, Siemens PLM, PTC and other PLM IoT visionary will be competing with Salesforce Thunder? This is a good question to ask. And the competition will have two trajectories – customer vision and data infrastructure. Another example from the same ComputerWorld article shows you a potential competitive scenario based on Microsoft use case.  Microsoft is testing Salesforce Thunder to get information from Office product logs, alongside with point of sale information and customer support data in order to provide a complete picture of customer and product. It reminded me Dell use case presented at Siemens PLM Analyst event last week.

What is my conclusion? IoT is getting crowded by large and small companies. In my view, IoT buzz is dead to be used to sell PLM connected solutions. PLM vendors should think how to develop differentiation solution and technologies that will distant PLM IoT initiatives from a broad range of opportunities and products that will be coming to customers from multiple vendors. This is a note to PLM strategist. It is not too late, but you better move fast. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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