Innovation platforms is a new trend in engineering and manufacturing software. Read my earlier article Sweet Dreams about Product Innovation Platforms to catch up.
My attention was caught by the news coming from Autodesk last week. Autodesk PLM360 is rebranded as Fusion Lifecycle and added to Fusion Innovation Platform. My earlier blog about it are here. A very interesting move from Autodesk and clear indication about future trajectory of Autodesk cloud PLM applications.
Engineering.com article earlier today brings few more data points about Fusion Platform and a future role of product lifecycle management. Navigate here to read more – Autodesk expands its vision offering for Fusion Platform.
The article brings the same visionary picture for Forge Platform.
I found the following passage specifically interesting.
So, you might be asking, what’s the difference between PLM 360 and Lifecycle? Well at the moment, there’s little that differentiates the two, or if there is, I’m missing it. However, Autodesk’s goal, as it was related to me by Stephen Hooper, senior director for manufacturing industry strategy, is to unite the entire Fusion platform into a single integrated interface. From this single cloud-based dashboard, users across the company will be able to interact with data, make design changes and plan manufacturing strategies in a more efficient manner.
In my mind, this means that any designs being developed in Fusion 360 will be automatically populated into Lifecycle with the click of a button. With project templates already built out, PLM operatives within a team could begin advising suppliers, designers and decision-makers about what changes needed to be made to a design, or if everything was ready to move forward.
I found this bundling strategy interesting. It reminded me some other vertical platforms and integration bundles.
Back in 2008, Dassault Systemes came with a revolutionary bundle of CATIA and ENOVIA V6. You might remember the name – PLM 2.0. The historical press release is here.
The following picture can remind you how Dassault Systemes presented V6 platforms integrated modules. It contains integrated products for design, simulation, production and manufacturing. In addition to that, horizontal modules are providing layers for collaboration, lifecycle and governance applications.
It made me think about about future of vertical platforms in engineering and manufacturing – Engineering bundles vs. Granular applications. There are lot of advantages in providing vertical bundles. However, it brings the question of PLM openness and how multiple vertical platforms can interplay together.
I found historical picture of V6 architecture. My hunch Dassault Systemes engineers future developed 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the platform might be different from what was 10 years ago ENOVIA V6 on the picture below.
I’ve been trying to find more information about Autodesk Fusion / Forge platform. I found the following high-level picture of Autodesk Forge platform. I’m coming to Forge DevCon conference in few weeks and look forward to learn more.
What is my conclusion? I can see a strong dynamics towards bundling platforms and services around 3D platforms such as CATIA, Fusion and maybe others. The demand for vertical integration is high. My hunch Dassault Systemes discovered it with their very large customers a decade ago and Autodesk is going through a similar discovery as its cloud platform is becoming more mature. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain.