Cloud is blurring PLM application boundaries

Cloud is blurring PLM application boundaries


Times have changed quickly for cloud. Just few years ago, PLM vendors and manufacturing companies were skeptical about cloud expansion. Not any more. Practically all PLM vendors are embracing cloud and transform products and technology to adopt a new way of business and opportunities.

Recent Tech-Clarity article Dassault Systemes Vision 2016 brings an interesting perspective from recent analyst briefing Jim attended in Paris. Here is an interesting passage:

As CEO Charlès explained “The cloud is (being adopted) more quickly than I believed – and for the most sophisticated applications.” Although DS still believes most existing customers will stay on premise and says they’re not hearing a lot of demand for the cloud, they do believe it will open up DS applications to new companies where it was previously out of reach.

Dassault Systemes is coming with a new classification and set of applications – E (Enterprise), C (Collaborative Apps), A (App Store), X (browser apps for all brands).

It is hard to get a boundary and differences between app. Can App Store app can be Collaborative at the same time. And what is a difference between Browser X-app and the same application in Enterprise portfolio. Time will show the difference.


Meantime, what is clear that cloud is changing boundaries of existing application and DS is making steps to change it.

Another sign of continued progress toward the platform vision is that the lines are beginning to blur across the application suite as the “experience” takes center stage over the underlying DS software products. It’s getting harder to tell when a process / experience moves from one product to the next, for example between CATIA and SIMULIA. That’s certainly good news for customers that value data and process continuity when they want to accomplish something.

Interesting enough, the same can be said about other vendors. My attention was caught by article eBook: Transform Product Development with Easy Access to PLM introducing PTC e-book featuring PTC Navigate.


The following passage give you an idea how PTC explain blurring boundaries of application and user engagement with siloed systems

What is a system of record and a system of engagement? Teams throughout an enterprise use “systems of record” to store information and to be their authoritative source of all data related to the product that they need (Moore, 2011). However, because these teams serve separate functions, they collaborate among themselves using the same system of record – creating data silos at the company. Some may rely on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems while others may depend on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and still others on Manufacturing Execution System data (MES) and others on Quality Management Systems (QMS). Without a single means to bridge these siloed systems – a centralized “system of engagement” – teams are missing out on valuable information about the same product that happens to be housed in a system they can’t normally access.

The message of blurring boundaries between applications is coming from Autodesk CEO Carl Bass. Navigate to the following link to read more. Here is the passage:

The result should be a more connected, streamlined approach to product design, production, and use (or perhaps usage monitoring). We’ve already seen that Autodesk is starting to blur the lines between products. Carl Bass, in fact, said “In 2020, I think it will be less distinguishable what our products are. It will be more of a platform. People will be able to access ready made solutions, along with some things from partners, and customers will construct their solutions. And it will happen in the cloud.”


I found interesting that Teamcenter Active Workspace has the same ideas and goals. Navigate to the Siemens PLM website and read more:

Active Workspace is an innovative interface for Teamcenter that provides you with a streamlined and intuitive product lifecycle management (PLM) user experience. It literally puts PLM at your fingertips. Active Workspace increases your productivity by allowing you to find what you need faster, enabling you to see the big picture so you can make smarter decisions and providing you with seamless access to PLM when and where you need it.


What is my conclusion? Cloud is blurring application boundaries and will urge companies to establish a better data access and communication between users. At the same time, new platforms will move from “seats” models to “usage” models. To improve user experience and increase relevance of the applications for users is the main goal for vendors. However, one question is not answered in the race towards platforms and experience. How manufacturing companies will be using these platforms together within the same company and across a distributed network of companies. Platforms will have to bring new generation of technologies and products to solve this problem. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

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.


Share This Post