Are we going to see a wave of big data tech acquisitions by PLM vendors?

Are we going to see a wave of big data tech acquisitions by PLM vendors?


SAP is acquiring big data startup Altiscale for about $125M. Altiscale is developing technology to bring “Hadoop as a Service”. VentureBit article brings some data points about the reason why SAP is doing so. There are few hints about that in the following passages I captured from the article:

Enterprise software company SAP is acquiring Altiscale, a startup that offers a cloud-based version of the Hadoop open source software for storing, processing, and analyzing lots of different kinds of data. Altiscale also offers a distribution of Hadoop. In addition to a cloud implementation of Hadoop, Altiscale also provides a cloud version of Apache Spark, a faster, more modern alternative to Hadoop, which relies on the MapReduce framework. The promise of running this software in the cloud is that companies don’t need to add lots of new servers, storage, and networking infrastructure in data centers to take advantage of it and employ people who are well versed in dealing with the software. In March Altiscale introduced the Insight Cloud service, which enables business-intelligence tools like Tableau to hook into and query data from Hadoop and Spark clusters.

Navigate to the following link to learn more about Altiscale data cloud.


It made me think about some parallels in PLM world. All PLM vendors are working hard to convince their customers that cloud is the future. The ambitions of PLM vendors today is to handle even more data than before. Which will bring a question – how to do that with existing platforms and infrastructure. PLM vendors spent significant effort for the last few years to upgrade existing PLM platforms to run in the variety of cloud environment. At the same time, my hunch is that core PLM infrastructure provided by all vendors has the same legacy foundation and was only slightly modified for the last decade.

If my assumption is true, then PLM vendors can become very thirsty to boost their cloud platform performance in the next few years. It will be driven by growing ambitions to deliver IoT solutions and interest to provide more product-specific data analytic services.

What is my conclusion? Existing PLM platforms are reaching their limits. Most of them are running on infrastructure developed 10-15 years ago. The last decade of cloud infrastructure development created lot of potential technologies that can bring advantage to product data management, data analytic and processing. At the same time, the inertia of manufacturing companies is supporting existing PLM vendors and potentially creating M&A opportunities for technological providers. 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. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.



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