PLM back in the future with IoT toolbox

PLM back in the future with IoT toolbox

I’m attending PTC LiveWorx event this week in Boston. The event is huge and it is just at the beginning. Yesterday, I attended PTC Global Partnership Conference (disclosure – openBoM, the company I co-founded is PTC partner). I captured few interesting slides I wanted to share with you. They came as part of presentation by PTC President and CEO Jim Heppelmann.

As you probably heard already – data is a new oil. The statement from Mr. Hepplemann was that PTC ThingWorx platform is the best data refinery. You can see the slide below. The idea is pretty clear. Whatever data comes out of engineering and enterprise products can be processed, analyzed, indexed and become available. The same will happen with physical information coming from sensors, devices and other physical sources.

This is a basic idea behind the concept of digital and physical convergence.

However, my favorite slide was the following one. It speaks about the role PTC ThingWorx will play in development of B2B applications. The main point of this slide is diversity. There is no single PLM and IoT app similar to Facebook, Twitter or even Slack. But there is a long tail of apps developed specifically for industry domain and / or specific customer segments, niches and specific customers.

The slide made me think about PLM customization and toolbox solution. Although long tail idea is new and coming from the world of mass customization and diversity of requirements, the solution to create applications for such highly diverse environment is probably some sort of toolbox.

What is my conclusion? All new is well forgotten old. PLM development was facing a requirement to customize and develop specific applications long time ago. The initial solution was a toolbox. It was long time ago. PLM vendors moved to out-of-the-box solutions, which didn’t work well for most of them. Long tail of app is a fresh approach to bring a platform capable to produce highly customizable applications easy and fast. So, maybe PTC found a magic sauce how to make it happen with ThingWorx? If so, it can make a difference in the future PLM world. It will be interesting to watch. 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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