Why PLM companies are buying their cloud infrastructure vendors?

Why PLM companies are buying their cloud infrastructure vendors?

Cloud is a big buzzword, but as we know, there are so many flavors and colors of cloud technologies. The evolution of the cloud has started from network and remote data access and now fully exploding into hosting, on demand infrastructure, IaaS and virtualization. It is a very logical step of cloud development. Some time ago, I blogged about rehosting as a step in cloud development helping PLM companies to host existing products using cloud infrastructure. Read more here.

My attention was caught by the following article – Dassault Systemes is buying a majority stake at Outscale. Outscale is an outfit focusing on cloud hosting infrastructure used for 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

“Outscale has demonstrated the success of its unique cloud architecture by offering enterprise-class cloud resources worldwide, with a data sovereignty compliance approach,” said Pascal Daloz, executive vice president, brands and corporate development, Dassault Systèmes. “Now, we can bring greater value to our customers by fully leveraging this approach to expand our ability to make the 3DEXPERIENCE platform more affordable and accessible to a greater number of users, as well as extend it to new usages.”

It reminded me another event few years ago – PTC was acquiring NetIDEAS, its partner in hosting and services. Read more here.

Since 2000, NetIDEAS has served as PTC’s preferred hosting solution provider, offering PTC Windchill® solutions in a hosted environment to customers across a wide range of industries. In June, NetIDEAS added PTC Windchill Quality SolutionsTM to its portfolio of PTC hosted solutions. “By partnering with PTC over the last decade, thousands of users worldwide have come to trust our highly available and secure hosting infrastructure to meet their PLM needs,” said Tom Rassmann, NetIDEAS President and CTO. “Our companies share great operational synergies as a result of our mutual history, and we look forward to continuing to help customers leverage the speed and efficiency of hosted application deployments.”

Although, these two events are disconnected in time, I found them interesting and indicating on an increased dependencies on infrastructure as soon as PLM companies are moving from selling on premise products to services. The last one is an operation requires resources and impacting a very fundamental aspect of company business model – cost structure. And this is a moment of time PLM vendors will recognize that infrastructure saving can have a strong impact on cloud service operation. At the same time, relying on its own infrastructure can lead PLM companies to significant operational expenses. It also leaves much less space for infrastructure innovation, in my view. After all PLM companies won’t be able to invest resources into cloud infrastructure similar to what big vendors such AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM will do.

What is my conclusion? PLM companies are making move into cloud infrastructure business to insure their cloud infrastructure is up to the job demanded by manufacturing companies. While it is a positive move overall and can be a very good news for customers demanding dedicated privately hosted PLM software, it can potentially add significant infrastructure operational cost. And if AWS, Google, Microsoft or IBM will come with a better, cheaper and more secure cloud infrastructure, PLM vendors can find themselves in disadvantage running their own ones. PLM companies are learning that one size doesn’t fit all cloud forms. And the cost of infrastructure can be a big deal in the future of cloud PLM. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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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. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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