Beyond PLM – Happy Holidays and Conclusions for 2017

Beyond PLM – Happy Holidays and Conclusions for 2017

Dear Friends,

It is time to take a break and think about what happened in 2017. Many of my friends and colleagues are taking some time off now with families, traveling, relaxing and making plans for the next year.

I want to take a moment and share my thoughts about major things that happened in the industry, technology, engineering and manufacturing software in 2017.

Digital Transformation is replacing Business Transformation and Change Management. 

For long time, PLM was strongly associated with changes and business transformation. One of the trends I was observing in the industry is digital transformation. It combines many aspects of business change management and focus on how to transform processes into the next level – information is turning from their analog forms and disconnected pieces into digital continuum.

Data, Data, Data… 

Data is finally everywhere. IoT, AI, Machine Learning, Big Data… you name it and it is everywhere. Companies are turning data into information assets and building businesses out of this information.  Data is a new oil.

Cloud and online services 

Cloud transformation is a real thing and it happened for the last 5 years. The dream to converting enterprise PLM system into cloud service is finally happening. All PLM companies today are delivering some form of cloud services. However, we just arrived to the 2nd step of cloud PLM development. Majority of cloud PLM is existing PLM systems hosted using of of IaaS services. While it created significant IT advantages, it is still not done.

Next step in cloud PLM development will be to delivery multi-tenant services capable to manage information for multiple companies and an entire value chain.

Status Quo 

This is a very important one and related to one of the most painful aspects of CAD, PLM and enterprise software. Companies invested significant amount of resources into last 10-15 years of system development. Although new systems can promise lot of benefits, change is very complex of many companies. To get advantages of new systems, companies will have to transform existing systems and adopt new technologies. The transformation is hard and very often status can hold businesses very strong by not allowing them to move forward.

Business Models and New License Models

Companies are moving to subscriptions and developing new licensing models for CAD and PLM software. Although, subscription is main topic on the table, the question about what will be future business model is still open in my view. Consumer software is massively using multi-phased business models based on advertising and complex business relationships. The jury is open about applicability of these models in business software.


It was a very turbulent year for me. I missed some of my promises to work on PLM Book and Guest blogging for Beyond PLM. I do have a plan to  get back on track with these activities. At the same time, my new company OpenBOM delivered great results and demonstrated amazing growth in number of users and information managed using online BOM management services.

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

I love you.


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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