Cloud collaboration and Airbus wake up call for enterprise PLMs

Cloud collaboration and Airbus wake up call for enterprise PLMs

Collaboration becomes increasingly important for manufacturing companies. Earlier this week, the news about Airbus deal with Google G-suite created some buzz. In the following article, Airbus CIO explains why Airbus abandoned Microsoft for Google Docs. Here is the key passage:

Airbus tied the shift to a digital transformation taking place at the company. In an interview with technology publication The Register, Airbus’s chief information officer, Luc Hennekens, said that the company was attracted to G Suite because it provides users with the ability to collaborate more effectively. G Suite’s enterprise plan starts at $25 per user per month.

Another article is elaborating even more about “digital transformation” trend and the role cloud software will play in this future digital world.

With over 130,000 employees, Airbus uses a lot of office productivity software. It recently decided to make a big bet on Google’s G Suite software package after running the company for years on hosted versions of Microsoft Office, according to a report.

…Airbus CEO Tom Enders outlining the shift to G Suite as part of the company’s ongoing “digital transformation,” which is the new ubiquitous and fairly meaningless enterprise tech marketing buzzword. We’re really just talking about upgrades from hosted, on-premises software applications to cloud software applications, a transformation that for the most part has already taken place outside big old companies like Airbus.

It made me think about existing enterprise PLM vendors and what is called “collaboration” in traditional PLM. For most of them, it is about old fashion web application. The most advanced are adding collaborative chat. But none of the existing PLM platforms are not even coming close to Google-like collaborative environment.

What is my conclusion? In my view, Airbus is a wake-up call for enterprise PLM vendors.  Airbus-like customers are mainstream business for traditional PLM providers. In my view, it is not only 130,000 people from Airbus, but also lot of contractors and suppliers which will be involved into future collaborative workflows using Google G-Suites. Traditional PLM vendors run their business on premise. Most of them do cloud PLM as hosted versions of traditional PLM products. It is a time for enterprise PLM vendors to check their path towards Google-style collaboration. Those PLM vendors who will miss this wake up call, can be too late to catch up. 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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