End of PLM Messengers?

End of PLM Messengers?

It is time to rethink the way we work. How many times you’ve heard about it during last few years. People and companies are looking for new ways to stay connected. And Real-time communication market is one of the greatest reflections about what is going on.

Companies are realizing today that speed of communication and data exchange is critical in modern business. For the last few years, we’ve seen an amazing growth of instant messaging and chatters. Last week I was talking about an opportunity for UCaaS and integration with CAD and PLM tools.

I’ve learn about Atlassian and Slack partnership and equity deal yesterday. In a nutshell, Atlassian is getting investment from Slack and shutting down their chat and communication business – Stride. Atlassian will be offering Slack to customers.

Bloomberg article gives you few interesting data points about integration between Attlasian and Slack with hints that both companies plan to team up against Microsoft.

The deal lets each company focus on the area where they lead—Slack in chat rooms and Altassian in project management software. The two companies share lots of customers already. Hundreds of thousands of groups using Atlassian products like Jira and Trello have Slack accounts, said Atlassian co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes. Those include Capital One and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

I usually call Attlassian JIRA as “software project PLM” – complex to understand, hard to manage, but incredibly sticky to replace. What PLM businesses can learn from Attlasian + Slack partnership?

CAD and PLM companies were investing into chatters and messaging software a-la Facebook board for the last several years. Below just few examples of such type of software developed by Autodesk, Aras, Dassault and recently Onshape.

Real-time communication is a big deal. However, to use multiple products to communicate is incredible hard. Most of PLM social collaboration projects started for the last 5-7 years have failed. I can see how companies will be increasingly interested in messengers and chat. What options will they have? To use CAD /PLM messengers? It is possible, but to hard. So, what are the options for CAD / PLM vendors? One option is to give up and integrate with Slack (or Microsoft). Another option would be to provide unique products blending design and engineering collaboration with chat and real-time communication. This is a bid dilemma for all CAD and PLM vendors, in my view.

What is my conclusion? With growing interest in real-time collaboration and communication, CAD and PLM companies can find themselves struggling to provide a solution competing with growing services like Slack. As a user of Slack, I can say it is ubiquitous and easy. CAD and PLM vendors can decide to integrate Slack service in their applications or to provide unique real-time collaboration application with value going much beyond chat to justify the existence and cost manufacturing companies will have to pay. It will be interesting to see Attlasian progress with Slack and to make a projection about future CAD/PLM/Slack opportunities. 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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