Going back in 2011 when I attended ACE 2011, I captured Aras idea and vision in my article – Aras lines up against Windchill, Enovia, and Teamcenter. Check the article – it can give you some ideas about Aras development – to support organizational changes and the idea of total customization. In my view, Aras demonstrated a great level of consistency in delivering Aras Innovator according to the vision presented in 2011 – product architecture vision and solution vision. Significant improvements were done in platform independence such as multiple browser support.
Here are few slides from Aras ACE 2011.
Fast forward in 2019. Rob McAveney, Aras CTO took a stage on the second day of Aras ACE 2019 event to talk about Aras Product Vision. In my view, the opening slide, Owning the lifecycle gives you the main message behind the vision – a single version of the truth about product information.
He covered user experience stories – requirement management, system engineering, supplier data exchange, design, simulation, manufacture, and test.
I captured a few detail slides that can give you some idea about what is ahead for Aras. Most of these slides are self-explanatory.
My attention caught one common challenge that you can find in all these slides above – data connectivity. Information about the product is granular and distributed. It cannot be easy centralized in a single file like companies did it at the beginning CAD/PLM by storing all data in the CAD file. It is cannot be stored in a single relational database either (although this is still a dominant technology in the PLM world). Therefore the main challenge of Aras in owning the lifecycle is to connect information distributed between multiple disciplines, systems, people and companies. You can see examples of data connectivity – connecting elements of requirements, system model, suppliers, and product history.
What is my conclusion? Ideas are cheap. You can find them a lot. In my view, Aras made huge progress in the delivery of their idea flexible and easily customizable platform. The current vision of lifecycle ownership will demand to solve one of the biggest challenges in data management – global connectivity in data to support complex product information (system thinking), organization connectivity and lifecycle stages. It is a big challenge, in my view, and it will demand the next level of Aras software development and maturity – develop new technologies, data models and product support. Aras has a lot of fundamental technologies to support it. However, nobody in the industry solved the problem of global data connectivity (yet) to support such complex product information modeling to the scale of the largest industry OEMs Just my thoughts…
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.