While cloud and the internet are a way to live and breathe for many of us, the adoption of SaaS and cloud technologies was not so obvious for engineers and manufacturing companies. As much as engineers are the biggest powerhouse for innovation when it comes to their own tools, you can see engineers still using flip phones and afraid to step outside of their comfort zone of a powerful desktop and tools they have been using for the last 20-25 years.
My attention was caught by Jim Brown of Tech-Clarify video interviews. Check them out, Jim has an interesting new style of “NYT” (not your typical) tech interview where he touches on a variety of topics with tech and product leaders in PLM and other companies.
Here is one with Paul Brown, Senior Marketing Director at Siemens. Jim and Paul discussed the topic that is near and dear to my heart – cloud technology adoption and acceleration.
The topic of cloud adoption is interesting. Engineers and manufacturing companies are among the latest cohorts of businesses that are still using old systems (eg. Solid Edge and its competitors from Dassault Systemes and other vendors are 25+ years old products). Siemens made a sharp turn in cloud-enabling its existing portfolio to the cloud. Check my earlier blogs about Teamcenter X and some others – Teamcenter X How to Sit On Two Chairs.
Here are my 3 takeaways from Jim and Paul’s short conversation.
1- Pandemic was one of the biggest accelerating factors to adopt cloud technologies for the last 18 months, engineering and manufacturing companies. The multiple lockdowns closed offices, and travel restrictions forced companies to work remotely and find a way to communicate without interruption.
2- Customers are coming to realize that cloud is not an either/or discussion. It is not a situation when the company must switch to the cloud completely. As Paul said, sending a memory stick with UPS is not a good collaboration. It is about how to use the right tool. For example, if a company is using Solid Edge, Siemens has a vision of cloud-enabled design and they can use partners’ cloud services integrated with the desktop tools to share data and collaborate.
3- Cloud-connected products are smart and the main reason for that is because cloud and SaaS products have much better tools to manage data and communicate. The industry is switching from CAD files to engineering platforms and data is a new software in this move. The future PLM is brutally dependent on how solutions will be able to connect data and lifecycle together regardless of what tools they use and where they are located.
What is my conclusion?
When big and established vendors like Siemens speak about cloud adoption, you realize that cloud is coming and you might not retire with existing PLM systems you implemented 20+ years ago (opposite to some belief of people managing engineering and manufacturing software for many industrial companies). Therefore, it is an alarm clock to check your surroundings and look at what cloud solutions and technologies are available, how they are different and is the right path for you and your organization to explore and adopt new cloud and SaaS tools. Just my thoughts…
Want to ask me questions about it? Contact me.
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing a digital network-based platform that manages product data and connects manufacturers, construction companies, and their supply chain networks. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.