Earlier today, I’ve been catching up on some of the online events and reading. Today, I watched sessions from the Propel event – Propulsion2021. The materials are available online here for everyone, so you can get them at any time. Propel is an outfit that decided about an interesting strategy – to build a PLM system on top of Salesforce.com. I wrote about it back a few years ago – Who will build a PLM on top of the Salesforce platform. While the jury is still out to decide if salesforce is a good platform for PLM, it looks like Propel is making great progress in their strategy of so-called Product 360.
Most of the event is a conversational session between strategies, customers analysts, presenters from Salesforce.com, and others. Propel invited top-rank analysts and researchers to speak about customer challenges, a new strategy of Propel, and their customer-focused approach.
Propel CEO Ray Hains had a long chat with Jeffrey Moore about strategy, disruption, etc. If you’re familiar with Jeffrey Moore, you should not find anything new here. But it is a good talk.
The conversation with Peter Bilello (CIMdata President and CEO),. Julie Frazer of Tech-Clatify and Tom Showmaker was about different PLM domains and Propel’s development of both PLM and QMS systems.
Product roadmap sessions were talking about releases and features. In general, Propel is making a few releases in a year (3-4 months each) and Miguel Tam was talking about the plans to develop features to improve collaboration, customization of components, accountability, and a few others.
The clear focus of Propel is how to provide access to all stakeholders in the company.
Finally, the demo session gave a somewhat limited presentation of user experience and business processes.
What is my conclusion?
To build a system on top of Salesforce is an interesting opportunity and challenge at the same time. Propel is clearly making great progress developing functions on top of SF.com, which provides a robust enterprise-level platform. Is it universally good to manage a traditional PLM data model and to manage engineering data and change processes? The future trajectory of Propel is to get more out of customer data and supplier collaboration. I have many questions for the Propel executive to discuss how Propel tech is aligned with the trends and challenges of the PLM industry such as digital trends, system design, bill of information, and others. Just my thoughts…
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.