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PLM Innovation 2012: PLM is Strategic, but What’s Next?

Thanks to Oleg Shilovitsky for this story

Earlier, this week, I’ve been attending PLM Innovation Congress 2012 in Munich. If you haven’t had a chance to read my pre-conference post, please navigate to the following link – Few Minutes before PLM Innovation 2012. This full two-day event was completely focused on Product Lifecycle Management. Take a look on the agenda to see more details. This conference is quite unique. Among all other conferences, this is the only vendor-independent event. The event was sponsored by a quite a large amount of PLM vendors. SAP, Oracle and PTC are listed among sponsors. Autodesk (new kid in PLM block) was heavily presented during the event. Dassault Systems and Siemens PLM weren’t presented as sponsors. The overall amount of attendees was quite big ~250 attendees from different countries (not only Europe). Exhibition hall was presented by 20+ companies.

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Autodesk moves to PLM

Clearly, Autodesk is a big news in PLM world. Just to remind you what is that about. Autodesk created a heavy presence during the event, including exhibition booth, demo with early customer.

Overall Autodesk didn’t provide any additional information compared to what was announced during AU 2011. Nevertheless, Autodesk Cloud PLM generates the interest among customers. In my view, Autodesk PLM amplifies the discussion about “what is PLM?” also known as “PLM Definition” talks.

PLM Definition and Market Change

The discussion about what is PLM definition isn’t new. In the past, I gather a collection of PLM definitions provided by multiple vendors – Siemens PLM, Al Dean of Develop3D, Autodesk PLM definition by Steve Bodnar, Dassault by Al Bunshaft, PTC PLM definition video. During PLM Innovation 2012, I captured few updated definitions of PLM by CIMData, Gartner and Tacit (Jos Voskuil). You can see slides below.

Gartner PLM Definition

CIMData PLM definition

Jos Voskuil (virtualdutchman) PLM definition

In my view, the most interesting discussion about PLM definition happened during my panel discussion – Future PLM Business Models. The discussion between Autodesk and PTC, in a nutshell, means that Autodesk PLM is probably will be different from PTC’s PLM. It means that soon we will see a growing amount of discussions about what is PLM as long as a competition between Autodesk PLM and traditional big 3 PLM vendors will increase.

Customers and Round Tables

One of the characteristics of PLM Innovation Congress was a heavy presence of customers and customer-driven content. It is clearly important, since nobody wants to attend a conference with marketing powerpoint slides. Few presentations resonated. The following slide presented by Thomas Schmidt of ABB shows the strive of ABB to establish global change management solution.

Another one was presented by global food & beverage company – Mars. The interesting aspect of Mars’ presentation slide was the vision of PLM in the company that has no significant focus on heavy 3D CAD environment. Mars’ focus is on PDM and specification management.

I attended morning session – think tank round table named “Integrating PLM & ERP: Enabling processes and data to flow across the boundaries of PLM”. The topic is super-important, in my view. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the discussion. It started from the statement – “PLM-ERP integration is not about technology”.

From that point, the discussion was how to organize PLM-ERP interoperability in the organization. However, people were talking all the time about openness of the specific systems, inability to transfer data as well as what system data is belonged to. For me, it was so 2000s.

Consumerization, Cloud and Technology

Few discussions were focused on modern technological and global trends. An interesting approach of cloud based multi project management was presented by Christian Verstraete, HP Chief Technologies of Cloud strategies.

Here is  a slide from my PLM and Consumerization IT presentation. Five disruptive technological and industry trend will affect traditional IT in coming years. It clearly will define a new look for future product development and business environment.

What is my conclusion? PLM is definitely getting more grounds. It is about product development processes and business goals. Five years ago, the most typical question about PLM was “why?” These days, people are asking question – “how”? Unfortunately, many questions are not answered yet. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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