Holidays week is here and it means the traditional time to write ‘best of.. ‘, ‘top…’ and similar type of blog posts. I’ve been traditionally publishing my top Beyond PLM blog posts usually ranked by number of views. But this year, I decided to make it a bit differently. I’m coming with top 5 articles that drove controversy and discussion online – blog clicks, LinkedIn comments, twitter responses and offline conversations. So, here is my top 5 list:
“Model” is a great and powerful word. But as many others terminology and TLAs in a complex PLM world is overused and can be confusing for people looking for technology value and differentiation. I can see Model-based marketing is providing explanation such as “model… is an approach to use model”. It reminded me old definition of PLM as a “tool to manage product lifecycle”. I’d like to see PLM industry focus on how to provide definition explaining value of products and not hiding behind confusing buzzwords. It seems to me in most cases “model-driven” is used to explain that information is stored in 3D CAD systems and databases and is used in product development processes. But hey… that was an idea of PLM from the beginning. So, we are still good, even if we switch to “model-driven” approach. Just my thoughts…
Manufacturing companies need to have a better way to compare PLM infrastructure and made a decision about PLM and other technological vendors to work with. In last few years, I’ve seen examples of how people bough their car based on the compatibility to their mobile phone. I know, it is an extreme example, but it is a way to think about new realities of benchmarking. How to come with a new set of criterias helping IT and engineering software managers to make a right purchasing decision. The question is on the table with few answers. Just my thoughts…
Think about $100M investment as a power jet engine that can propel Aras development for the next few years. Will it be enough to displace significant number of Teamcenter, Windchill and Enovia installations? If not, will it be enough to displace enough Excels for large manufacturing firms to increase PLM market? Aras has to have $100M ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) to win the race.
The most interesting part of the research is a confirmation that manufacturing companies are indeed planning to spend time, money and effort into cloud PLM solutions in the next 12-18 months. Timing is everything and it is especially important in the large enterprise business, which is essentially not very much in hurry to make changes when it comes to process organization and existing habits. So, last 5-7 years were actually warm up for cloud PLM race and the next 12-18 will be an interesting sprint for companies looking how to change PLM status quo.
PLM vendors are looking into bright future of digital transformation. But, this future might not be as bright as it might look and sounds now. Their monolithic products will be disrupted and unbundled digital services will be consumed in new profitable SaaS products in new digital models. It is gloomy prediction for existing PLM products. But, PLM companies have resources and can make a change. Will they do so? It is a good question. So, next few years in PLM can be a very interesting time.
What is my conclusion? Model-based theme is an absolutely undisputed leader in discussions. I can see arguments from both sides – marketing, consulting, product. But users are confused and this is the most important thing, in my view. PLM vendors are looking for differentiation factors in a modern competitive world. Therefore ranking discussion is hot. How to choose the right PLM or how to compare PLM vendors, systems, technologies? Aras fueled its bank account from $110 million dollars over the past 18 months and drives lot of interesting discussion and opinions. Where Aras will land with such amount of jet fuel? All PLM vendors are committed to cloud and have cloud PLM in their portfolios. But what does it mean and what will be a magic cloud that can change PLM industry? Last, but not least. – “digital transformation” brings lot of discussions. Is it a future big tech or marketing buzzword to sell old PLM techno? These are discussions from 2018 and I’m already looking into 2019. Happy New Year!
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