Last year we embarked on our first ever roundup of PLM vendors’ strategic directions. Well, we didn’t get as far as we wanted beyond the more prominent vendors, but we’re back at it for 2015! The market is anything but stagnant. In fact, I think the strategies of the “big guys” are about as different as I’ve ever seen them. We’ll refresh the major vendors and try to hit some of the more niche vendors that we missed last year, particularly for smaller manufacturers (a common request).
Also, don’t miss Michelle Boucher’s The Strategic Visions of CAD/CAE Vendors 2014+ that covers design tools in a bit more granularity. She will be updating her views along the way as well.
Note: Please see our update to this post Strategies of the PLM Vendors 2016+.
The Source of our Perspective
We are fortunate to have a unique perspective on the enterprise and engineering software industries. We get to speak with vendor executives, product managers, developers, and others that make the decisions on the future of their products and product lines. Sometimes these are open meetings that include the press and customers, but often times we are briefed in confidence. Of course we can’t share any confidential information or we would never be invited back, but it does help us gain a broader perspective.
Beyond what the vendors are saying, we get to speak with their users . These are the R&D, Engineering, Program Management, Product Development, IT leaders, and executive teams that use the software. This helps ground what happens in PowerPoint with what is happening in the real world. We and also have strong relationships with consulting firms that are intimately involved in implementations.
Our view, however, is just one of many. The last series generated some great discussions both on our site and in the “blogosphere.” Please share your views!
The PLM Market in 2015+
So what’s happening at the highest level? There are few interesting things that I’m paying attention to for PLM:
- Smaller, simpler approaches to PDM and PLM (including cloud solutions) are emerging and gaining some traction
- The larger vendors are expanding. I always talk about “The Four Dimensions of PLM Expansion” as 1) To more people, 2) Covering a richer view of the product, 3) Enabling more processes, and 4) Supporting further up and down the product lifecycle. But what I am talking about includes expanding beyond PLM (or at least today’s definition of PLM).
- More integration and expansion of suites (along the traditional four dimensions)
- Industry specialization
Companies I plan to cover in this series include:
- The Current Big Four
- The ERP Vendors – those that have a significant investment / footprint in PLM
- Others – this is a vibrant market with lots of solutions, including some interesting new players. Here is a thumbnail of a few. Some you might argue are not really “PLM” vendors. I am sure I will miss some and won’t provide enough detail on any here, but here is a quick recap. Some of the names might surprise you. Stay tuned.
- Categories not Planned in This Series – (sorry!)
- Process-specific PLM players
- Product Portfolio Management (PPM) specialists
- Design tool (CAD, CAM, etc.) specialists without PLM offerings – but see
- Simulation (CAE) specialists without PLM offerings
- Requirements Management (RM) specialists
- Configuration Management (CM) specialists
- MRO / SLM specialists
- ALM specialists
- Business that focus primarily on AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) versus product engineering and manufacturing
OK, who did I miss? Who should I prioritize? What do I need to know?