Who Will Disrupt Entrenched PLM Vendors?
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What I learned this week … came from some discussions with Chris Williams yesterday about my blog post SAP – Too Much, or Too Little Credit for PLM? in combination with a conversation over breakfast with Oleg, author of PLMTwine. In both conversations I kept hearing about who is going to disrupt the big PLM vendors (Dassault Systemes, PTC, Siemens PLM). Maybe I am just a small thinker, but there seems to be a lot more talk about disruption than actual disrupting going on. Time to share my thoughts, with the expectation that I might be eating my own words on this very blog over the next couple of years.

Disrupting Giants

Maybe it is my jaded view, but I don’t see technology being the disruptor to PLM. I have drawn as many “waves of technology” charts as the next guy, and discussed how difficult it is for vendors to move from one technology to the next big wave. But two things have happened:

  • Enterprise software companies have managed to gain significant scale
  • Vendors have gotten smarter at riding waves of technology

Already I am sure there are people disagreeing. Let me share my experience.

The Technology Wave Argument

Let’s start with the technology waves. Who will out-technology the big vendors. Will it be a SaaS play like Arena Solutions? Will it be open source like Aras? Or a brand new technology, like Chris William’s Vuuch? Or a more generalized infrastructure technology like Microsoft SharePoint? Or the king of disruption (they are disrupting everybody, I think I heard the words “disruption” and “Google” at breakfast with Oleg more times than I orderd another cup of coffee (that is saying a lot).

OK, let me share some history that I lived through (maybe you have too). In the ERP world, many players have come and gone. Some have crashed and burned due to their own mismanagement, some have become obsolete in technology and withered away, and others tried and failed trying to migrate to new technology. So why doesn’t this happen to the current largest enterprise software vendor, SAP? Long ago, SAP burst onto the scense with Client-Server architecture with R/3. But truth be told, that transition was a slow and deliberate one. Since that time they have moved their technology along several times. Each time slowly, methodically, and never scrapping the old solution and going for broke on the new one. Countless others tried to grab the brass ring and jump to a new architecture, and drove their companies into the ground.

So while some get frustrated by slow evolution of architecture by big PLM vendors, I say they are being prudent. They are moving deliberately. Some say that will be their downfall. I say slow evolution is the best practice they learned from SAP’s success in ERP. I have heard the “we are going to make SAP (or Oracle, or whatever) obsolete pitch hundreds of times. Some from really great ideas and technologies. But where are they now? Part of the answer lies in the next section.

The Benefit of Scale

The key question in disrupting giants is what can you do that they can’t respond to? What can you where they can’t buy or build their way to the next generation? Particularly when most vendors are several steps ahead of the majority of their customers? Current vendors need to show a vision and a path, but revolution is pretty scary to most of the manufacturs they count as customers. As Oleg points out, and here I agree, one thing they can’t compete with is “free.” But I do not forsee the day that there will be an effort of the scale it takes to develop a full, integrated, PLM system. That is not just technology – it is data model and process as well. Let’s face it, this stuff is complex. But here is the thing. If one of these technologies gets hot, won’t the vendors with scale just acquire it? We are not talking about a solution with the broad interest and potential of word processing (Google Docs) or a brand new idea like social networking (Facebook, etc.). Who except a major enterprise player would invest in disrupting the PLM market? Who would find that investment appealing?

So is it SAP PLM? Or Oracle with their Agile solutions? They have the scale, do they have the will? Is PLM an interesting enough market that they will invest enough to compete with best-of-breed? Realizing, of course, that they have the advantage of their installed base in hand? Perhaps? But I don’t see this happening overnight. I believe the big ERP vendors will get to a level where they can compete, but the big PLM vendors have enough scale to stay ahead. SAP and Oracle will be players in the market, but I don’t think they will own it.

Bottom Line

Will their be acquisitions? Mergers? Sure. The names may change (I didn’t expect UGS to become Siemens PLM), but the assets (software and customer base) are large enough to live in. In my opinion. Unless they fall to their own mistakes, I don’t see a sudden displacement coming. I hope that I am not eating these words at some point, but if I should I will. But that is the way I see it.

Implications for Manufacturers

Buy the solution that works for you. Invest in it. Markets move slowly and software takes a long time to go away. Focus on the solution that meets your business needs, and that you feel you can grow with. Buy a solution that will fit the direction of your PLM vision. Keep an eye on new technologies and see where you can apply them. But I wouldn’t lose too much sleep about disruption right about now.

So have I just grown closed minded? Have I always been a small thinker and I just didn’t know it? Or am I making some sense? I hope you found it interesting. Let me know what it looks like from your vantage point.

Comments

  1. Jim, Great post! I think disruption is long awaited topic in PLM space, which was too stable for the last few years. Since you mentioned my name in correlation to Google, I just want to put the reference on one of my earlier posts – http://plmtwine.com/2009/10/01/google-wave-server-is-it-the-next-collaborative-process-engine-for-plm/.
    Collaborative applications are something that considered in the past as an opportunity in CAD/PDM/PLM space. However, I see different outside of the industry providers are starting to do a really good job in this space. Google is not the only one example. Another one can be probably Zoho (www.zoho.com). It started as Project Management and grew up as a significant set of apps for collaboration in different aspects. SharePoint and Vuuch are on the same side – how to make collaboration easier… Also, don’t forget our long term challenger and PLM App #1 – Excel :). Just my thoughts… Best, Oleg

  2. olegshilovitsky says:

    Jim, Great post! I think disruption is long awaited topic in PLM space, which was too stable for the last few years. Since you mentioned my name in correlation to Google, I just want to put the reference on one of my earlier posts – http://plmtwine.com/2009/10/01/google-wave-serv….
    Collaborative applications are something that considered in the past as an opportunity in CAD/PDM/PLM space. However, I see different outside of the industry providers are starting to do a really good job in this space. Google is not the only one example. Another one can be probably Zoho (http://www.zoho.com). It started as Project Management and grew up as a significant set of apps for collaboration in different aspects. SharePoint and Vuuch are on the same side – how to make collaboration easier… Also, don't forget our long term challenger and PLM App #1 – Excel :). Just my thoughts… Best, Oleg

  3. Anonymous says:

    Jim,

    Sound logic across the board. Having worked closely with two of the vendors you write about I tend to agree that this is not one of those industries where someone can come in and sweep things away. PLM is very political and there is a fairly high barrier to change. It is painful and expensive to switch PLM tools. In order for anyone to have a chance at disrupting this industry there needs to be enabling technology to make a PLM or for that matter a ERP change somewhat seemless and that is a tall order.

    • Stephen,
      A body at rest tends to stay at rest… the laws of intertia have a lot to do with changing ERP, PLM, or any other application that has significant impact on people and processes.
      Thanks as always for your comments.

  4. stephenporter says:

    Jim,

    Sound logic across the board. Having worked closely with two of the vendors you write about I tend to agree that this is not one of those industries where someone can come in and sweep things away. PLM is very political and there is a fairly high barrier to change. It is painful and expensive to switch PLM tools. In order for anyone to have a chance at disrupting this industry there needs to be enabling technology to make a PLM or for that matter a ERP change somewhat seemless and that is a tall order.

    • Stephen,
      A body at rest tends to stay at rest… the laws of intertia have a lot to do with changing ERP, PLM, or any other application that has significant impact on people and processes.
      Thanks as always for your comments.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jim,

    Good post – probably it can be a player who can bring CAD-PLM-ERP in a single interface – sounds impractical but PLM too was impratical before few years

  6. prashantdhonde says:

    Hi Jim,

    Good post – probably it can be a player who can bring CAD-PLM-ERP in a single interface – sounds impractical but PLM too was impratical before few years

  7. Anonymous says:

    HJim,great post – I think it would be the player who can bring in CAD-PLM-ERP in a single interface – sounds impratical but can be the game changer

    • Hello Prashant,
      Perhaps it’s not impractical. I can paint two scenarios:

      1 – Specialty solutions that are focused on a single vertical
      2 – Composite applications that combine the appropriate functionality from larger vendors’ suites

      I haven’t talked much about composite applications on this blog, but I firmly believe that putting lightweight UI applications together that tie together processes and data from underlying solutions can be very powerful. Maybe that is the “single interface” although it is not a single solution? The composite application could draw data from each as needed, present it in the right context, and strip out the unneeded complexity. I think the version of this that works is probably highly industry dependent, and potentially role-based as well.
      Thanks Prashant,
      Jim

  8. prashantdhonde says:

    HJim,great post – I think it would be the player who can bring in CAD-PLM-ERP in a single interface – sounds impratical but can be the game changer

    • Hello Prashant,
      Perhaps it's not impractical. I can paint two scenarios:

      1 – Specialty solutions that are focused on a single vertical
      2 – Composite applications that combine the appropriate functionality from larger vendors' suites

      I haven't talked much about composite applications on this blog, but I firmly believe that putting lightweight UI applications together that tie together processes and data from underlying solutions can be very powerful. Maybe that is the “single interface” although it is not a single solution? The composite application could draw data from each as needed, present it in the right context, and strip out the unneeded complexity. I think the version of this that works is probably highly industry dependent, and potentially role-based as well.
      Thanks Prashant,
      Jim

      PS – It looks like you had duplicate comments, so I removed on. I hope that was OK.

  9. Jos Voskuil says:

    Jim good timing for this post, as indeed there is big discussion on-going around PLM. I am already a few months in doubt if I should write a post about it also, as so many angles around this topic exist.

    First some statements (with my mid-market focus in mind) for this discussion. I will elaborate in the future in my blog (not planned yet – but sure it lives in the field)

    PLM for the mid-market will not come from the big vendors and might even never really come. Due to two reasons:
    - the big vendors do not understand or have a model for the mid-market
    - PLM is in the mid-market is squeezed between CAD data management and ERP

    PLM by a different software model or vendor does not solve this situation. You need to be close to your customer to guide them towards PLM concepts. And the biggest companies close to the mid-market, Autodesk and Microsoft, do not talk about PLM !!

    But SaaS with current PLM concepts – I remember someone saying ” PLM should be a no brainer, like CRM is a no brainer”. I guess this is oversimplifying PLM. I do not believe in PLM changes without guidance/consultancy.

    So following the thoughts of Chris (Vuuch) and Oleg (Google) , I am more optimistic in this direction that a new defintion or approach might come in the future

    The challenge for this type of change is that mid-market companies are not yet managed by people coming from the ‘new generation’ – will they adapt it in their organisation ?

    Interesting discussion – on-going

    Bets regards

    Jos

    • Thanks Jos,
      SaaS solves the technical implementation challenge, but leaves the functional and process complexity. I think SaaS can be very useful, but it is not a cure-all. I wrote about some of the technical implementation challenges of PLM here: http://tech-clarity.com/clarityonplm/2009/implementing-plm-hard/. I also wrote something called “Implementing PLM is Hard Work” but that link is not working because Reed Business took my historical posts offline when they stopped publishing Manufacturing Business Technology. Hopefully I will get that back up at some point. The point of that post is that the work with the people is very challenging. SaaS doesn’t help that significantly.
      So will there be a next generation of solutions for the mid-sized and smaller manufacturer? Is it already out there? I look forward to your post when you can get to it.
      Best,
      Jim

  10. Jos Voskuil says:

    Jim good timing for this post, as indeed there is big discussion on-going around PLM. I am already a few months in doubt if I should write a post about it also, as so many angles around this topic exist.

    First some statements (with my mid-market focus in mind) for this discussion. I will elaborate in the future in my blog (not planned yet – but sure it lives in the field)

    PLM for the mid-market will not come from the big vendors and might even never really come. Due to two reasons:
    - the big vendors do not understand or have a model for the mid-market
    - PLM is in the mid-market is squeezed between CAD data management and ERP

    PLM by a different software model or vendor does not solve this situation. You need to be close to your customer to guide them towards PLM concepts. And the biggest companies close to the mid-market, Autodesk and Microsoft, do not talk about PLM !!

    But SaaS with current PLM concepts – I remember someone saying ” PLM should be a no brainer, like CRM is a no brainer”. I guess this is oversimplifying PLM. I do not believe in PLM changes without guidance/consultancy.

    So following the thoughts of Chris (Vuuch) and Oleg (Google) , I am more optimistic in this direction that a new defintion or approach might come in the future

    The challenge for this type of change is that mid-market companies are not yet managed by people coming from the 'new generation' – will they adapt it in their organisation ?

    Interesting discussion – on-going

    Bets regards

    Jos

    • Thanks Jos,
      SaaS solves the technical implementation challenge, but leaves the functional and process complexity. I think SaaS can be very useful, but it is not a cure-all. I wrote about some of the technical implementation challenges of PLM here: http://tech-clarity.com/clarityonplm/2009/imple…. I also wrote something called “Implementing PLM is Hard Work” but that link is not working because Reed Business took my historical posts offline when they stopped publishing Manufacturing Business Technology. Hopefully I will get that back up at some point. The point of that post is that the work with the people is very challenging. SaaS doesn't help that significantly.
      So will there be a next generation of solutions for the mid-sized and smaller manufacturer? Is it already out there? I look forward to your post when you can get to it.
      Best,
      Jim

  11. Jim maybe I need to reread this but it seems to me you are saying disruption does not happen and certainly cannot happen in a space filled with giants. How can you say ERP cannot go through disruption? Think back and you will see ERP is a space that was created out of disruption. Remember when everyone moved from that old stuff they had to Oracle and SAP and spending millions of dollars to remove the old? Do you remember a company by the name of Computer Vision or for that matter PTC? Remember when everyone would tell you it was impossible to throw out your old CAD data and move to the disruptive cool parametric feature based solution? Disruption is always possible and part of what makes it possible is the argument/belief that giants do not fall. Giant moment works until someone puts a rock in their way. There are so many cases of a giants fall from glory… just look at companies in the PLM space like PTC who created the market growing 40% a year for 10 years by being a disruptive force and is now a “body at rest” and as you say a body at rest tends to stay at rest. How many PTC executives do you think sat in a conference room and in a reaction to SolidWorks uttered the words how can they beat us, we have already won?

    Of course disruption is hard and therefore disruption only comes along everyone once in a while… Let’s not forget that when it happens there is always a dead giant laying somewhere on the side lines.

    • Chris,
      Either you need to reread it or I need to rewrite it. Have you ever visited the site ERP graveyard? It is hilarious, and brings back names of ERP companies most have long forgotten. There was a point where you could say that “no ERP vendor has ever crossed from one technology wave to the next.” Companies crashed and burned by going for broke with new technology (Baan, JDE, …).

      My point is that things have changed. Enterprise software execs know those case studies (most of them lived through at least one) and take a different approach to shifting technology.

      By the way, doesn’t SolidWorks line up pretty well with my premise about giants? Didn’t I say that once companies reach scale, they can buy their upstart competitors? Isn’t that what happened to SolidWorks?
      And as far as PTC is concerned (I don’t buy PTC as a body at rest, but that’s a different conversation) – what did they do when direct modeling (SpaceClaim) entered the picture. Last time I checked they were doing more business in direct modeling with CoCreate than SpaceClaim is doing. Again, when you have scale you can compete. Now, you have to stay relevant and you have to continue to execute or your customer base (and more importantly your cash) will not allow you to act like a giant.

      There will still be “dead giants.” Today, most of the dead giants are not left by the side of the road, they are consumed (sorry for the analogy taking an ugly turn) by other giants in part of in whole.

      Yes, there will be disruption. It is fun to talk about. But I think PLM’s disruption will be evolution than revolution. Save my post in your time capsule or tickler file and bring it up when I am wrong, I’ll fess up.

      Thanks for the discussion.

      • You tackled disruption from only the technology side and while this is an important perspective it is not the only one. What about business model and what about feature set? In PLM we have seen attempts at business model combined with technology change (BOM.com and ARAS) but I cannot think of a trifecta. Rereading I see you equated Vuuch to a technology shift. While Vuuch is a technology shift it is also a feature and business model shift. Again rereading I agree with your point that technology alone will not shift the market. As we debated last week what if ERP got on the other side of PLM? What if ERP were to surround PLM by moving into design?

        Today, maybe, ERP is doing a bit of copy cat protectionism against PLM. They see PLM waving swords at their space so they have answered with a check in the box by adding PLM features. Which from a selling perspective has worked well for them as they own executive IT relationships and maybe this is all they need (maybe they do not really need to go after the PLM market as maybe all they need to do is keep PLM out). Maybe PLM is just not that interesting to them.

        I see the SolidWorks case a bit different. If PTC had bought them then I would agree. SolidWorks at the time was not a competitor for DS. Maybe this is splitting hairs a bit but at the time CATIA simply was not a competitor. At that point in time CATIA was holding its own based on relationship and IBM. DS purchased SolidWorks as a strategy against PTC versus buying a competitor which is why up until now DS has taken a hands off approach with SolidWorks.

        • Chris,
          I did not intend to categorize Vuuch as a technology innovation. I see the shift with Vuuch much more substantially unique due to the processes you are providing to the engineering companies. The business model makes it easy to adopt, but in the end what I think is interesting is the functionality (call me old school).

          ERP (or at least the ERP vendors) do have an opportunity in PLM. It is a matter of how much they want to invest, and how quickly they would like to get there. It is a simple matter of money (and time to execute). They could buy an existing PLM vendor, for example. I have no doubt that ERP could do this, the question is whether they will. And my belief is that “copycat” is the wrong approach for them, but that is a conversation for a different time and place. Or least time, my blog is probably a great place for the discussion. :-)

          I won’t argue with you about the DS motivation for SolidWorks. I feel SW was a disruptor to the CAD market regardless of who they were winning/losing to. Suffice it to say they were acquired by a Giant.

          Jim

  12. Jim maybe I need to reread this but it seems to me you are saying disruption does not happen and certainly cannot happen in a space filled with giants. How can you say ERP cannot go through disruption? Think back and you will see ERP is a space that was created out of disruption. Remember when everyone moved from that old stuff they had to Oracle and SAP and spending millions of dollars to remove the old? Do you remember a company by the name of Computer Vision or for that matter PTC? Remember when everyone would tell you it was impossible to throw out your old CAD data and move to the disruptive cool parametric feature based solution? Disruption is always possible and part of what makes it possible is the argument/belief that giants do not fall. Giant moment works until someone puts a rock in their way. There are so many cases of a giants fall from glory… just look at companies in the PLM space like PTC who created the market growing 40% a year for 10 years by being a disruptive force and is now a “body at rest” and as you say a body at rest tends to stay at rest. How many PTC executives do you think sat in a conference room and in a reaction to SolidWorks uttered the words how can they beat us, we have already won?

    Of course disruption is hard and therefore disruption only comes along everyone once in a while… Let’s not forget that when it happens there is always a dead giant laying somewhere on the side lines.

    • Chris,
      Either you need to reread it or I need to rewrite it. Have you ever visited the site ERP graveyard? It is hilarious, and brings back names of ERP companies most have long forgotten. There was a point where you could say that “no ERP vendor has ever crossed from one technology wave to the next.” Companies crashed and burned by going for broke with new technology (Baan, JDE, …).

      My point is that things have changed. Enterprise software execs know those case studies (most of them lived through at least one) and take a different approach to shifting technology.

      By the way, doesn't SolidWorks line up pretty well with my premise about giants? Didn't I say that once companies reach scale, they can buy their upstart competitors? Isn't that what happened to SolidWorks?
      And as far as PTC is concerned (I don't buy PTC as a body at rest, but that's a different conversation) – what did they do when direct modeling (SpaceClaim) entered the picture. Last time I checked they were doing more business in direct modeling with CoCreate than SpaceClaim is doing. Again, when you have scale you can compete. Now, you have to stay relevant and you have to continue to execute or your customer base (and more importantly your cash) will not allow you to act like a giant.

      There will still be “dead giants.” Today, most of the dead giants are not left by the side of the road, they are consumed (sorry for the analogy taking an ugly turn) by other giants in part of in whole.

      Yes, there will be disruption. It is fun to talk about. But I think PLM's disruption will be evolution than revolution. Save my post in your time capsule or tickler file and bring it up when I am wrong, I'll fess up.

      Thanks for the discussion.

      • You tackled disruption from only the technology side and while this is an important perspective it is not the only one. What about business model and what about feature set? In PLM we have seen attempts at business model combined with technology change (BOM.com and ARAS) but I cannot think of a trifecta. Rereading I see you equated Vuuch to a technology shift. While Vuuch is a technology shift it is also a feature and business model shift. Again rereading I agree with your point that technology alone will not shift the market. As we debated last week what if ERP got on the other side of PLM? What if ERP were to surround PLM by moving into design?

        Today, maybe, ERP is doing a bit of copy cat protectionism against PLM. They see PLM waving swords at their space so they have answered with a check in the box by adding PLM features. Which from a selling perspective has worked well for them as they own executive IT relationships and maybe this is all they need (maybe they do not really need to go after the PLM market as maybe all they need to do is keep PLM out). Maybe PLM is just not that interesting to them.

        I see the SolidWorks case a bit different. If PTC had bought them then I would agree. SolidWorks at the time was not a competitor for DS. Maybe this is splitting hairs a bit but at the time CATIA simply was not a competitor. At that point in time CATIA was holding its own based on relationship and IBM. DS purchased SolidWorks as a strategy against PTC versus buying a competitor which is why up until now DS has taken a hands off approach with SolidWorks.

        • Chris,
          I did not intend to categorize Vuuch as a technology innovation. I see the shift with Vuuch much more substantially unique due to the processes you are providing to the engineering companies. The business model makes it easy to adopt, but in the end what I think is interesting is the functionality (call me old school).

          ERP (or at least the ERP vendors) do have an opportunity in PLM. It is a matter of how much they want to invest, and how quickly they would like to get there. It is a simple matter of money (and time to execute). They could buy an existing PLM vendor, for example. I have no doubt that ERP could do this, the question is whether they will. And my belief is that “copycat” is the wrong approach for them, but that is a conversation for a different time and place. Or least time, my blog is probably a great place for the discussion. :-)

          I won't argue with you about the DS motivation for SolidWorks. I feel SW was a disruptor to the CAD market regardless of who they were winning/losing to. Suffice it to say they were acquired by a Giant.

          Jim

  13. Stan Przybylinski says:

    Hi Jim,

    Part of your thesis relates to the work of Clay Christensen at Harvard (and all of the people who did the original work who he barely credits – oops, did I type this out loud). Technologies evolve along a certain “trajectory”, growing and adding features so that, eventually, they add more and more stuff that less and less people care about. (How much of Microsoft Word does the average person use?) Eventually, newer technologies come up with a smaller set of features, lower price points, etc. (Minicomputers, PCs, SolidWorks, etc.) They meet most of the need and have other desirable attributes. You could argue that some of that is going on in PLM, as you cite, with SharePoint and companies like Aras making some headway.

    But I agree with your general point, that there is no wave of displacement coming, but perhaps for different reasons. PLM proves that software adopters do not understand economics – the notion of sunk cost does not play here. There are many reasons for this – people make a decision, it goes bad but they can’t change it without looking bad themselves. The bigger reason is switching costs. PLM strategies, and the systems used to achieve them, are like octopi (or insidious brain cancer, depending on your position) stretching their tentacles across organizational boundaries, multiple other systems, etc. The same thing that makes them so hard to implement in the first place CAN make them hard to remove.

    I say CAN, because vendors often do not do the work to make them insidious. Their solutions do not control the BOM. They do not fully support engineering change. They do not implement integrations with other enterprise systems. They don’t expand the implementation to include other functionality in their portfolio. If the implementation is shallow, failure is easier to admit and replacements easier to achieve.

    Stan

    • Stan,
      Great insight as usual, thank you.

      If there were no switching costs or political backlash to switching from an existing solution, I wonder if my basic premise is still valid. That once companies have reached scale, they are hard to knock off (unless they inflict it on themselves, which certainly happens). I think of Microsoft and Internet Explorer (along with a host of technologies they have acquired from potential disruptors over the years). It seems that as we have learned more as an industry about software markets (they are relatively new, after all) that companies have gotten better at spotting potential disruption and respond earlier.

      Jim

  14. Stan Przybylinski says:

    Hi Jim,rnrnPart of your thesis relates to the work of Clay Christensen at Harvard (and all of the people who did the original work who he barely credits – oops, did I type this out loud). Technologies evolve along a certain “trajectory”, growing and adding features so that, eventually, they add more and more stuff that less and less people care about. (How much of Microsoft Word does the average person use?) Eventually, newer technologies come up with a smaller set of features, lower price points, etc. (Minicomputers, PCs, SolidWorks, etc.) They meet most of the need and have other desirable attributes. You could argue that some of that is going on in PLM, as you cite, with SharePoint and companies like Aras making some headway. rnrnBut I agree with your general point, that there is no wave of displacement coming, but perhaps for different reasons. PLM proves that software adopters do not understand economics – the notion of sunk cost does not play here. There are many reasons for this – people make a decision, it goes bad but they can’t change it without looking bad themselves. The bigger reason is switching costs. PLM strategies, and the systems used to achieve them, are like octopi (or insidious brain cancer, depending on your position) stretching their tentacles across organizational boundaries, multiple other systems, etc. The same thing that makes them so hard to implement in the first place CAN make them hard to remove.rnrnI say CAN, because vendors often do not do the work to make them insidious. Their solutions do not control the BOM. They do not fully support engineering change. They do not implement integrations with other enterprise systems. They don’t expand the implementation to include other functionality in their portfolio. If the implementation is shallow, failure is easier to admit and replacements easier to achieve.rnrnrnStan

  15. Anonymous says:

    Good post and discussion Jim. Seems that there’s a lot of focus on ‘falling giants’ – we think it’s a slow motion implosion. I certainly agree w/ Chris at Vuuch http://www.vuuch.com/ that disruption comes in many forms; technological, feature set, business model innovations… and other types as well (i.e. distribution, packaging, etc). These innovations are most powerful when the market conditions are right as well.

    I think of disruption as characterized by market share shift. The pace that this happens depends on a variety of factors, most notably the frequency of purchase. PLM (and enterprise software in general) tend to be ‘long life’ systems – once they’re in they stay there.

    PLM market ‘disruption’ requires purchase activity. When companies have an existing system this typically comes at the point of major upgrade which can force a reevaluation… This ‘reevaluation’ at upgrade is more likely when; the current product performs poorly, pricing has changed substantially, etc, etc, etc.

    At Aras we see this happening right now in PLM – requirement to upgrade to ENOVIA V6, Teamcenter Unified, Windchill 10… all of which have their own current user dissatisfaction combined with switch to named user licensing which dramatically increases the price for the customer.

    Our answer at Aras is to provide superior enterprise PLM solutions that eliminate PLM license expenses (i.e. address both the big problems of the Major PLM providers).

    How fast will change happen is anybody’s guess, but we’re seeing a lot of companies that are fed up with the repeated “promises of a better life” from Big PLM – at the same time the PLM salesman smiles with his hand out for more & more money.

    Just my 2 cents.

    MarcL
    http://www.aras.com

    • Marc,
      Thank you for your reply. You bring up an excellent point about major market shifts. There are points in each company’s implementation lifecycle where there are logical decision points. Stick with what I have? Upgrade it? Extend the use? Replace it?

      One area others have brought up is relevant to your comment. That is that the cost of changing is only partially license fees. Removing the license fee is helpful, but it doesn’t make the migration free. In your case, if a manufacturer chooses to move from an existing solution to Aras you have certainly done your best to remove that barrier. But there is still cost. At times of major upgrade, there is cost to stay with the same solution as well (upgrade, retraining, updating integration, etc.) so it does cause companies to reconsider where they put their money (I have been involved in a number of those discussions). Other than license fees (usually much smaller than the total cost of change), what have you done? Not to say companies don’t want to avoid license fees of course…

      On the other point, how does Aras help companies from having to stay current? I know they don’t have to pay for upgrades, but how do you keep them from requiring to upgrade? Do you support every release? Do you enhance every version? I see that you have taken the license fee out of keeping companies current, but aren’t they still motivated to stay on your current release?

      I will have to do some research into whether companies are on a “forced march” to upgrade in PLM. I know in other enterprise applications, support policies have become much more liberal than “current release and one back” – I will have to look into the upgrade policies of the current vendors.

      Thanks, and curious to hear more,
      Jim

      PS – For others, here is some of my past commentary on Aras
      http://tech-clarity.com/clarityonplm/2009/open-source-plm-aras/

  16. marclind says:

    Good post and discussion Jim. Seems that there’s a lot of focus on ‘falling giants’ – we think it’s a slow motion implosion. I certainly agree w/ Chris at Vuuch http://www.vuuch.com/ that disruption comes in many forms; technological, feature set, business model innovations… and other types as well (i.e. distribution, packaging, etc). These innovations are most powerful when the market conditions are right as well.

    I think of disruption as characterized by market share shift. The pace that this happens depends on a variety of factors, most notably the frequency of purchase. PLM (and enterprise software in general) tend to be ‘long life’ systems – once they’re in they stay there.

    PLM market ‘disruption’ requires purchase activity. When companies have an existing system this typically comes at the point of major upgrade which can force a reevaluation… This ‘reevaluation’ at upgrade is more likely when; the current product performs poorly, pricing has changed substantially, etc, etc, etc.

    At Aras we see this happening right now in PLM – requirement to upgrade to ENOVIA V6, Teamcenter Unified, Windchill 10… all of which have their own current user dissatisfaction combined with switch to named user licensing which dramatically increases the price for the customer.

    Our answer at Aras is to provide superior enterprise PLM solutions that eliminate PLM license expenses (i.e. address both the big problems of the Major PLM providers).

    How fast will change happen is anybody’s guess, but we’re seeing a lot of companies that are fed up with the repeated “promises of a better life” from Big PLM – at the same time the PLM salesman smiles with his hand out for more & more money.

    Just my 2 cents.

    MarcL
    http://www.aras.com

    • Marc,
      Thank you for your reply. You bring up an excellent point about major market shifts. There are points in each company's implementation lifecycle where there are logical decision points. Stick with what I have? Upgrade it? Extend the use? Replace it?

      One area others have brought up is relevant to your comment. That is that the cost of changing is only partially license fees. Removing the license fee is helpful, but it doesn't make the migration free. In your case, if a manufacturer chooses to move from an existing solution to Aras you have certainly done your best to remove that barrier. But there is still cost. At times of major upgrade, there is cost to stay with the same solution as well (upgrade, retraining, updating integration, etc.) so it does cause companies to reconsider where they put their money (I have been involved in a number of those discussions). Other than license fees (usually much smaller than the total cost of change), what have you done? Not to say companies don't want to avoid license fees of course…

      On the other point, how does Aras help companies from having to stay current? I know they don't have to pay for upgrades, but how do you keep them from requiring to upgrade? Do you support every release? Do you enhance every version? I see that you have taken the license fee out of keeping companies current, but aren't they still motivated to stay on your current release?

      I will have to do some research into whether companies are on a “forced march” to upgrade in PLM. I know in other enterprise applications, support policies have become much more liberal than “current release and one back” – I will have to look into the upgrade policies of the current vendors.

      Thanks, and curious to hear more,
      Jim

      PS – For others, here is some of my past commentary on Aras
      http://tech-clarity.com/clarityonplm/2009/open-

  17. Jim,
    Excellent discussion is going here. This is my second take (in addition to Google Wave) – Google is coming with App Store next week. http://plmtwine.com/2010/03/09/will-google-app-store-disrupt-plm/. Google Wave, in my view, can be part of Google App Store.
    I think an idea similar to Salesforce.com marketplace, can provide an option to disrupt today’s PLM vendors. However, I’d be interested about your view, especially since you described a very conservative version of enterprise/PLM domain, in general.
    Best, Oleg

  18. Jim,rnExcellent discussion is going here. This is my second take (in addition to Google Wave) – Google is coming with App Store next week. http://plmtwine.com/2010/03/09/will-google-app-store-disrupt-plm/. Google Wave, in my view, can be part of Google App Store.rnI think an idea similar to Salesforce.com marketplace, can provide an option to disrupt today’s PLM vendors. However, I’d be interested about your view, especially since you described a very conservative version of enterprise/PLM domain, in general.rnBest, Oleg

  19. olegshilovitsky says:

    Jim,
    Excellent discussion is going here. This is my second take (in addition to Google Wave) – Google is coming with App Store next week. http://plmtwine.com/2010/03/09/will-google-app-…. Google Wave, in my view, can be part of Google App Store.
    I think an idea similar to Salesforce.com marketplace, can provide an option to disrupt today's PLM vendors. However, I'd be interested about your view, especially since you described a very conservative version of enterprise/PLM domain, in general.
    Best, Oleg

  20. Shared drive is not a bad one, especially if his location is on the cloud. Best, Oleg

  21. Anonymous says:

    I believe the comment from Chris is exactly right. The ERP vendors are trying to cover their posterior from the PLM vendors who are starting to eat into their space. It is simply a check box move to say “we do PLM”. I also may not be able to see the forest through the trees, but I believe that PLM is still 70% engineering process centric and still heavily revolves around the traditional core called PDM. The remainder is either not needed by most or is just too difficult to justify or implement to make it really worthwhile.

    As far as dissruptive technology goes, Sharepoint has already started to do this. 2 of the big PLM vendors have already adopted it as a backend to their product offering (Siemens PLM with Teamcenter Community and Solid Edge Insight and PTC with Windchill ProductPoint) and many companies who would have never considered a PLM system are using it with the multitudes of add-ins available to replicate PLM in many respects. I believe that if it continues on it’s current course, Sharepoint will become the defacto database and vault because it is everywhere and it is being kept generic while steadily increasing it’s ability to manage data. To keep playing, the big PLM players will have to provide application add-ins to specialize Sharepoint for the PLM role, but it will live on Sharepoint.

    Just my 2 cents!

    • Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available?

      I am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.

      Thanks for your 2 cents!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I believe the comment from Chris is exactly right. The ERP vendors are trying to cover their posterior from the PLM vendors who are starting to eat into their space. It is simply a check box move to say “we do PLM”. I also may not be able to see the forest through the trees, but I believe that PLM is still 70% engineering process centric and still heavily revolves around the traditional core called PDM. The remainder is either not needed by most or is just too difficult to justify or implement to make it really worthwhile.rnrnAs far as dissruptive technology goes, Sharepoint has already started to do this. 2 of the big PLM vendors have already adopted it as a backend to their product offering (Siemens PLM with Teamcenter Community and Solid Edge Insight and PTC with Windchill ProductPoint) and many companies who would have never considered a PLM system are using it with the multitudes of add-ins available to replicate PLM in many respects. I believe that if it continues on it’s current course, Sharepoint will become the defacto database and vault because it is everywhere and it is being kept generic while steadily increasing it’s ability to manage data. To keep playing, the big PLM players will have to provide application add-ins to specialize Sharepoint for the PLM role, but it will live on Sharepoint.rnrnJust my 2 cents!

  23. pellaken says:

    I believe the comment from Chris is exactly right. The ERP vendors are trying to cover their posterior from the PLM vendors who are starting to eat into their space. It is simply a check box move to say “we do PLM”. I also may not be able to see the forest through the trees, but I believe that PLM is still 70% engineering process centric and still heavily revolves around the traditional core called PDM. The remainder is either not needed by most or is just too difficult to justify or implement to make it really worthwhile.

    As far as dissruptive technology goes, Sharepoint has already started to do this. 2 of the big PLM vendors have already adopted it as a backend to their product offering (Siemens PLM with Teamcenter Community and Solid Edge Insight and PTC with Windchill ProductPoint) and many companies who would have never considered a PLM system are using it with the multitudes of add-ins available to replicate PLM in many respects. I believe that if it continues on it's current course, Sharepoint will become the defacto database and vault because it is everywhere and it is being kept generic while steadily increasing it's ability to manage data. To keep playing, the big PLM players will have to provide application add-ins to specialize Sharepoint for the PLM role, but it will live on Sharepoint.

    Just my 2 cents!

    • Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won't disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available?

      I am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.

      Thanks for your 2 cents!

  24. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  25. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  26. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  27. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  28. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  29. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  30. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  31. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  32. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  33. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  34. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  35. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  36. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  37. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  38. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  39. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  40. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  41. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  42. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  43. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  44. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  45. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  46. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  47. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  48. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  49. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  50. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  51. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  52. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  53. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  54. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  55. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  56. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  57. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  58. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  59. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  60. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  61. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  62. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  63. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  64. Great point on SharePoint. I think that SharePoint is like any other part of the infrastructure stack. It won’t disrupt the big players, they will leverage it. Will some companies try to use SharePoint as PLM? Of course. Today those are the companies that are using shared drives and Excel. Why build your own when the solutions are available? rnrnI am not a SharePoint expert, but I think it will be some time before it can scale to the levels that some companies require for PLM. PTC will probably be getting a good perspective on that. Siemens uses SharePoint for collaboration, not as the PDM. Although there is a SharePoint-based PDM solution associated with Siemens Solid Edge. But they are not being as aggressive about that as PTC.rnrnThanks for your 2 cents!

  65. Stan,
    Great insight as usual, thank you.

    If there were no switching costs or political backlash to switching from an existing solution, I wonder if my basic premise is still valid. That once companies have reached scale, they are hard to knock off (unless they inflict it on themselves, which certainly happens). I think of Microsoft and Internet Explorer (along with a host of technologies they have acquired from potential disruptors over the years). It seems that as we have learned more as an industry about software markets (they are relatively new, after all) that companies have gotten better at spotting potential disruption and respond earlier.

    Jim

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