What I Learned: PLM, Please Take 3 Giant Steps Forward

What I learned this week … came from reflecting on three major PLM product announcements this week. In one week, Dassault is announcing the new release of their “PLM 2.0” suite, Oracle is announcing the next release of Agile PLM, and Siemens PLM is announcing the new releases of Teamcenter and Tecnomatix. Jeff Hojlo and I will be covering each of the releases in our blog, but I thought it made sense to start with some context-setting across all three. I am impressed with the amount of investment that PLM vendors have made in their products in what has been a difficult year for enterprise software in general, kudos to all three (and the others that have continued to invest in this solution set that continues to grow in importance).

Research Rap: Are Engineers Social? Online They Are!

A quick peek into some research on … how active engineers are with social networks. While attending the PROuser conference, I heard Robin Saitz of PTC talk about a study that they commissioned Forrester Research to develop. The goal of the study was to better understand how active PTC’s customers are in social networks. The results surprised me and they didn’t, it turns out that engineers and product developers are very active with social computing!

What I Learned: Viewing PLM as a “Triad” of Solutions

What I learned this week … came from a presentation given by Jim Heppelmann and Brian Shepherd of PTC and this week’s PTCUser conference. The presentation gave a view into some of the interesting things that PTC is working on in their solution set, and a peek into their vision for the future of PLM systems. More accurately, what Jim and Brian said the future for their Product Development System as opposed to “PLM,” which is an important differentiation for them.

One-to-One: Big Blue’s Unprecedented Mechatronic Design Opportunity

I had the chance to talk with … a number of IBM executives at their Rational Software Conference (RSC2009) over the last two days. I have heard some great talks on the role that software plays in developing a smarter planet, and how IBM can help companies develop smarter products. I have heard them talk about instrumenting the physical world to monitor, analyze, and improve the way it operates (a whole topic unto itself, really). I have learned a lot and shared ideas with some dynamic, passionate IBM’ers and my peer analysts. My key takeaway is not new, however. I have felt for some time (and my experience at the Rational conference furthered this belief) that IBM has an unprecedented opportunity to bring a systems engineering focus to developing mechatronic products, and unite the disparate mechanical, electrical, and software design processes.

What I Learned: Mechatronic Product Development and the Talking Refrigerator

What I learned this week … came from the keynote and press conference at IBM’s Rational Software Conference (RSC2009). IBM is talking about how to help companies develop and manage today’s smarter products. What was surprising to me is that the conference is focused on developing software – not physical products – but that a lot of the conversations focused on manufacturers and product development. Are we finally getting to the point where ALM (application lifecycle management) and PLM (product lifecycle management) can be discussed in the same sentence?

What I Learned: Socially Developed Engineering and Product Documentation?

What I learned this week … came from two recent conversations with manufacturers about their use of social computing to support product innovation, product development, and engineering. I am exploring how companies are using these technologies to improve design and product development collaboration, but also trying to uncover ways they are going beyond collaboration on a specific product or design. Two of my recent conversations touched on the use of wikis and blogs to present information. To be more accurate, these manufacturers are using wikis and blogs to both collect and communicate engineering and product knowledge. Pretty interesting stuff, I think.