What I learned this week …came from an article in The New York Times by Alex Wright. The article, Mining the Web for Feelings not Facts, was a great look into a concept that is new to me, an emerging field called “sentiment analysis.” The article defines sentiment analysis as “translating the vagaries of human emotion into hard data.” The examples show companies using data analysis techniques to gain insight into what social media (such as social networks and blogs) are saying about their company. My thoughts immediately turned to the value this information would have to product developers to understand how customers feel about their products, and what a great tool this could be in the social computing toolkit for PLM.
I had a chance to talk with… Hardeep Gulati at Oracle about the recent Agile PLM 9.3 product release. Product analytics has been, and still is for the most part, a gap in the PLM market. So considering Oracle’s acquisitions of Hyperion and Agile in recent years, it’s not a surprise that the Oracle 9.3 PLM release is focused squarely on this area. The challenge is making this product intelligence consumable to each of the different roles along the value chain – engineering and design, manufacturing and supply chain, marketing and sales. Make the information easy to access and relevant, or you’ll have a nice analytics tool that no one uses. Oracle realizes this and has also focused the release on enhancing an already good (based on conversations over the past year with Agile users) user experience by adding “productivity tools” – for example drag and drop, inline editing, and more personalization. The company will focus their next release on leveraging their portal technology for a common user interface – a critical component of their strategy.
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).