Multitouch CAD – Are you Serious!?

What I learned this week … came from a Youtube video by direct modeling (3D CAD) company SpaceClaim. The video is cool from the music to the product, but after their hilarious April Fool’s joke – how serious is this really? Let’s put aside that question – and the question of how ready this technology may be – until I have a chance to talk with them a bit. In the meantime, what I want to discuss is “why we would care if multitouch came to CAD?”

One-to-One: Oracle Focuses on Analytics With its Latest PLM Offering

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.

One-to-One: Dassault Strives to Make 3D Accessible to All in the SMB with V6

I had a chance to talk with…the Dassault Systemes team about their recent V6R2010 product release. They reinforced their key messages during the conversation: SOA based on a single data model, powered by ENOVIA, leveraging 3D as a media. They also continue to speak of PLM 2.0, referring to the maturation of PLM from an engineering workgroup application to an value chain wide new product development and launch platform. I agree with this assertion – PLM has evolved in recent years to include the front end of innovation, product portfolio management, and direct materials sourcing; I always believed these were aspects of the PLM footprint, but organizations still approached each aspect of the product lifecycle in a siloed fashion. Now with this release, these tenets are accessible to the SMB market as well.

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.

How Does Social Computing in PLM Help Collaboration?

What I learned this week … is based on responses and my own reflection stemming from my post
Is Social Networking in PLM Just More Collaboration? from last week. In that post I talked about how social networking capabilities can add more than just collaboration by extending into “discovery.” But what I want to circle back on now is that yes, social networking capabilities can also play a significant role in collaboration. In my enthusiasm with what could happen for manufacturers that are willing to stretch the boundaries of their current business, I may have made some pretty big assumptions in regards to people understanding what is most likely their first step in embracing these technologies in product innovation and engineering – which is enhancing collaboration in design and product development. So in this post, I want to step back and comment on the near at hand values of social computing and PLM, and potentially put the horse back before the cart for many. Will social networking make your product development team as happy as this picture? Probably not, but it might just help make your products more profitable.

Why Social Networking in PLM is More than Just Collaboration

What I learned this week … came as the result of a conversation I had recently with some of the people I know who are passionate about the use of social computing to improve product development. The examples that we kept discussing were good, but to me I kept hearing about better collaboration. Important, but from my use of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I kept feeling like there was more to it that I wasn’t able to articulate. In one of those “aha” moments (aided by one of my favorite innovation tools, the white board) I finally got it. I would like to share that with you if I can.