Social Computing Drives Innovation

What I learned this week …came from a side conversation during some research I am working on in the innovation systems ecosystem. I was discussing the importance of different solutions in the space with this major electronic manufacturer, and he started to get very passionate when he turned the conversation to Web 2.0 and how it can improve innovation. With the work I have been doing on social computing in PLM, we ended up having a fascinating conversation about the potentials. It’s always nice when you see confirmation of a trend from an unexpected source.

Redesign PLM, or Put the People in PLM?

What I learned this week … is based on a post in Vuuch Voice. The post, People Centric PLM – A New PLM Age Is Born, really made me think. I don’t know where Chris Williams got the picture, but I don’t think it looks like him at all. Well, maybe a little. After recovering from the shock of the picture, I really started thinking about whether social computing in PLM requires a reinvention of PLM, or whether we are talking about augmenting the capabilities that PLM already provides?

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.