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?