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.
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.
What I learned this week … was sparked by a small article by Jennifer LeClaire at newsfactor.com. The article was short and sweet, and announced that Verizon Adds Social Networking To FiOS TV Service. So other than the fact that I like FIOS and this points to further consolidation between TV and multi-media computing (which I think is both cool and invetible), why did I care? It reminded me that social computing is a capability, and that how you apply it – and in what context – can turn it into something very unique. That is what Verizon is starting to do with their TV service, and exactly what the PLM community needs to do with social computing in product development.
What I learned this week… came from conversations with manufacturers and SaaS vendors over the past year. I believe the market is ripe for a SaaS approach to PLM. When it comes to product development, every organization strives for efficiency, flexibility, better collaboration (internally and externally), and easier upgrades. Yet, business models that could enable such benefits, such as Software-as-a-service (SaaS), or even SOA, has not been widely adopted to support product lifecycle management. The ongoing economic malaise, however, is driving manufacturers to rethink how they deploy PLM, and other enterprise software systems.
What I learned this week… is that it is really fun to pick on Facebook because it doesn’t have the capabilities to support product innovation, product development, and engineering. Of course, it was never intended to and that is probably not a market that they are really very interested in. But it is fun, and also helps to bring home some of the requirements that are important for social computing in PLM. This post started as a reply to Stan’s comment on my “not building an airplane on Facebook post,” and I realized after about 17 pages of comments that maybe I had better turn it into a blog post. Thank you Stan for bringing up a lot of very good questions.
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.