What can PLM Learn from Social Computing on TV?

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.

Research Rap: Are Engineers Social? Online They Are!

A quick peek into some research on … how active engineers are with social networks. While attending the PROuser conference, I heard Robin Saitz of PTC talk about a study that they commissioned Forrester Research to develop. The goal of the study was to better understand how active PTC’s customers are in social networks. The results surprised me and they didn’t, it turns out that engineers and product developers are very active with social computing!

What I learned: This will be the year of SaaS in PLM

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: Viewing PLM as a “Triad” of Solutions

What I learned this week … came from a presentation given by Jim Heppelmann and Brian Shepherd of PTC and this week’s PTCUser conference. The presentation gave a view into some of the interesting things that PTC is working on in their solution set, and a peek into their vision for the future of PLM systems. More accurately, what Jim and Brian said the future for their Product Development System as opposed to “PLM,” which is an important differentiation for them.

What I Learned: Is Social Product Development Viable without PLM?

What I learned this week … came from a post on PLM Think Tank (aka PLM Twine) titled 5 reasons why Wiki fails for PLM collaboration which I think points to an interesting set of questions:

Is social computing software enough on it’s own to support product innovation, product development, and engineering?
– Will social computing software evolve to handle more full PLM-related requirements as it matures?
– Will PLM leverage social computing platforms to extend their capabilities?
– Will PLM embed social computing capabilities of their own?
Here is my take on an interesting conversation, and some of my thoughts on the direction that social computing in PLM might take.

Research Rap: Social Networking in PLM – Takeaways from COFES

A quick peek into some research on … social computing in PLM that I am currently working on. I had the opportunity to lead a discussion at COFES (Congress for the Future of Engineering Software) this morning on the use of social networking in design and engineering. I am just starting my research project for a paper, so the timing was very good to start the discussion. I will share my key takeaways from the conversation with you now, and of course post a link to the paper when it is ready.