I’m a bit late with my top 5 review for November. It was a tough month for me because of travels. I made double-Vegas. What does it mean you can ask? It means that Vegas this year became a top PLM destination. Back in June, PTC organized their annual conference in Vegas. However, in November, both Dassault System and Autodesk managed to have their annual customer events (DSCC 2011 and AU 2011) in Las Vegas.
I wasn’t surprised by the results of November’s top 5. Clearly, Autodesk with the announcement about Nexus PLM made a hit. Top two most viewable topics on my blog are related to Autodesk. So, with this short intro, let me take you to the list.
Autodesk is taking a huge step forward to deliver a different PLM. This is a significant step for the company that was focused on design tools for many years, starting from early AutoCAD days back 1980s. I liked cloud-based strategy and how it was presented by Autodesk. I can see it very promising. The analyzes presented by Autodesk people in PLM spaces shows that Autodesk is definitely learning from mistakes made by “big 3″ mind-share PLM providers. Focusing on processes is an interesting approach. However, it is important not to loose “data” grounds – it happened to many companies in the space of “business process management” (you can read more about this in my post - PLM controversy about process vs. data management). I want to learn more about Vault/ Nexus bundle. In my view, it contains a potential danger (similar to what happened with SolidWorks n!Fuze). Overall, I can see Autodesk is in the beginning of PLM learning curve. It is a very interesting time, and I’m looking forward to many fruitful PLM discussions.
Nexus PLM has nice and slick web user experience. Without practicall hands-on it is hard to say something about ease of navigation and the estimate the number of clicks you need to do to perform an action (click-per-action). These two things normally drive crazy users in data-oriented web environment. I found very positive the fact Autodesk is thinking about “insane customization”. However, it will be interested to see and experiment with how the complexity of customization will co-exist with cloud-based multi-tenant deployment. It reminds me one of my old posts – Is PLM customization a Data Management Titanic? Another critical aspect that wasn’t covered is data import or integration with existing systems (i.e. Files, Archives, Content Management, PDM, PLM, ERP, etc.). The answer Autodesk provided pointed to some internal development with Autodesk Vault as well as a future work with partners. That would be very interesting to see in the future. Overall, Nexus has a potential to disrupt. I’m looking forward to seeing how Autodesk will realize this potential.
I think the failure to design data access in organizations, was a recipe for disaster for many PLM implementations. PLM programs were focused on “how to improve processes” and forgot about how to put a solid data foundation to support cross-departmental process implementations. So, I’d like to put a quote from Bell Helicopter’s presentation during DSCC 2011 as something PLM vendors and customers need to remember – “to get the core data right first”. Just my opinion, of course. YMMV.
You can see how Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO re-defines ‘business casual’. In addition, I’m trying to make my conclusion about what I’ve heard in the connection with PLM. Autodesk is definitely recognizing PLM as a future opportunity. After what was done in PLM by Dassault, Siemens PLM and PTC, to democratize PLM will be probably a biggest challenge for Autodesk. Just my thoughts…
Dassault is clearly innovating by adding Exalead technology to their portfolio. As Laurent mentioned during our conversation, everybody these days understood that the ability to handle information becomes very important. Search technology is an interesting competitive advantage Dassault is having. Compare it other CAD/PLM players (Siemens, PTC and Autodesk) – they need to outsource these capabilities to companies acquired by Oracle, Microsoft and HP. I believe Exalead will be used by Enovia to improve their search capabilities. I haven’t seen a demo of this, but assume Dassault will replace Autonomy OEM by Exalead. Delivery of EXA-like applications sounds like an interesting trend. However, speaking about Enovia vs. Exalead platform it is still hard to see how they are blending together. Which, of course, can be played nicely by saying – it is all part of DS V6… voilà. Just my thoughts, of course.
Picture credit to Shaan Hurley blog