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Product Lifecycle Management software coverage including Aras, Autodesk PLM 360, ENOVIA, Oracle Agile, SAP PLM, Teamcenter and Windchill.
PLM is Dead, Long Live PLM
Interested in leaning more? We hosted a webinar on this topic: Is the new PLM right for you? Cloud, Saas and Dis-integration of PLM functions open new opportunities. It is now on demand here. Watching will require a free PLM Connections subscription.

For much of the past year I've been thinking about how new features are impacting PLM as we know it. Most prior successful PLM installations have been based primarily on a single brand of software that manages the collective functions for PDM, BOM, change management, some project management tasks, access control and increasingly feedback loops from CAM and CAE.

Where organizations were able to take advantage of these many integrated functions, and also able to match their process to the PLM systems process organizations have seen wildly successful ROI.

But many organizations have struggled and continue to struggle with large installations that never quite fit their process or require an overhead that engineering teams struggle to maintain. Further much of the promise of PLM in terms of actually managing the lifecycle of a product have gone unrealized.

Enter 2016 and a host of new PLM opportunities. Cloud, new software integration tools, SaaS, and what I call the dis-integration of PLM are all playing a role.

PLM in the cloud

In the past year a number of commercial offerings for cloud-based PLM systems have matured significantly. Autodesk PLM 360, Arena Solutions tools, and others are making real Cloud PLM possible.

Cloud alleviates a number of headaches and management hazards associated with older style PLM environments. Of course it also brings distributed data and security issues to bear, but for the most part making the systems available in the cloud frees up a huge amount of engineering IT bandwidth to make things work more smoothly.


Another important change in the PLM world is paying for what you need right now as opposed to the overhead for functionality that you may not need or may never need. Users being able to sign up to access projects or functionality when they need it is critical to the unbundling of older kid PLM environments with requirements for nimble teams.

New software integration tools

We are seeing an explosion of updated programming techniques inside of new PLM offerings. If you've ever had to struggle with data translation, PLM migration, or integration of something like a PLM environment with an ERP environment, you are in for some pleasant surprises when you look at what is currently available.

Take a look at the Jitterbit integration between Autodesk PLM 360 and Netsuite ERP for example. Or take a look at what is SAP is doing with its integration tools. Finally you might want to take a look at PropelPLM that is built entirely on a CRM platform for streamlining the integration of customer or departmental or project team identities directly with PLM functionality.

Dis - integration of PLM

Not-so-News flash for PLM aficionados: you may not need to do all of what you're looking to do under a single PLM environment.
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Published 2016-04-11 00:00:00