different marketing strategies and namming in PLM

Posted on November 8, 2012

Seen from the Aras community, I’m must say I’m guilty! I’ve been following a little bit the twitter’s feed of the 3dexperience presentation from Dassault yesterday. Not sure what was the initial reason of this conference so I came back on the website talking about the event and doing a summary of the day. And based and this page and the tweets, I’m like “Wow” !! is anyone talking about PLM here? Or are we just spreading the French arrogance to the world. So, the aim of this article is not to focus on ths conference but to look at the different messages that I can hear from different PLM editors. But before that let’s take a look at some tweets! This is just either funny if you’re not in the PLM business, or disappointing if you are suffering from outdated softwares in PLM.

Seriously, this is embarrassing. I don’t think I’ve twitted stuff like that during an ACE event. This has just nothing to do with everyday life in companies. Enough with this, they won, I talked about them!

3D or Enterprise

Visiting PLM companies websites and following tweets and stuff, there are two major trends in term of messaging. Some are more using one than the others and some are doing a mix of both. The two items are 3D and Enterprise. You’ll see a lot about enterprise PLM and it makes sense because as I constantly repeat PLM is about everyone creating and consuming information related to the product in the company and also outside the company with partners. What is interesting is that some companies are still pushing forward on 3D to talk about PLM. It’s true, having a CAD model on the first page of your website is sexy!  But as I mentionned in my last article this can’t be a wrapper of PLM!

A portfolio is not a suite

I replied to one tweet yesterday during the Dassault event. Here is the quick exchange :

So as I was curious to see what was one the latest acquisition from our french friends, I visited the website. And surprise this product already covers the whole mining lifecycle http://www.gemcomsoftware.com/products . How come this be added to a suite. It’s growing the portfolio not the suite. It’s all about integration. There is no way this will be integrated with other products. And to extend this comment this is the criticism not only competitors but also system integrators make to these portfolio and I’m not targetting a specific editor. But sometimes you’ve got solutions which really looks like they would fit together but the technology is different and the editors are not investing enough to integrate tools. Then it stays as a portfolio status to me.

IT Framework

I think today the place we need more investment and more editors to dive in is the IT framework. Guaranteeing seamless integration between tools, and coherent suite growth. But this is not sexy and I wonder if most of these tools that many companies are missing may be found in other areas like EBS, MDM, ETL,etc. That’s more where Aras stands for me (personnal opinion). They approached PLM from the IT framework investing in a long term strategy which is paying now. I admit it, this ends as a pro-Aras article, but I really wanted to emphasis on marketing and development strategies gaps.

You’re free to comment on it !


Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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  • Hello Yoann,
    I was caught by the title of your post on LinkedIn and surprised to see my picture on a tweet when I opened it up! I think you are right, DS is no long talking about PLM as we know it. Or at least not JUST PLM. Dassault is starting to look for new markets outside of their traditional ones. That is not a bad thing. They have added new capabilities including Search-based Applications and communities that can extend what PLM does for manufacturers or support new, non-PLM markets. And yes, they are growing into adjacent markets like mining. Dassault is defining a strategy that goes beyond PLM. But don’t expect to find them ignoring their current, core markets. Is 3DEXPERIENCE the next step in PLM evolution? I don’t think so. I think it is the next step in Dassault’s evolution, and it will continue to add new capabilities that extend PLM to more people and processes.  I would point you to my blog post on the event … but I haven’t gotten around to writing it yet. You beat me to it, I guess that proves the value of attending virtually. 🙂

    • @jim. ” Dassault is defining a strategy that goes beyond PLM [as we know it]” as are PTC, Siemens and SAP.   I hope they (or others on their behalf) are not claiming being first…

      •  Hi Joe,
        I haven’t seen you in a while, I hope you are well.

        I agree, but I do think there are some differences. PTC has gone beyond PLM but has focused on processes that are product-centric. Even their new venture into service lifecycle management fits that criteria. Siemens has primarily extended into manufacturing (for perhaps obvious reasons given their parent company). Dassault Systemes is expanding even further outside of core users. Some areas are obvious product-centric tangent, like what they do with the shopping experience for retail/CPG. But their focus on non-product centric tools such as Netvibes and adding financial services companies into their target segment is different. They are taking on competitors like Microsoft and Google in addition to Siemens and PTC.

        Some might think that they are going too far beyond PLM and losing focus. That is what I am trying to address. The tools they are adding are not as clearly integral a PLM strategy but can certainly provide value to product innovation, product development, and engineering (in addition to sales, marketing, etc.). It is a different approach to grow their business beyond the (already impressive) growth available in the PLM market.

        My post is now up at http://tech-clarity.com/3dexperience-forum/2908 if anyone wants to read more about my perspective.

        All the best,

      • To me it’s all about “ok guys we failed creating affordable PLM solutions for the enterprise and not just for engineering. Let’s move on!”. You can’t go beyong PLM without succeeding at PLM. 
        Just my personnal thoughts.

        • JoeBarkai

          I wonder why you say that PLM vendors “failed [to create] affordable PLM solutions for the enterprise and not just for engineering” – unless the operative word is affordable.  Is the direction DS, PTC, Siemens and SAP heading not what you define earlier as “guaranteeing seamless integration between tools and coherent suite growth”?
          Not an opinion; just trying to understand your POV.

          • Affordable is not the only operative word. It was a combination of “affordable” and “not just for engineering”. Following my recent blog article called “Stop starting plm from Engineering” (http://blog.minerva-plm.com/2012/09/19/stop-starting-plm-from-engineering/) I had answer mentionning many times that the reason why we shouldn’t start out of engineering was because solution’s cost couldn’t be justified out of engineering.
            I think a mix of old technology and non-adapted pricing model made it complicated for legacy editors to extend to the whole company and build PLM for the whold product lifecycle.
            In terms of direction, I’m not talking about marketing speech but more technical developments. And I believe the gap between both is enormous in PLM.
            To me saying “we are getting into new markets with mining” and “Buying a mature solution covering the mining lifecycle” are two different things if you talk to tech and PLM people, but is the same if you talk to investors.
            my POV!
            Yoann Maingon

          • Sorry to take up so much room on your blog, I did want to respond to the “outside of engineering” issue. The vendors are pushing PLM outside of engineering faster than most enterprises are willing and able to adopt it. Dassault buying BlueKiwi and Netvibes are just two examples of them trying to grow outside of engineering. The entire shopping experience concept is another for retail/CPG. If anyone needs to own PLM not moving out of engineering I think it has to be the consultants and analysts for not convincing the manufacturers of the value, and the manufacturers for not broadening their vision. I would love to be wrong about this. I have long conversations with execs at PLM companies that would love to do more outside of engineering but can’t get enterprises to listen. It’s hard to get PLM to expand out of engineering from the outside of the organization, it has to be an internal strategy. Only the most forward-thinking manufacturers are driving this.

          • But that’s exactly the point in my answer to Joe. When an editor is buying another company to extend their coverage of PLM scope they are not working on a strong integration so consultants can’t learn a new tool. It’s just a sales perspective. You don’t have a tool for CRM, you buy the CRM editor, but then if you don’t spend time on integration what have you changed for the customer?? And that’s exactly what happen. Solutions are bought to provide a larger portfolio to present to the customers.
            The point you’re mentionning about execs asking for more PLM consultants to expand our of engineering is right. But to me there are two reasons.
            – The first one is that the solutions are not flexible enough to let consultants think of larger scope
            – The second one is that a lot of other processes already have their business specific interfaces and it is more matter of connecting these solutions than replacing. In this way PLM consultants have a lack of technical integration skills like ETL, EBS,MDM,…
            I’m not saying that it is every consultant profile. It’s just to me the main reasons why execs don’t get proposals on expanding PLM scope.

          • I have to admit, I agree with Joe here. I have a hard time saying that the PLM market is not a success. Enterprise software is a hard business. It is hard to meet enterprise needs for multiple customers and multiple industries and it leads to complexity in systems. Customers want the solution to do everything and then get (rightfully) frustrated when the systems get too complex. Unfortunately, that is the state of enterprise systems today. Will DS (and others) reinvent themselves with simpler solutions? I believe so, but it will take time. We will see it in the form of hiding the complexity from users and letting them work with more simple interfaces (perhaps more like “apps” than full-blown applications).

            At the same time, there are a lot of simpler, more affordable solutions starting up that might provide more affordable solutions. I have written about Kenesto and Nuage as two of these kinds of companies. I also spoke with TeamPlatform the other day. I think that these types of solutions will put pressure on the big vendors to offer simpler, more affordable solutions. I should probably include Autodesk in the mix for that discussion as well.
            This is an active, vibrant market with lots left to do. Simplicity and affordability are important objectives, but I would suggest that the first of the large PLM vendors that spends a year focusing their primary resources on simplification and affordability is the first one that becomes a financial failure. They all have to grow. PTC is getting into service for that same reason, in my opinion.

    • Hi Jim,

      First, sorry for the picture, i’ve just added the tweet link and it automatically brings the whole tweet content. To me when you say that their strategy is going “beyong PLM”. That’s where it starts failing. What about PLM? Do they think they are mature enough? do they think they allow companies to cover their whole organisation with their PLM. I think they should focus on that before moving forward.
      I’ll make sure to read your post.

  • Just for reference – the tweet above is me quoting the keynote speaker, Joe Pine. His book The Experience Economy looks like it’s worth a read. It is about business strategy, not just engineering. 

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