My recent article Has SAP Become a PLM Factor to be Reckoned With? concluded that while SAP PLM can be a system of record in most departments within enterprises, it has yet to win the hearts and minds of engineering departments for lack of its own computer-aided design (CAD) system. But the article concluded with SAP’s stated vision of providing 3D visualization and communication capabilities for all asset- and product-related processes for the entire enterprise. The SAP PLM team’s strong belief is that 3D viewing is not just for engineering departments, but also for the entire enterprise. This vision also includes user-centric workplaces for engineering and research and development (R&D) teams.
To that end, in early September 2011, SAP acquired Right Hemisphere, a leading provider of visual enterprise solutions based in San Ramon, California (US) and Auckland (New Zealand). Founded in 1997, Right Hemisphere is a provider of visual product communication and collaboration solutions enabling manufacturers to optimize their global product development, launch, and support processes. Organizations have invested in operational processes and IT systems to improve product lifecycle efficiencies, yet delivery of precise and up-to-date product information to the extended enterprise in a timely, efficient, and usable form remains difficult today.
Part 1 of this blog series talked about the major (blockbuster of a sort) announcements at PTC’s PlanetPTC Live 2011 annual user conference, which was held in mid-June 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. These announcements were as follows:
But there were a number of other announcements that were seemingly not that earth-shattering. Still, these announcements indicate the ongoing PLM/computer-aided design (CAD) market trends and will likely have significant implications on other product development software market players’ moves.
Living in close proximity to the headquarters of PTC (NASDAQ: PMTC) in the Boston metropolitan area, and given numerous contacts and interactions with the vendor in the past, it might sound surprising that only this past summer I attended the vendor’s annual PlanetPTC Live conference for the very first time. Well, at least my former colleague Kurt Chen did attend PlanetPTC Live 2010, and based on his report from the time, there were no major earth-shattering announcements.
This year, product lifecycle management (PLM) vendors have put many interesting initiatives on display to PLM buyers. These initiatives include the possibility of generating more synergies between enterprise search and PLM, more intuitive decision support in design and engineering, connectivity between direct modeling and history-based modeling in computer-aided design (CAD), social product development in the cloud, etc.
Although most of these initiatives need more time before we can really testify to their value—i.e., the execution of these visions is the challenge that vendors are facing—I believe the PLM industry is shifting from functionality-driven to vision-driven. Read the rest of this entry »