The definition of Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) has long been debated between software re-sellers and the companies that use PLM solutions. The debate heats up aroundwhat exactly is the product? Is it the item we manufacture and sell to our end customer? Is it a single part, or an entire assembly of parts? Or is it all of the data that makes up a part or assembly or a process?
I believe it is the latter – all of the data, especially if you are a company that does not manufacture products such as an engineering services provider. Data drives everything in the product lifecycle. The real goal of PLM solutions should be to share all data with the right people at the right time in order to streamline communication around a single version of the truth. This can only be accomplished if there is a continuity between all digital assets, and not just electronic versions of files existing in a database or server at one or several locations.
Business decisions are made based on the data available at the time. If that data exists in multiple silos it becomes very difficult to assess and leverage the data rapidly and efficiently, potentially causing rework and budget overruns. We believe that a platform approach is the best way to ensure data continuity and management.
Considering the Options
When considering the use of platforms for managing the development of your company’s product portfolio and organization, one challenge can be determining whether to use an on-premise solution or a cloud-based platform. To help clarify which option is best, consider how the following applies to your organization:
- Where exactly does my data exist physically and/or digitally?
- What are the capital costs of hardware and an IT team to manage data on my local servers?
- What is the difference in data reading performance between the cloud and my intranet?
- How will this PLM integrate into the rest of my existing business processes?
- How secure is our data at rest and in flight?
- Is there any customization needed to make the PLM product work for our organization?
Moving to the Cloud
Many companies have been slow to adopt the cloud due to potential obstacles during migration. Perhaps no obstacle is bigger than the need to handle legacy CAD data without interruption. The good news is, moving existing CAD systems data from applications such as CATIA V5 or SOLIDWORKS to the cloud is quite easy. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform from Dassault Systèmes readily accepts the older versions of CAD data and connects them to a cloud tenant.
Once the legacy data has been moved to the platform it can be used in its native format. When changes to the legacy data are needed, you simply open them in their native application, make your changes, and then save everything back to the platform, using whatever form of change management you decide in your process.
This easy transition to the platform allows you to protect your CAD investment without forcing your migration timeline, and more importantly it allows your existing CAD to be used with the latest solutions that Dassault Systèmes offers.
When your data is connected to the power of Dassault Systemes’ ENOVIA solution on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, you can add in applications such as Project Management with automated updating of resources and timing. This grants users the ability to assign tasks and connect all the stakeholders with exactly what they need at the right time.
When it comes to Multi-CAD environments, cloud-based PLM systems such as 3DEXPERIENCE make it possible and practical. The benefits that the time reduction alone has on bringing products to market – by having the right data, at the right time, and on any device that can connect to the web – far outweigh the challenges that exist by doing things the same old way.
Source: “This post original appeared on the Navigate the Future blog from Dassault Systèmes”