A recent Microsoft blog posting from Marques Lyons urges business owners to consider using Xbox consoles for their business needs – something particularly preposterous even for their usual marketeering.
“What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business. In fact, it’s entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense. The Xbox One, priced at $499, is an affordable option for small business owners, as there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms.”
I had one of those moments where I just start to laugh, hard at first, and then the laughing slowly subsides, as my brain begins to piece together uncounted possibility. And you know what? Microsoft may be on to something here. The game console is seemingly positioned at the center of a perfect storm, where cost effective hardware, robust 3D capability, truly innovative user interfaces, and convenient software delivery/infrastructure are colliding. This particular combination of technology and convenience just might make the thought of using a game console for design and engineering an entirely viable idea.
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Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). It certainly sounds pretty dry when you think about it. A great many compelling discussions have centered simply on the terminology of PLM and what it represents: is it a bad word, does it have an image problem, is the definition muddled in jargon or just plain variable? Yes, probably.
What’s in a name? That which we call PLM by any other name would deliver ROI as sweet? Not so fast, Shakespeare.
Problem the first: most people haven’t the faintest inkling what PLM is about – it’s too obscure. I always enjoy the moment I start talking about PLM to an otherwise unsuspecting individual… you get that famously vacant, confused look. Similar to the look your dog gets when you put him on the phone. It seems simple enough… Product Lifecycle Management, you know managing a product over its lifecycle. But then you get into finer arguments over what constitutes a product, the totality of a lifecycle, and management is well, management. Only once you start describing a consistent thread of information to tie together all the assets and artifacts created in definition and support of a designed item do you start to replace the confused phone dog with a more sensible expression. Evidence of this identity deficiency is everywhere – there are seven hundred billion definitions over what PLM is, might be or should be. And unfortunately most of those definitions are not particularly compact, replete with industry jargon, or readily translatable to the non-technically inclined. The existence of the term as an acronym is itself somewhat of an issue. Think about the concept of cloud – we could call it application service provisioning over a distributed computing network or by any of the specific flavors like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, or NaaS but that threatens to bring back phone dog. Cloud is what works when attempting to communicate the general idea in a compact manner. PLM is lacking that attractive hook.
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