Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cloudy with a Chance of Security

cloudysecurityIt’s an inevitability: enterprise architectures are moving to the cloud.  The logistical and financial benefits of commoditizing infrastructure are virtually impossible to ignore.   Exhibiting the traits of a true paradigm shift, there’s also little chance of going back.  You better get used to it.  But  every conversation about a cloudy future wouldn’t be complete without someone gripping their umbrella rather tightly, and raining down concerns about security.

Cloud connectivity has one chief disadvantage: exposure.

The naysayers aren’t just trying to be the proverbial stick in the mud (well, most of them anyway).  In a world of increasing software complexity and integration, exploits are common, and hacking away at such flaws yields unfortunate headlines on a weekly basis.  Even if this week’s exploits are covered, black hat teens may be socially engineering your administrator or the NSA may be thumbing through your email.  It’s hard to keep government operatives, Chinese Nationalists, and LulzSec pranksters at bay all at the same time.  Security concerns are legitimate. Continue reading

The Illusion of Choice

BoughtTheSoftwareThe Product Lifecycle Market (PLM) market is ripe with choice – or at least the illusion of it.  The ever-expanding range of products and sub products, resellers, and various consultancy options associated with PLM has created what I would consider to be a rather perplexing and intimidating marketplace for all but the most tenacious, meticulous, and savvy of buyers.  It’s easier to deal with bouncing a graviton particle beam off the main deflector dish.  Whatever the circumstance, the complexity has created a barrier that I firmly believe keeps PLM from truly expanding beyond traditional PDM strongholds.  It’s definitely a seller dominated market.

I was thinking about this particular challenge, while reading a recent post by Oleg Shilovitsky about the importance of executive support within any PLM Project.  Somewhere near the end of that article he mentions:

“However, I’d like to put some controversy in this PLM journey nirvana. It would be great for business to have time to choose their PLM journey road with enough time for discussing, planning and implementing.”  Continue reading

The Training CADpocalypse

yunotrainOne of the questions I see almost every single day: “Where can I get decent CAD training?  Oh and it’d be great if it was cheap as free.”

CAD tools are more complex and capable than ever, especially at the high end of the market.  Yet training for those very tools continues to dwell in the Stone Age, clinging desperately to traditional methods and artificial barriers.  New users are finding it difficult to get started, and too many current users are failing to keep up with the pace of technology.  CAD proficiency has a very real impact on data quality and reusability, yet fails to attract the necessary attention.  A developing CAD training crisis could turn into the training CADpocalypse if we’re not careful.

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The Price of a Thousand Functionalities

1000functionalitiesFellow blogger Andreas Lindenthal recently highlighted a rather sobering point.  Analyzing Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) implementations at clients over the last ten years, he attempted to measure the difference in deployed capability versus available capability.  His conclusion:

“Most companies do not use much more today than what was available 20 years ago.”


While the issue here is highlighted specifically in a PLM context, the problem is characteristic of all major enterprise software platforms ranging from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to Business Process Management (BPM).  However it seems to particularly sting with PLM.  Andreas goes on to rightly explain that there’s a huge opportunity loss.  But if everyone’s just blatantly staring at untapped value in the face there has to be a compelling reason why.

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Part Numbers Are Dead, Long Live the Part Numbers!

Today’s discussion involves one of the most seemingly intractable arguments in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM): the ageless battle between part numbering philosophies.  In one camp you have intelligent part numbering schemes begat by the first ones since time immemorial, where identifying information is compacted into part ID’s.  The other faction champions coldly efficient, and generally arbitrary system-generated numbering.

Some consider this particular argument a dead horse, but like many topics in the PLM space,  I’d consider this one more of a zombie horse.  It keeps coming back to life, and if you’re not careful it will eat your brains.  Not a day goes by without me reading a compelling argument about system generated part numbers in the morning, only to read about someone desperately customizing a system to handle complex part numbering schemes in the afternoon.  Why does this happen?

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