Putting PLM in the cloud is not enough – What matters most is enterprise application integration.
Cloud Based PLM
There have been a number of announcements lately of putting PLM in the cloud. It started Dassault making its V6 platform available from AWS last year; it gathered much more steam with Arena’s launch of PDXViewer and mostly Autodesk’s launch of PLM 360. I haven’t personally tested PLM 360 yet, but take it from reviews of Deelip and Oleg that end-user experience is pretty great.
The fact that an on-premise PLM implementation is expensive and a time-intensive process remains true (which requires software licenses and a considerable infrastructure and consulting investment) and since cloud PLM solutions are maintained by the software provider, which means set-up is easy and requires no internal resources for updates/upgrades will endow manufacturers to see faster returns on investments. Also as Michael Driscoll notes “The cloud is a more fault-tolerant and flexible operating system than its predecessors. These two advantages derive from the cloud’s two hallmark features: it is both virtualized and distributed. Because it’s virtualized, failing hardware can be upgraded or swapped out, and virtual processes can be migrated to new machines with little end-user impact. Because it’s distributed across thousands of commodity boxes, services’ compute and bandwidth needs can be scaled up or down, and disk storage limitations are almost an anachronism.”