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PLM's Growing Importance as an Enterprise Application

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When we look at the progression of enterprise IT, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technology continues to expand and overlap into adjacent areas of enterprise application functionality.

 Although most manufacturers’ IT environments include elements of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and PLM, the boundaries between these traditional areas of IT responsibility are becoming increasingly blurred and sometimes even impossible to identify at all.

In fact, in their efforts to grow their businesses, the vendors of the various enterprise applications are continuously increasing the scope and functionality of their applications. The inevitable result is that the applications now addressing ERP, SCM, CRM, and PLM have the potential to overlap more and more. At the moment, the application area with the most expansionist ambitions seems to be PLM. For most of its life, even though it has been able to support the product lifecycle from design to retirement for some time, PLM technology has been seen as the domain of the technologists within an organization -- the product developers, manufacturing engineers, and maintenance staff. Given its origins as a tool for managing CAD data mainly in the design process, that way of thinking is understandable. One vendor that’s articulating a new grand ambition for PLM is Oracle. It’s extending the company’s application to “Product Value Chain Management.” A key aspect of this proposition is to extend the reach of PLM at the front end of the overall product lifecycle (that is, into the initial innovation process).

We know the importance of continuous investment in a stream of innovative products to maintain sustainable product differentiation. PLM has been effective in speeding the development of products in a controlled environment. But the initial idea creation (a term which seems to be collapsed these days into "ideation") requires a combination of support for free-flowing interaction and the ability to select winning options based on informed decision-making. One aspect of this process is the ability to understand what the customers want and think they need, but it shouldn’t be limited to this...Read more on designnews.

Last modified on Thursday, 03 October 2013 11:15

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