Product Lifecycle Management

A future for all the script kiddies and geo hackers in second life

A few days ago we issued a press release (I know, how old school ;-)) on a new feature on the Siemens Innovation Connection in Second Life.  I had been meaning to blog about the addition for a few weeks, but just got caught up in other things.  Maybe this will be the one time that traditional media ever beat a blogger.
Anyway, I wanted to post something quickly on what we added and why.  First off, for those of you with avatars, you can go take a look here

. What you will see is a chair attached to a large screen.  If you sit in the chair you get a set of options that allow you to configure your very own Razor scooter and ‘print’ it out for yourself to ride off into the virtual sunset.  The experience is supposed to give SL user’s who have know idea what Siemens PLM Software does a little glimpse.  If they walk away from the 30-60 second interaction with the basic idea that we help people make products, then it’s mission accomplished.
The reason we built this is simple: I don’t want all of the Gen Y, Millenials and even younger out there who are using SL and other online 3D communities to grow up thinking the only career path for them is to animate Shrek 13 (I’m sure it will be a wonderful movie) or to program Halo 11 (wonderful game play) to know that there is another option in design and engineering.  You will use the same skills you use in world like developing in 3D and working with others, and you have the chance to really help people – build the next artificial heart, solve the transportation issues facing the world today, even build a better mousetrap.
So stop by our sim and take a look.  But even better have your kids take a look.

Product Lifecycle Management

Inisights in to leading 170,000 people

Last night I attended the top+ awards banquet for Siemens in the U.S.  I had the very fortunate chance to sit down with CEO of Siemens AG, Peter Loescher (we have lot’s of CEO’s, but he is the top of them all) after dinner with about 8 other people.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to lead such a massive company – just ask anyone that works on my team: I have a hard time leading 6 people!  It is obviously impossible at that level to have command over all the details of our business and it is equally impossible to provide direct direction to even 1% of the employees.  Now this is my engineering brain talking, but how can you lead without having complete knowledge of all the details and ability to directly command the people under you?
He didn’t speak a lot, but rather asked questions and listened.  However in the 20 minutes or so he was there I definitely picked up a few things about how Mr. Loescher get’s it done:

  • As a top level leader one of the most important decisions you have to make is what to centralize to get scale vs. what to decentralize to drive innovation.  The ‘how’ question can be delegated to people that can track the details, but you have to decide what you want to control and what you want to let your people control
  • You have to have a manic obsession with people and culture.  It’s very clear that diversity is a top agenda item for Mr. Loescher and I think that is in no small part due to his need build a strong team and let them execute for him.
  • You have to be a strong motivator.  You’re not going to do all the work yourself, so you have to be able to get people fired up to get the work done for you.
  • You have to decide what you’re going to measure and then hold people accountable. HP made the ‘what get measured, gets done’ line famous and it holds more true the larger the organization you need to lead.
  • You have to be the champion for change.  You have to decide when change needs to happen, how much change is too much / too little and you have to decide what to change (and when to leave well enough alone).

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It was a great discussion and I hope Mr. Loescher learned 5% about what we do as I learned about leadership.

Product Lifecycle Management

The “2.0” label has officially jumped the shark

In a repeat of the late 90’s Internet mania, when the ‘i’ prefix could be slapped on to anything and magically it became an Internet property, the ‘2.0’ prefix has similarly lost all meaning. I know I am not the first one to say this, but it became true for me this morning when I read this. Since there’s nothing really shipping until May, all I can do is look through the announcement and the web page to figure out what is really going on here, so this is all very preliminary, but a few thoughts:
First off, what are they really announcing? Peel back the ‘2.0’ sticker and by-pass the ‘making the world a better place to be’ sentiments and try to focus on what’s really new. There’s mention of 3D Everywhere and while that is a great strategy it’s one that has been talked about by Dassault for years already, from the days of CGR, to the ACIS acquisition through the partnership with lattice, to the release of 3D XML, to the acquisition of VirTools and then Seemage. So again, great idea, but not really new and not really delivered on despite almost 8 years of talking about it. There’s also a mention of a new SOA architecture. Now this might really be new, for Dassault at least (delivery of SOA based products has been the norm for the rest of the enterprise software market for going on 5 years now) and if it signals an opening up of the Dassault platform to other enterprise apps, that’s great and it is really good news for the manufacturing market overall. If it’s just an attempt to try to take credit for an architecture project to integrate their three PDM platforms, then an internal announcement on the company email system might have been more appropriate. Another interesting aspect, is what they aren’t talking about: wither LCA and 3D XML? Oh what great promise they once held!
Now let’s look at that 2.0 sticker. What exactly about what they are doing has anything to do with any of the capabilities a normal person would associate with 2.0? Will they offer their software as a service to consumers with an ad supported model? Are they going to provide 2- way connections with the web 2.0 powered conversations that are all over the Internet that are teeming with rich information for manufacturers? Or maybe they just grabbed the economic model of a few of the web 2.0 properties I’ve seen: no business model, no revenue plan and no real products. Now that may be a bit over the top, but this is the part of the announcement that really bugs me. If they are successful in making manufacturers think that what they call PLM 2.0 is all that’s really possible then a tremendous opportunity to directly connect users with manufacturers will have been missed. It seems a lot like a meatball sundae to me. Maybe their vision of PLM 2.0 is to Web 2.0 what Mintel is to the Internet.
So what are they really saying. Here’s what I am reading between the lines and seeing: They have realized they can’t be a closed platform and that they need to integrate their 3 different PDM systems. SOA is the magic bullet that will help them kill two birds with one stone. They’ve also realized that there is more to providing PLM than just 3D. All of these things are net positives and show that they are moving in the right direction, but they have a significant gap to make up and it will take them some time. In the end Dassaul’s PLM 2.0 looks a lot like everyone else’s PLM 1.0, so maybe it’s a units compatibility issue. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

Product Lifecycle Management

Regulated IT

Interesting ideas about what needs to happen in the IT industry to reel in some of the outlandish claims that are made by some:
deal architect : IT and Telecom: Extremes in regulation

If this sort of regulation did come in to being in any form, I think it would be one more sign that Nick Carr is right, after all every other utility is regulated.
(Via Vendorprisey)

Product Lifecycle Management

Duet for PLM?

It’s no secret we’ve been working with Microsoft for a long time now and have delivered some things I am really proud of. Teamcenter on SQL, our .Net based middle tear and some really interesting graphics/visualization stuff. However all of it has been pretty much focused on the back office / server room – until now. With our new Teamcenter 2007 release we have blown open the interface with Microsoft Office 2007 and Vista and can now do some really interesting things in the office automation environment that the whole world knows (OK, maybe will know soon since Office 2007 isn’t quite everywhere yet ;-)).
Take a look:

It’s the first time in a long time I’ve done something at work I can show to my parents and they understand. It reminds me a lot of what Microsoft and SAP talked about when thy launched Duet: best in class user interface on top of best in class application infrastructure.

Product Lifecycle Management

We win!

Looky here – Gartner thinks we’re on the right track.  And if I get out my compass, I think I can show we are 2 arc seconds ahead of the competition, so I’m declaring us the unofficial winner of the most recent round of the Gartner Group bake off.
I also hear that Gartner will be moving beyond PLM as a category for their MQ’s from here on out, so this will be the last PLM MQ.  So no doubt we’ll be seeing it for the next 30 years in Powerpoints.  On second though, I hope we can come up with something better than powerpoint in the next 30 years.
Siemens PLM Software Recognized in Leaders Quadrant in Magic Quadrant for Product Lifecycle Management

Barbie: Mermaidia buy

Product Lifecycle Management

My GST 2008 Presentation

I’m about to set up and give my presentation to the mid – market break out at GST (about 350 folks). Here’s a preview of my pitch.

Product Lifecycle Management

What I think

I got to sit down with the editor of Manufacturing Business Technololgy for a rountable recently.  A few interesting questions and a few interesting responses (and not just from me ;-)).
Panel of thought leaders see pains, gains in manufacturing enterprise IT – 12/1/2007 – Manufacturing Business Technology

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape film

A Unfinished Lifen dvdrip

Product Lifecycle Management

Passionate users

One thing I love about my industry (CAD/PLM) is the number of passionate users is very high.  I would say almost to Apple levels of passion.  More than anything else, that’s why I see in posts like this from Matt.
Matt Writes » Blog Archive » Is there a crisis in the SolidWorks community?

Amityville II: The Possession movie

It’s a tough thing to see the product you depend on and have invested in learning go in a direction you don’t agree with.  I especially feel for the development partners – having to re-architect because your platform vendor made a major change can be a tremendous investment.  Maybe a good time for all to look to alternatives or do what most seem to be – sticking with the old version.

Product Lifecycle Management

Building up

It’s been a while since I have done an update on our SL island (now called Siemens Innovation Connection), so I thought I would run through a few of the thinsg we have been up to:

  • We’re playing around with a few different widgets to track traffic and figure out what people are actually interested in. So far the results are interesting, but you have to expand your mind a bit to really get by trying to look at them the same way you would look at web stats.
  • We’ve added another customer display, this one from Revetec a Solid Edge customer in Australia. Pretty good story and an interesting model. Stop by and take a look if you get a chance.


  • We’ve just selected a university partner to work with on the JT to SL import and have a few customers (including JPL) that are interested in piloting some things here. We should have something widely available int he next few months.
  • We’re close to launching a cool new ‘experience’ based on one of our software products. I won’t say more now, but this is an example of how we are trying to take advantage of the unique aspects of SL as a platform to connect with the community and talk about what we’re all about.

Overall I am still really pleased with our investment in time on SL. It has been well worth it, just based on what we have learned about how virtual worlds are going to effect collaboration and be expected to connect with existing 3D related software tools.Born in East L.A. movie full