PLM has been there for a while now and there are many players in the market that vouch for their own PLM solution toolkit. Be it a big (or bulky) PLM system or a simple modular tool – One big problem is evident for any customer that has a PLM system. The PLM systems don’t talk to each other or to other systems on their own. There is no standard protocol defined for an enterprise level PLM tool to talk to another tool. There is simply no open Product Data Exchange Framework or Protocol. As a result the entire product development value chain is dependent on heavily customized integrations that pile up one after another.
Image a world without HTTP – The standard way in which we access the internet today. Every time we would need to access a single website, we would need to know the mechanism in which the data is stored in the server and then write an integration script that will fetch and display the webpage to us. Phew!!
A similar situation in the PLM landscape is emerging. As most of these enterprise level tools have very limited support for other enterprise level softwares, customers often tend to stick to a single vendor for the ease of data integration. This leaves the customer with very limited options.
Not all tools have to best of everything. Even the tool vendors know it. While there is some progress in synchronizing CAD and CAM data between different tools the sweet spot is still far away.