PLM has always been the concept of managing the information produce by a variety of Computer Aided Authoring tools. In a PLM system everything is organized around the BOM, so all this information is linked to Part and the Parts are organized in a tree.
PLM vendor love to claim that they are also capturing the communication thanks to their workflow system.
But the reality is that these workflows capture at best 2 or 3 very well formalized process : RFQ, ECN, ...
But everybody in the companies knows that the most important discussion about the product developement are done else where : by emails, over phone, meetings... This is even more true with the concept of global engineering team located in several countries. Some companies have a very aggressive objective in term offshore engineering and design, I know a couple of companies that are targeting 50 % of these activities in low cost countries.
I think that time has come to invent yet another acronym Social Product Development Network -- SPDN. This new marketing beast will offer :
- an internal blog to every employee with the possibility to publish article on internet.
- a wiki to capture the user generated documentation around the Product
- An issue tracker to follow the issue related to the product development
- A twitter clone to exchange short messages
- gallery to share pictures of the product prototypes, tests , ...
- BOM management
- Workflow to control the 2 or 3 key processes
No you don't have to develop yet another ORM it is there. No you don't have to invent yet another template language, or an url dispatcher, a cache stragetgy. You use all your ressources to focus on the implementation of the PLM vision rather than the technical details. This technology power web site that receive million hits a day. So I assume it will scale the PLM needs.
But all this requires a complete shift from selling software licences to sell a vision.
If you really have a vision for PLM sell it with the service to implement it rather than the licences.