Attending the Autodesk Media Summit 2012 gave me a better understanding of many aspects of the Autodesk line of engineering and management products. I wanted to focus on some other topics so near the event, however something came to me while I was there that I want to relate to everyone watching or using Autodesk’s PLM 360. (I’d include those ignoring it, but I don’t think anyone can at this point).
The annual trip always helps me focus my topics very well, but I was quite surprised by what I realized after the event.
I actually have a handle on PLM 360.
After using the cloud based application, I had most of the pieces in my head. However I couldn’t quite relate it until discussing it at length with experts like our own Scott Moyse as well as numerous Autodesk’ers including Rob Cohee, Brian Schaenen, and Brian Roepke.
(special shout out to all of them – Thanks guys)
It’s a whole new world
This is the first Autodesk application of it’s kind. Don’t think so?
- It has no specific boundaries
- It has no specific purpose (well, that a bit loose, but I think you get it)
- It is not product limited
- It is not industry limited
When was the last time Autodesk released a product with no pre-conceived notions about how YOU the user should adopt it. There is no one telling you how YOU should use the product, in fact it’s quite the opposite.
Does this seem strange? Probably so.
While Autodesk has released somewhat infantile products that were struggling to evolve stability in the past, such as the famed AutoCAD Civil 3D, all were intended to follow prescribed workflows, like it or not.
PLM 360 is partially open sourced, giving users the ability to completely redefine the inner workings to suit almost any need. It is completely up to YOU. Drag and drop formatting along with open Java scripting allows you to define and type of workflow and use that you desire.
What are we doing with it?
As many of you know, we are using PLM 360 as a project management tool to track concept development and simulation results in a collaborative environment. Why? Because It took all of a single afternoon to DECIDE to do so. The product nearly lent itself right to the task. International collaboration is built in by the cloud.
So Now What?
Consider the ramifications that such an application has.
PLM 360 is in the hands of many, and in reach of almost everyone. Hell, the damn thing is free to user teams of 3 or fewer people. Everyone shaping the tool to their needs, and the community saying “I’m doing this, and I need a little more of that’. Autodesk has already begun adjusting and expanding the functionality based on early adopters. As the community of users dig into the tool, more adaptations and improvement will be made by Autodesk.
Eventually, I believe PLM 360 will take shape similar to crowd theory, where no homogenous path exists, yet a forward concentrated direction emerges over a short period of time. That direction lies completely in the hands of the PLM 360 community. Autodesk wants YOU to decide that direction and is ready to pave the way.