Wednesday Feb 15, 2012

Observations from the Oracle Agile PLM Summit 2012: Agility Reset and Reloaded!

Coming out of Oracle OpenWorld last fall, one theme that kept coming up in conversations with our customers was that they missed the intimacy and community building that used to take place at Agility, Agile Software’s pre-acquisition customer conference. So encouraged by this feedback, along with the support and enthusiasm of our partners and invaluable help from our extended Oracle colleagues, we mobilized quickly and were able to put together a day and a half of keynotes, breakouts, industry focus groups and networking events that I think greatly exceeded everyone’s expectations. When we first started planning, we were hopeful for a moderate turnout; we were overwhelmed when we quickly maxed out our first venue for this event and had to find a bigger venue to accommodate all our attendees! A big thank you especially to our fantastic customers from both near and far who came and participated in the Summit, with a mere six weeks of advance notice. The energy and enthusiasm that you brought to the conference was palpable. We couldn’t have done this without you!

PLM Summit Day One: General Session Keynotes & Networking Reception

John Kelley of Oracle keynote presentation at the PLM Summit 2012With over 300 people in attendance, we kicked off our first day with an afternoon of keynote presentations. Oracle’s John Kelley, VP of PLM Strategy, reinvigorated the spirit of Agility and set the visionary tone for the conference with his overview of Oracle Agile PLM product strategy and roadmap. One key question that John posed during his keynote was to think about where your organization stands on its product lifecycle management capability index, or maturity curve. The maturity curve illustrates how PLM has evolved over the years, driven by increasingly complex product needs, from product data management to product collaboration and has now broadened under the Product Value Chain model to include analytics, customer needs management, PIM and product data quality. Mobile applications for Agile PLM are gaining more and more momentum within our customer base, so partners Mahindra Satyam and PLMFlex by Xavor shared with our audience the cool and cutting edge mobile technologies that they offer. Check out Xavor’s PLMFlex video from the conference.

Introduced by their implementation partner Oracle Consulting Services, Dell’s Jennifer Chapman, Director of Global Product Data was the Summit’s first customer keynote of the day. Agile and Dell have a long history, and it was interesting to hear an update on how Dell has dramatically expanded and improved upon its use of Agile PLM. Dell has a staggering 11,000+ users worldwide using Agile, with a mix spanning a range of functional roles, from engineering to operations to procurement to external partners. Due to the Agile implementation, Dell is posting some impressive metrics, especially with improved cost and new product introduction process cycle time.

Following Dell’s presentation was Mark Davis from Deloitte, who set the stage for both ONSemiconductor and St. Jude Medical with his discussion of business challenges in the semiconductor and medical device industries. 

Yann Dupre, Sr. Principal Program Manager from ONSemi gave an overview on how his company is using Agile Product Portfolio Management (PPM) to support new product development. ONSemi has been growing by leaps and bounds through acquisition, having acquired eight companies since 2007, but was concerned that their NPD process was resulting in too many projects that yielded little to no revenue, and set a goal to improve the return on their R&D investment in a measurable way. After a fairly aggressive timeline, they have successfully deployed global NPD and part release procedures, and have a common cost model with over 95% adoption. Jenna Dudevoir and Kasey Durbin of Kalypso at the PLM Summit 2012. Shared via Twitter @KalypsoLP

The final customer presenter of the day was Mark Rutkiewicz, Quality Director of St. Jude Medical (formerly known as AGA Medical), who presented on medical device quality management. Mark is a longtime Agile user who implemented Agile at AGA Medical and has posted some impressive metrics including a 100% adoption rate among engineers, 20-40% reduction in effort and time for Agile-supported processes, as well as high praise from the FDA. 

The afternoon wrapped up with a customer panel made up of our three customer keynoters, and hosted by Horst Groesser of Kalypso. The panel was an opportunity for Horst to summarize the presentations of the day and to allow our audience to ask questions directly to our speakers. Despite the long day, our audience kept the panelists busy for over 30 minutes with questions. Discussions continued on through our Networking Reception, which was sponsored by our partners Deloitte, Kalypso, Mahindra Satyam and PLMFlex by Xavor, and featured several demo stations.

PLM Summit Day Two: Breakouts, Networking Lunch & Industry Focus Groups

Day two of the PLM Summit opened with three breakout tracks, each consisting of four back-to-back sessions. One track focused on product insights and best practices, the second on product demos and deep dives and the third on administration and integrations. Again all the rooms were packed, which made for some very lively discussions. We even had several partners involved in day two sessions, including CPG Solutions, GoEngineer, Kalypso and Deloitte. Attendees suggested afterwards to extend the sessions for more content and wanted longer breaks for networking, so we will definitely take that under advisement when planning next year’s event.

After the success of last year’s Birds of a Feather lunch at OpenWorld, we decided to hold the same type of lunch at our Summit. In addition to the partners already mentioned, we were pleased to have Accenture, Domain, Hitachi Consulting, J-Squared, ZeroWaitState and IBM hosting table topics. The topics included integrations, quality management, managing engineering data, mobile solutions and much more. This is an opportunity for our partners to create and facilitate discussions among our customers on common topics, and was very well attended.

The afternoon concluded with meetings of our industry focus groups. Not surprisingly, the most popular group was focused on high technology and semiconductor, with the life sciences group and the product value chain group not far behind. There were several deep discussions, new ideas, and insightful questions. It was inspiring! And based on the feedback we’ve received, our attendees left feeling similarly. The Agile PLM teams have always had a history of putting customers first, and these focus groups are invaluable to us as they allow us to collaborate directly with our customers as we strive to deliver the industry’s best PLM solutions.

If you’re interested in reading another perspective on the PLM Summit, check out this blog by Steven Porter of our partner ZeroWaitState.

PLM Summit: What’s Next?

Based on the initial comments from attendees and partners, we will definitely plan on doing the Summit on an annual basis moving forward. We are currently collecting all the presentations from the Summit, and will be posting them to a secure site, so if you attended the Summit, you will get an email within the next few days on how to access the site.

We are preparing a survey for our attendees to see what we can improve on for next time, but if you have any other comments or suggestions, especially as it pertains to the location, length and/or content of the conference, please feel free to email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Again, a big thanks to all the Oracle staff that hustled to get the content together for the Summit, to the partners for supporting the Summit and especially to all our customers and prospects who attended. As always, we appreciate your enthusiasm and support!

Wednesday Oct 12, 2011

Agile PLM Reflections from OpenWorld, Mobile Apps, Expanding Ecosystem

I am recently home from Oracle OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco, as well as as chaperoning a 5th Grade church retreat in East Texas.  It was wonderful to be back in my house and bed Sunday night after a full 7 days away.  I have to say the food was better in San Francisco than at Pine Cove (the kids rated it a 5, I gave it a 2).  Both events were equally rewarding, in completely different ways. The Pine Cove stories (running around with my son and 5 other boys in the dark playing a silly game for example) will have to wait for another day; here lets focus on OpenWorld.

Customers

I think this was the best OpenWorld for PLM since 2007, when we ran a little Agility within OpenWorld. This year we were lucky to hear in almost 30 sessions and in countless conversations how PLM is being used in new and innovative ways. Our customers are simply amazing - the amount of value they derive from our software is humbling.  We know we have a great responsibility to keep nurturing that value.  Master Lock, Oracle-Sun, Dell, Stryker Endoscopy, ON Semiconductor, Eli Lilly and Company, QUALCOMM, Brocade, Herbalife, Zebra Technologies, Atrium Medical, W. L. Gore & Associates, Sensata, and St Jude Medical were able to speak about the diverse processes they have enabled through Agile PLM. 

At W. L. Gore & Associates, in addition to managing their Device Master Record and Design History File, they are also managing their Supplier Qualification Documentation in PLM.  Their FDA Auditors walk through the documentation in PLM, and are done.  Quickly.  Without huge stacks of paper.  ON Semiconductor drives management's accountability for project execution by ensuring they open Gates on Projects.  This guarantees that project owners are engaged in making good decisions for the business.  Stryker Endoscopy is bringing enterprise quality events into Agile PLM to present them to their designers - who now know exactly what quality events are happening around the product throughout their organization. Designers now can make more informed design decisions.  As an example of what we heard this year at OpenWorld, these three customers are getting enhanced value from Agile PLM by creatively leveraging our tool to target problematic business processes.

Partners

In addition to our customer success, our ongoing investment to ensure our products are Complete, Open, and Integrated has energized our partner base.  Every one of our partners that I talked to is expanding their Agile PLM capabilities and capacity, some very dramatically.  We had our partners like Sierra Atlantic, Velquest, and Kalypso present in sessions, and we had many others interacting with customers at multiple events.  In addition to the other partners mentioned, Go Engineer, Domain Systems, J-Squared, CPG Solutions, IBM, HCL America, and Accenture met with customers over a lunch event on Wednesday.  I met with many of the different partners, some old friends who have been with us for a long time, and I also met with new partners like Loftware who can integrate to Agile PLM to add change control to Label templates that are also integrated to ERP. 

Oracle's investment in our software and in the concepts of Complete, Open, and Integrated have enabled Zero Wait State to create an online store for their Agile PLM extensions and services.  This investment has also led to two partners developing mobile applications.  Mahindra Satyam recently announced availability of an iOS application with many capabilities for Agile PLM.  Another partner, Xavor, has also developed a mobile app for ECO signatures available on several smart phones.  This diversity of partners provides our customers the choice of working with our talented Oracle Consulting Services team or with a partner to start or enhance their Agile PLM implementations.

Innovation

I was fortunate to talk about two concepts that are really exciting and available today.  First is Enterprise Quality Management.  Michael Caveney has worked with the Oracle Consulting team to create an integration between Siebel, EBS, and Agile PLM to escalate product issues into PLM for action on the Product, a closed loop Stop Ship with EBS, and ongoing interaction between PLM and Siebel to communicate status and completion to the customer.  This flow has significant applicability to our Life Sciences customers because it can also handle reporting to the FDA for an adverse event. In addition, two customers presented their own EQM stories.

Second, I was able to talk about how the Agile PLM development team uses the robust document and change management capabilities of Agile PLM to manage our requirements, design, development, and test plans for our own software releases.  The same Oracle IT team who implemented our Hardware business (Sun and Pillar) on Agile PLM is rolling out this capability to additional Oracle software development teams with additional capabilities to manage software projects.  You will keep hearing more from us on this topic.

One of the things that has always set Agile PLM apart is the strong process integration with the supply chain.  Our release of Engineering Collaboration 3.0.2 this week and Customer Needs Management 1.1 earlier this year significantly enhance our Art to Part process (from Design through the Supply Chain to build) as well as investing in the other side of Product Management in aggregating  customer ideas into Features, Releases, and the projects to build out the features into real products.  Since he has already beaten me to the punch, check out Steve Porter’s blog about Engineering Collaboration. I still don’t accept alignment with the Empire – even the Ewoks are better than that (see Barney’s Ewok line on HIMYM). Our capability in Engineering Collaboration with PC to aggregate multiple sources of CAD data into a consolidated BOM picture is incredibly powerful. It gives our customers the flexibility to use the best CAD tool on the front end, while presenting one BOM to the Supply Chain.

I am as excited as ever about the opportunities with Agile, and the energy around us at OpenWorld 2011 certainly validates that excitement.  I hope you feel it as well, and I look forward to seeing you at OpenWorld 2012 (September 30 – October 4, 2012). If you want to review the content from OpenWorld, please go to the Event Catalog and search on the Product Lifecycle Management and Product Value Chain track.

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