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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