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The Supply Chain Management Blog covers the latest
in SCM strategy, technology, and innovation.

  • June 17, 2021

The Oracle PLM to Cloud Strategy

Kirk Carlsen
Director of PLM Product Marketing

The need for continuous innovation

New technologies, products, services and business models evolve, so Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and product development must evolve, too. So, what is PLM and how is PLM different today?

The industry has talked about PLM managing the enterprise product record for years. The reality is that traditional PLM systems only created a consolidated product development record in systems only used by engineering teams, but data was still fragmented in many siloed applications and throughout product development, manufacturing, maintenance, quality management, IoT, etc. As the speed of innovation accelerates and customers are demanding more fulfilling experiences and personalized products, many companies mistakenly think that they can establish additional manual controls and build heavy customizations on top of their current PLM software to keep up. Attempts at doing this have only led to increasing IT costs and complexity, without tangible business improvements. The real problem is that these older PLM solutions weren’t designed to deliver the speed required to achieve Digital Transformation. Driving faster innovation and doing it continuously means that you have tightly link cross-functional engineering, development and quality teams with IT and the rest of the business. This requires a new way of collaboration and data integration.

Companies looking to pursue their own Digital Transformation and who want to accelerate product and service innovation should first consider investing in a modern PLM application that manages the complexities of the enterprise product record and unifies Bills of Material (BOMs). Having access to reliable product data creates a new business architecture—one with a true enterprise product record for the digital thread that delivers a complete 360-degree view of a product (even creating a digital twin – you can find out “what is a digital twin” here). This simplification provides you with visibility into the product changes, quality and business process flows that were once hard to keep track of.

What is the Digital Thread for product innovation? Find out here where you can learn 5 ways PLM and SCM can help tie the digital thread to unlock continuous product and service innovation.
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Digitally thread PLM across ERP, SCM, and CX

PLM must become a smart connected business platform (some refer to it as an innovation platform as well) that can deliver the digital thread to support new business models and global product launches. What companies find is that by integrating PLM with the insights found from analytics, IoT, and social data is the foundation of the connected enterprise they can make faster and more informed decision and accelerate time to market.

Oracle is the only Tier1 PLM provider making significant investments to deliver this holistic and connected, next-generation Product Lifecycle Management system. This is what Oracle does differently. It delivers a unique value proposition because PLM, SCM, CX and ERP are all on a single platform with a common data model meaning you can leverage a single enterprise product record that spans the entire business—from initial ideas in PLM through planning, manufacturing, service and customer experience—creating a true digital thread that runs thru the entire product lifecycle. It is not centered purely around the capabilities of the product itself anymore, but around the supply chain and customer. This new evolution of PLM that manages the digital thread is often referred to as PLM 4.0.  

Your foundation for on-premises to cloud

Oracle has established the foundation for organizations looking to go from on-premises to the cloud. With our customer first approach, we have built best-in-class Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) applications so you no longer need to staff an entire IT department for new product introductions (NPI) and product launches. With a true SaaS deployment, the cost is stable, and the value of the investment always increases as we rollout more features, functions, and best practices quarterly so you can take advantage of continuous innovative capabilities at your pace. Access to these new capabilities means you get immediate value from built-in predictive analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), IoT, and digital assistants that works together to create 3D models and digital twins that turn data into preventive, predictive, proactive, and prescriptive insights.

True to our approach, we will always continue to deliver the next generation of PLM software as it evolves. This smarter connectivity will only make it easier for you to adopt new business models like Product-as-a-Service and transition to Industry 4.0 (you can watch the video of how that is done here). Again, because of the unified data model, Oracle Cloud PLM technology comes with built in analytics enhanced by technologies such as adaptive intelligent (AI) apps to plug machine learning into your decisions and digital assistants that can speed up product development. Ultimately, this means you can streamline the development of connected products and services.

Agile PLM customers, you are safe

Oracle has a longstanding commitment to making each individual customer successful. Critical to this initiative is our continued support of our Agile PLM customers–not just for today, but for a lifetime, as part of our Oracle Lifetime Support Policy. Our customers enjoy the benefits of the industry’s most comprehensive support coverage, which provides major product and technology releases, 24x7 assistance with service requests, access to My Oracle Support including Knowledge Base, and much more. The Oracle Applications Unlimited program is Oracle's promise to continuously innovate it’s current applications while also delivering the next generation of Cloud applications. You also have access to Oracle’s product roadmap to plan upgrades, allocate resources, and secure budgets so you can tailor your business and IT strategy, enjoy reduced downtime, shorter upgrade cycles, and proven upgrade paths and methodologies.

We recently announced our new Agile PLM Roadmap and extended our Premier Support until June 2024 for release 9.3.6 and have announced the next release, 9.3.7, will be released before 2024.

But it is not simply an “either” – “or”

Oracle provides a flexible path to the cloud. We make it easy to augment existing Agile PLM installs with added value from Cloud PLM: Adding Innovation Management capabilities in Cloud PLM to Agile PLM provides ideation, requirements management and traceability, and portfolio management. Adding Cloud Product MDM (Product Hub) to Agile PLM provides as single unified item master to your existing PLM/ERP solution forming a digital foundation for a migration to your next generation of PLM. Cloud PLM simplifies your product master data management (PMDM) practices and also bridges the gap between product development and the downstream processes while adding layers of governance. These appropriate out-of-the-box integrations are available. Yet, if you’re a net new Oracle PLM Customer, we suggest you onboard Cloud PLM directly for quick return on innovation.

Together with our partners, we are well equipped to support our customers in any stage of their Digital Transformation. We have the migration tools to move from Agile PLM to Cloud PLM, and we have the integrations if you want to co-exist. Our partners have built extensions on the same platform and use our PaaS to handle advanced use cases: Inspirage has built a solution for Governance and Compliance, Kalypso has built an extension to manage recipe formulations, and XPLM has built integrations from Cloud PLM to MS Office and CAD such as SolidWorks, Creo, SolidEdge, AutoCAD, Inventor, CATIA, or NX – just to name a few.

The guiding principles of Oracle’s adaptive PLM are openness and choice, added value for our customers, simplicity and ease-of-use. With our open architecture, you can perform easy integrations to cloud, legacy or third-party systems. We will, as always, continue to put you, the customer, first.

If you’re interested in learning what the analysts say about Oracle Cloud PLM, read this eBook written by top PLM analyst firm CIMdata. You can also download our modern guide to PLM eBook to learn everything you need to know about Product Lifecycle Management.

Learn more about Oracle Cloud PLM.

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