Autodesk adds a bi-directional integration between PLM 360 and NetSuite, which it calls the "world's #1 cloud ERP solution," and calls its own PLM 360 "the fastest growing in the market" -- a point that was repeated. Of course growth for any new product is fast because of the mathematics of percentages on small bases. (ERP is short for "enterprise resource planning;" PLM is short for "product lifecycle management.")
The announcement was made to us media last week, but we had to keep the news secret until today. I'd heard of the NetSuite name, but don't know anything about it. So here is some of what Autodesk told us it can do:
- Approved vendor list and vendor audits
- Work orders
- Product development from concept to recycling
- Create M-BOMs [manufacturing BOM]
For me, this is all eye-glazing stuff -- like "Step 2: Create initial vendor record in NS as inactive."
Ken Wong: Will this cost additional fees, or will NetSuite be available to all PLM 360 subscribers?
Autodesk: Customers already of NetSuite will purchase PLM 360. PLM 360 customers will have to contact NetSuite to pay them. [Autodesk is providing the integration only.]
Randall Newton: How easy or tough was it to put together the technologies to make this happen?
Autodesk: We use our PLM Connect for integrating systems like this. It is similar to integrating with traditional PLM. On a relative scale, it was easier than with traditional, because Web-based technologies make integration easier.
Unknown media: How customers get it: are you or your resellers are reselling it? Or do customers contract NetSuite separately?
Autodesk: It is the latter. We will each have listings on our partner pages. We will work with our respective sales teams to help customers get the joint solution.
In Other PLM 360 News
In other news, Autodesk told us that they have new partnerships with Assent, Octopart, and Jitterbit. PLM 360 will have its own app store with several categories, like quality management. Last October, Autodesk acquired Inforbix and now its search technology is built into PLM 360: it recommends other documents that are potentially related. For example, search for a BOM item and related drawings are also returned.
Some 70% of Autodesk customers who started up PLM 360 did not have PLM before, mainly SMBs (small and medium businesses).
Kenneth Wong: What are these partnerships allow people to do? If I am working on an assembly in Inventor, will I be able to see costing or compliance? Or is it confined to the PLM environment.
Autodesk: Most of the data will be inside PLM, but not from inside Inventor.
Al Dean: I have a question-- It is completely gone! It's quite late in the day. Sorry!
Autodesk: That's my favorite type of question.
Al Dean: Got it! You said 2/3 of customers of PLM 360 did not use PLM. How many used PDM [product data management] or EDM [engineering data management]?
Autodesk: A majority, if not all of them. There are a bunch of our Vault users in there. We are getting a lot of Solidworks users, as well. A majority of PLM 360 users work in multi-CAD environments.
Al Dean: Pulling compliance data-- this is going to be useful to pull this information at a very early stage. Can you see it going to the guys using Inventor? Or will it always be a two-stage process?
Autodesk: We have nothing for that yet. There might be a bridge we might make one day. That is a future expansion idea.
So it seems that information is being kept in PLM 360, and isn't particularly available to MCAD and AEC designers early enough in the project. From the answers given to the questions posed by Kenneth and Al, we can summarize that the "product" and "lifecycle" parts are truncated in PLM from Autodesk, but that the "management" part is growing.