Don't Be Scared. It's Just PLM.

Acuity Account Executive, Chris Trina sat down with our resident Teamcenter guru, Pat Kennedy recently for a little Q&A/Fireside Chat on the intrinsic value of a quality PLM system. It was a long conversation! I’ll be posting the highlights over the next few weeks. Here's PART ONE.

Chris: So Pat, we’ve been chatting about some common questions I get from customers who are considering implementing Teamcenter, and you had some ideas on presenting it in a completely different way so they can see the value more clearly.

Pat: Yes, and immediately my mind went to something that has been bugging me for a while: that every Teamcenter marketing piece I’ve seen answers the question “What is it?” and my point is that's not where you start. It's where you end. The customers have problems they need to solve. They want to know: “Can we accomplish what we need to do?” They have to get things done! And so how can TC help them to get stuff done?? That's where I want to start.

Chris: That's where their head is at. Starting with everyday problems whether it’s on the shop floor or in the design room.

"And so, once we frame the conversation as: what can people get done, they will start asking, “Well can you guys do this? Can you do that?” And of course, with Teamcenter, OH MAN, 98/100 times the answer is going to be YES!"

Pat: Just the other day we were talking with someone who was using Dropbox, and I've used that for managing NX data before, it's kind of a pain. But it does one thing for you: You put files in one place, and everyone else can open up the same files. That's all it does, though. There's so much more that people need. And so, they outgrow it right away, which is the case with many PLM systems. They quickly reach the end of everything it can do.  And so, once we frame the conversation as: what can people get done, they will start asking, “Well can you guys do this? Can you do that?”  And of course, with Teamcenter, OH MAN, 98/100 times the answer is going to be YES.

Chris: It’s got so much capability.

Pat: It's a huge product. But we don't need to lead with huge. In fact, that's scary for people. So we need to lead with, what's easy and straight forward? Which of course right now is RapidStart. And it's super easy to implement if people don't need anything unusual--if they just want to be able to manage NX data, Solid Edge data, Solid Works data, frankly we don't need the two weeks implementation time to do that. When Siemens says two weeks implementation time they’re thinking every company wants to have customized workflows, every company wants their own customized attributes on items and blah blah blah  blah blah, well you know what? If they’re just starting out and they’re using Dropbox, and they've been getting by with that---Oh my GOSH all we need to do is roll out plain old out-of-the-box Rapid Start and they get a TON more stuff. Sure, eventually they will mature enough that they will start asking, "You know we like these workflows but...can we change them? Can we kind of tailor them a little bit?" ABSOLUTELY!

But we don't need to lead with that, right? What we need to lead with is the fact that we can make it very easy for you to do a whole lot more than what you can do now.

Chris: And make it not necessarily bite-sized but, instead of showing the full PLM picture starting with what's the smallest problem, it starts with just sharing. Be able to share data, to track it, to see the latest revision and basically have things be connected rather than put a file in a Dropbox. You opened it and there's other stuff going on in there--maybe you changed it but now I don't know that unless you send me an email saying, "Hey, I changed this," nothing is connected, right?

Pat: Version control becomes huge and yeah that’s a great example of what the customer can get done with TC. They get version control: they can create
the different revisions, so that at each stage of their design maturity they can go back and see how it was before.  Maybe they need to get a prototype built: that’s a revision.  Maybe they are then going to make changes just so that they can try to get to
their first production build, that's another release. Maybe they are in production but they need to make some changes that’s another revision, right? And so with each of those releases, and creating each of those revisions, it's not stomping over top of your previous saves which is what happens with a plain old server, file server or Dropbox, people are concerned about things like that.

Click here to read PART TWO.

I'll be posting the rest of this conversation over the coming weeks! Stay tuned.

Lindsay Trina