Autodesk will continue to sell its Autodesk Vault on-premises PDM software as the piece for handling the management and tracking of design data like engineering bills of materials and CAD files. However, any functionality beyond that core PDM capability will be served up in the SaaS delivery model under the Autodesk 360 Nexus umbrella, with Autodesk officials promising an out-of-the-box, fast-time deployment system, which can also be customized and scaled as the organization's needs evolve. Also, Vault is not required to run the other Autodesk 360 Nexus modules.
So what exactly will Autodesk 360 Nexus offer? Bodnar says the platform, which will be released in the first quarter of 2012, will comprise full requirements management, business process management (BPM), project management, new product introduction (NPI), and quality and compliance capabilities, including those around corrective and preventive action (CAPA). Supplier and partner management functionality and maintenance and service capabilities are also part of the PLM spectrum that Autodesk plans to target with the Autodesk 360 Nexus Web services, Bodnar says.
As far as pricing and a licensing model, Bodnar points to Salesforce.com, an industry-leading CRM platform, for guidance. Instead of traditional PLM where companies have to pay for the core platform and then for each individual module licensed for every user, this will be a single subscription price where users get access to the complete system. "We have looked at the PLM solutions in the market, and for a variety of reasons, customers have failed to realize ROI," he told us. "It comes down to the difficulty of deploying the traditional architecture and business models wrapped around PLM."
This seems like a perfect applications for cloud computing. I would imagine there would be savings, as you say, because users can pick and choose functionality. I would also think it would also users access to more computing power and more current updates.
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