The deliverables-centric theme is carried over into some of the interface enhancements in Vuuch 5.0. For example, every deliverable is presented with a Facebook-like page that displays related discussions as a dashboard for each person involved and highlights how the discussions converge with respect to specific project plans. In addition, Vuuch pages are organized in multiple structures, and each node generates dashboards and timelines across the structure -- another tactic that Vuuch officials said aids in keeping the social conversation focused on project deliverables.
The ability to participate in activity threads in much the same way a user would in a Facebook thread also makes it easier to become proficient in Vuuch and benefit from its collaboration capabilities. Tighter integration with Microsoft Project via a plug-in is another hallmark of the new release. It allows project details to be rolled up directly to the Microsoft Project plan in real-time.
Vuuch's collaboration story may be compelling for those who've been bitten by the social media bug, but the jury is still out on whether the engineering community in general will embrace social functionality. Many hardcore engineers still harbor concerns about security. They worry that critical product intellectual property doesn't belong in any forum where it could fall into the wrong hands. Others say social networking is not serious work or will be overrun with frivolous information tangential to the job at hand.
Even so, all you have to do is take a look at what's going on in the consumer field to see that, despite continuing reservations, social media use is not going away anytime soon. In recognition of that trend, many CAD and PLM vendors, including PTC and Dassault Systemes, are slowly folding in social functionality into their own platforms. Most, if not all, of the CAD and PLM vendors are taking this approach instead of promoting the open sharing of product data on any kind of public social forum.
Take a look at TeamPlatform, it's for teams. In addition to collaboration / talk / project updates, there are a lot of ways to interact with people outside of the team.
You'll also find a lot of CAD management meat (ex: assembly navigation, meta-data extraction... in other words: CAD Search), and online 3D views.
Coincidentally, a new web-app, 3Dfile.iowas just released this week for super-simple online 3D view sharing, including native CAD / assemblies - here's an example -- http://3dfile.io/tNN71D to check out the online 3D views.
I think "social-like" features is where a lot of these vendors are going. Given the concerns around security and IP sharing, integration with public social networking platforms is out. The idea that seems to hold weight is applying some of the conventions of social systems to PLM and CAD to facilitate collaboration and data sharing. I think that idea makes sense.
@Fabrizio: Many of the PLM vendors are adding social capabilities to their PLM platforms as well. Both PTC and Dassault, in fact, have fairly aggressive efforts around interpreting a social component to engineering collaboration and Siemens PLM Software addresses some of this via its tight integration with Microsoft SharePoint. To date, though Vuuch definitely has the lead in terms of reinterpreting the paradigm and making social a major pillar of the system. There is also a new start up called Kenesto that is tackling the collaboration component of this as a workflow problem using a familiar "email" interface and paradigm to make it an easy transition for users. All good stuff.
Interesting points, Vuuch. As this moves forward, what kind of adoption are you seeing, and what are the barriers to adoption. I would imagine just in terms of work habits, it will take some time before users begin to add this to their work habits.
Massive traction http://www.vuuch.com/customers and stay tuned for some even more interesting names. Customers of all sizes realize that structured tools like PDM and PLM have done a good job of capturing the results of work, but they have done nothing for the ad-hoc unstructured effort, the work. Social @ work when mixed with tools like ERP , PLM and CRM will deliver on the original promise.
Billions have been spent on ERP. PLM and CRM but people are still stuck in email. The data is in control but the work is not.
You need to abstract the concepts of Facebook and think about how they can be applied to work. Don't get lost in how it works in the consumer world. Social @ work is different and one BIG differance is the connection model. It is ok as a consumer to connect based on relationships, friendships, but this doesn't work in the workplace. At work people are connected by the work they do. Social @ work must be deliverable-centric.
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