Naperlou: You're saying that it's not a difficult task to share engineering and product data with a variety of systems? If so, that's surprising to me and contrary to what I have heard so often from both PLM vendors and PLM practitioners in both engineering and IT.
A core tenet of Autodesk's strategy with its PLM 360 is that the PLM-related applications or services--project management, costing, product portfolio management, engineering change orders, etc.--are cloud-based tools, but the actual product-related data (CAD models, requirements, drawings, etc.) are stored on-premise, in the Vault PDM system. But even if that scenario, it would be critical to sync up to other enterprise systems where data might be stored.
Beth, the idea of being able to interchange information with a variety of systems is an important one. For engineering and product data this is not a very daunting task. Tools like Jitterbit are great for easing the integration task. PLM does not rely on data with complex semantics, as you might have in a high speed transaction or control system. That makes it a more tractible problem, and brings one closer to the goal of having all the information you need to make product decisions.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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