Vuuch 4.0 Makes Debut

DN Staff

January 13, 2011

3 Min Read
Vuuch 4.0 Makes Debut

In the latest upgrade to its so-called "enterprise socialsystem," Vuuch has made some significantuser interface improvements and added a few key new features-all part of anattempt to leverage social networking technology and conventions to improve theproduct development process.

Vuuch 4.0 builds on earlierreleases of the on-demand application to foster social interaction betweenextended product development teams and partners, providing access to keydeliverables and communications around projects in a manner similar to what youmight see on Facebook. However, unlike Facebook or conventional socialnetworks, Vuuch technology "knows" the product and what people are connected tothe product and deliverables, therefore it serves up relevant information anddiscussions in the context of the product as opposed to conventional andconsumer-oriented social networks that can flood people with information andmaterial that is often irrelevant.

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Given that Vuuch is billed as a complement-notreplacement-to existing CAD and PLM tools, integration is a core part of itsstrategy. In Vuuch 4.0, Vuuch has enhanced its integration story via supportfor SpaceClaim via a new add-in,letting SpaceClaim users create and respond to product issues and requirementsusing Vuuch social networking capabilities from directly within the SpaceClaimenvironment. Vuuch offers similar plug-ins for SolidWorks, Autodesk's AutoCAD and Inventor, PTC Pro/ENGINEER (now Creo Elements/Pro) as wellas the Microsoft suite of productivity software.

SpaceClaim support was a no-brainer given that the firm hasa similar strategy to Vuuch, says Chris Williams, Vuuch CEO. "They are to CADas we are to PLM," he explains. "We see joining forces as an interesting way toamplify what the two of us are doing in the market."

In addition to SpaceClaim support, Vuuch 4.0 ushers in acouple of additional new features. Vuuch pages, which represent a specificproduct or deliverable, let users track design issues, assign tasks and shareproject-related materials. Starting with this new release, the entire historyof a page along with all related activities can be exported to Microsoft Excelto facilitate the collection of institutional knowledge that can aid inanalysis and reporting for compliance purposes.

Among the interface enhancements is the ability to see whodid what and when to each Vuuch activity, a feature Vuuch officials say is thebeginning of trying to create a social graph for the product. Users can alsotrack events inside of Vuuch activity threads in the 4.0 release. "Thisprovides richer information around the thread, and we're displaying not justpeople's content in the thread, but the action they took," Williams explains."This makes it easier to understand what action people took with respect to aVuuch activity."

There is also the addition of activity filtering, which letsusers view information in the social system in the context of what concernsthem at that particular moment. Users can filter by deliverable type, time,owner and status, and the filtering capabilities are also available in theVuuch BOM display so users could, for instance, key in on red status items froma particular Vuuch user in the last two weeks.

Vuuch 4.0 also adds support for mobile devices such as theApple iPhone and iPad via support of the Safari browser on those models. Thesoftware is available as an annual subscription, and users who create Vuuchpages require a paid license. Introductory pricing is $250 a year per Vuuchpage creation license.

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