(image courtesy of John Evans)
On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, Autodesk and NetSuite announced a partnership during the Netsuite World 2013 Conference (#nsw13) that will integrate Autodesk PLM 360 with NetSuite ERP.
While the announcement has caused a bit of a stir in social media channels, it hasn’t really lit up my scoreboard at all. ERP and PLM integration is not anything new. Perhaps the hype comes from the cloud. As a matter of fact, I counted 25 references to the cloud in one version of the press release.
Nonetheless, companies around the world have been searching for the holy grail of TLA integrations (Three Letter Acronyms): ERP, MRP, PLM, PDM, and MES via SOA just to name a few. For those companies who trust the cloud with their data, finding a cloud-based integration is one step closer to nirvana. Finding two trusted sources, in their respective fields, integrating their wares is a powerhouse to contend with and shows the industry that each’s focus on the cloud is not deviating soon.
Perhaps it is because I am a cloud neophyte that I’m a bit pessimistic about this alliance. For example, I don’t see a lot of parts being built in the cloud. I don’t see my raw bar, plate, and sheet stock being delivered from the heavens. My mills, lathes, presses, and injection molding machines don’t levitate. Do I prefer quoting and estimating based on historic values rather than statistical values like some software tools provide? Absolutely! As I said, being able to integrate
- supply chain
- planning & scheduling
- and a bit of project management
earlier into a design and empowering more employees to make educated decisions with real-time information is the holy grail of most companies yielding faster development cycles, better on-time performance, and maybe even a bit of profit to go with it. The Autodesk-NetSuite partnership appears to be the beginning of a trend.
(I managed to reference cloud only nine times in this article.)