I have just returned from the show in San Diego. As always, this was a good show. We had a chance to present some of our thoughts on trends in information sharing and collaboration for processes such as sourcing, new product development, marketing, production manufacturing and others. We also had the chance to meet with many, many customers who told us stories about how they are. That is always the best part of these shows. We get lots of questions and also get a chance to learn how our customers are using our tools. Read on to find out what we learned about collaboration, document sharing, interoperability and extending engineering data outside.
Thanks SolidWorks World
So, as I said, I just returned from San Diego with lots of customer conversations fresh in mind. Adobe is in position to help manufacturing firms leverage and solidify (pardon the pun) there processes that rely on PLM. We also had the chance to meet with many, many customers who told us stories about how they are. That is always the best part of these shows. We get lots of questions and also get a chance to learn how our customers are using our tools.
So, What Did We Learn?
It is always interesting to speak to customers. One of the frequent questions is how does this compare to (name your favorite 3D visualization tool)? Well, my answer is that our offerings are quite different. Is there overlap? Sure, but that is, to some extent in the visualization space. First, leveraging the free Adobe Reader with all of its significant ability to manage comment and review sessions, forms data collection, and certainly all of the 3D capability like measurement, sectioning, view creation, etc. are big differences. I like to explain that combining 2D and 3D content, “containerizing” both precise data as well as tessellated data and enabling viewing of PMI are other differences with engineering-oriented viewers.
Data Sharing and Collaboration
Lots of our customers are having success sharing their engineering data outside of engineering, which is a form of what I call document-based collaboration. I think saving documents from numerous other file formats is really helping them. We’re hearing success stories about marketing materials, manufacturing work instructions, field service, supply-chain integration/data sharing and the request for quotation (RFQ) process. Using digital rights management in conjunction with the PDF format is really gaining momentum with the customers I spoke to… rather than pushing out dead data or trying to have third parties work remotely within various engineering and business systems, Rights Management based revision control and IP protection is really working well.
Lastly, we do get lots of questions about “do you support this format or that”? The answer is almost always yes. (For a complete list of supported formats, go to http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat3d/supportedformats .) “Do I have to replace my authoring tools… for example for technical documents?” “No” is the answer. We’re helping make those investments in systems and tools more valuable.
Now it’s on to Pacific Design and Manufacturing in Anaheim next week. Well, it’s cold here in Michigan, so the sunshine will be great. (Oh yea, I some of Tiger Woods in the Buick Open yesterday… people, 50 degrees is not cold. 17 degrees, outside my window right now is cold.)
See you in CA.