Inforbix, Product Data and the Cloud/On-premise connection

I’m impressed by the number of blog posts I’ve seen right before and after New Year, foretelling the future. I’ve tried to read as many of them as possible.  As a result, I’ve come to a conclusion: cloud is going to be a big topic in 2012.   Here’s one of my favorite posts prognosticating what to expect in 2012.  It’s from Kalypso, a PLM consulting firm.  They just published a list of the top 5 innovative predictions for 2012.  Have a read and reach your own conclusion. The one prediction that caught my eye is that “PLM adopts the cloud”:

PLM adopts the cloud – With the recent release of new cloud-based PLM technologies from Dassault Systèmes and Autodesk, companies have a growing list of options for transitioning to cloud-based PLM systems.

Clearly, I can see lots of advantages with adopting cloud solutions. The cloud has the potential of solving many existing problems in manufacturing companies. However, it might also create an interesting challenge: how to connect existing on-premise data with new cloud applications becoming available almost on a daily basis.  In this context, I was reading an amazing interview of Gaurav Dhillon. Take a few minutes of your time and read it. He is talking about cloud application integration and the challenges enterprise companies face on the road to cloud adoption. Here is my favorite passage:

Cloud application integration may not be the sexiest topic, but for enterprises in particular, it’s one of the gating factors in cloud computing adoption. Without it, when companies adopt SaaS applications, for example, they simply move information silos outside the firewall and create old problems anew.

The interview with Gaurav resonated with what we believe at Inforbix and an important point for the future cloud PLM adoption. Manufacturing companies have accumulated colossal amounts of data: CAD files, bill of materials, ECOs and so on. Most of this data will stay on-premise for a long time (for the foreseeable future CAD won’t be moving to the cloud).  However, for PLM in the cloud to be effective, on premise data needs to be connected and re-aggregated with cloud apps.

Let me give you two examples of what Inforbix can do for you to solve the challenge of connecting on premise data with cloud based applications (such as PLM). Assuming you have your CAD file(s), e.g. Autodesk Inventor drawings or SolidWorks drawings, on premise and you are not planning to move them into the cloud, Inforbix can help you share bill of material (BOM) data from CAD drawings with other people (or applications) via the Inforbix Tables app.  Here are the pics:

Autodesk Inventor Drawing


Autodesk Inventor Drawing BOM


SolidWorks Drawing Search and Filter


SolidWorks Drawing BOM

Yet another feature of Inforbix is that it can help you access and share a list of components (or BOM) from your company’s on-premise PDM with others that may not have access to the PDM system.  In this pic, accessing data from a SmarTeam bill of material.

Product data from ENOVIA SmarTeam


Bill of Materials (composed of) from ENOVIA SmarTeam


Because of Inforbix’s unique product data semantic technologies, data from within different CAD files and sources, e.g. PDM, is accessed and made available, shared and integrated in a very seamless way. So anyone in the company has instant and easy access to data.  And cloud based applications that need or can benefit from access to data from many different file types and disparate sources now have a means of increasing the value of their solution to their users.

Give Inforbix a try by using our online test drive demo. Or start using Inforbix for free with your data – register here.  And tell us what you think.

Best, Oleg