Customizations and PLM? The Inside Joke

Customizations and PLM? The Inside Joke

I have a good joke for you. An IT director, PLM system owner, and their 3rd party system integrator walk into a bar. The IT director says, “When we put in our new PLM system, we should just implement it out of the box.” The PLM system owner says “Definitely, we can change our business processes to match the functionality as is. That way we’ll keep the complexity down and save money in the long run.” Then the 3rd party system integrator says, “I also agree, and the next few rounds are on me, ‘cause I’m going to make a fortune off you guys.”

If you have had first-hand experience implementing a PLM system in a large company, this joke is not really that funny—but nevertheless, I am sure it resonates with you. Personally, I still have nightmares thinking about the “day one” expectations of a PLM deployment and the “day two” conversations once the project started.

As much as people may want to believe it, the fact remains, no large, complex company has ever used a PLM system out-of-the-box (OOTB). The reality is, the unique requirements these organizations bring to the process is what drives their competitive advantage, and they cannot afford to ignore them.

While businesses may try to implement their PLM OOTB, they inevitably find that the complexity, size, and age of these companies make the OOTB route nearly impossible. The real catch here is that almost all PLM systems that are powerful enough to handle the largest company’s needs, do not handle customizations well. Most involve complex coding or integrations that turn their shiny new investment into instant legacy, with limited ability to upgrade in the future. I see the system integrator writing up a new PO right now-and buying another round.

So how do you make a bad situation worse? Let’s move the PLM system to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model!

If you thought it was difficult to customize a PLM system on-premises, try doing it as part a typical SaaS environment. SaaS offerings base their business model on maintaining one code base for many, if not all, of their customers—sometimes using the same environment. There is limited to no room for companies to customize their applications to support their individual requirements in these environments. Many SaaS providers will get around this issue by providing another application to create your customizations outside the core PLM application and force them to integrate. I am not sure if that can really be considered customizing your PLM or just creating complexity.

However, there is a solution to this dilemma—Aras Enterprise SaaS. Aras has re-architected their resilient Aras Innovator platform to provide the most advance SaaS offering on the market. Enterprise SaaS offers a fully customizable SaaS PLM, providing the same applications and functionality as the on-premises deployment. It is built from the ground up to provide subscribers unlimited customization of applications with Aras Innovator’s enterprise low-code modeling engine and platform services. It handles the most complex requirements from the world’s largest companies while maintaining the benefits of utilizing a SaaS subscription on the cloud.

The key to Aras’ approach is that Enterprise SaaS provides each subscriber with a dedicated environment. This is important in order to provide the flexibility customers need to develop their own solutions and implement upgrades on their schedule without outside dependencies. With Enterprise SaaS, customizations are guaranteed upgradable so customers can take advantage of upgrades without having to rebuild their applications.

This level of individuality is necessary to provide large companies the control they need to maintain their individuality and keep their competitive edge, removing outside dependencies from the SaaS discussion. These companies can now create the PLM they need and not be forced into their PLM vendor’s limitations.
Learn more about Aras’ Enterprise offering and cloud technology at ACE 2021. Register now!