The definition of Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) has long been debated between software re-sellers and the companies that use PLM solutions. The debate heats up around what exactly is the product? Is it the item we manufacture and sell to our end customer? That could be a single part or an entire assembly of parts. Or is it all of the data that makes up a part or assembly?

I believe it is the latter, especially if you are a company that does not manufacture products, as in the case of an engineering services provider. Data drives everything in the product lifecycle, so the real goal of PLM software should be to streamline communication. This can only be accomplished if there is a continuity between all digital assets, and not just electronic versions of files existing in a database or server somewhere.

Business decisions are made based on the data available at the time. If that data exists in multiple silos it becomes very difficult to assess and leverage the data rapidly and efficiently. This could prevent mitigating rework and create potential budget overruns.


When considering which PLM platform is the right one for your product portfolio and organization, a challenge can be determining whether to use an on-premise solution or a cloud-based platform. To help clarify which option is best, consider how the following applies to your organization:

  • Where exactly does my data exist physically and/or digitally?
  • What are the capital costs of hardware and an IT team to manage data on my local servers?
  • What is the difference in data reading performance between the cloud and my intranet?
  • How will this PLM integrate into the rest of my existing business processes?
  • How secure is our data at rest and in flight?
  • Is there any customization needed to make the PLM product work for our organization?


Many companies have been slow to adopt the cloud due to potential obstacles during migration. Perhaps no obstacle is bigger than the need to handle legacy CAD data without interruption. The good news is, moving existing CAD systems data from CATIA V5 or SOLIDWORKS to the cloud is quite easy. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform from Dassault Systèmes readily accepts the older versions of CAD data and connects them to a cloud tenant.

Once the legacy data has been moved to the platform it can be used in its native format. When changes to the legacy data are needed, you simply open them in their native application, make your changes, and then save everything back to the platform, using whatever form of change management you decide in your process.

Moving to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform also opens doors to other Dassault Systèmes solutions such as DELMIA for manufacturing processes and SIMULIA for advanced simulation work on your data.

This allows you to protect your CAD investment without forcing your migration timeline, and more importantly it allows your existing CAD to be used with the latest solution that Dassault offers.

When your data is connected to the power of ENOVIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, you can add in applications such as Project Management with automated updating of resources and timing. This grants users the ability to assign tasks and connect all the stakeholders with exactly what they need at the right time.

When it comes to Multi-CAD environments, cloud-based PLM systems such as 3DEXPERIENCE make it possible and practical. The benefits that the time reduction alone has on bringing products to market – by having the right data, at the right time, and on any device that can connect to the web – far outweigh the challenges that exist by doing things the same old way.


At Persistent Systems, we have years of experience working with mid-sized companies across a variety of industries. Our understanding of their PLM needs allows us to support the customization and implementation of the right solutions to minimize time to value and maximize return on investment.

To find out more, visit us now.

Source: This blog was initially published on Dassault Systèmes North America Blog, Navigate the Future.