Farmingdale State College (a campus of the State University of New York)

A successful product lifecycle management model requires collaboration across departments and geographies. To deliver on that vision, Siemens PLM Software, in partnership with Microsoft Corp., has expanded the social networking capabilities embedded within its Teamcenter PLM platform to provide what it says is the next generation of social product development. Specifically, the existing community collaboration capabilities built into Teamcenter—meant to streamline the introduction of new products through the use of corporate social networks—now support Microsoft SharePoint 2010, which Siemens said will further boost information sharing between employees, suppliers, and customers. Teamcenter manages some of the most sophisticated product and process data for the automotive, aerospace, CPG, and high-tech industries. According to the company, the release of Teamcenter community collaboration capabilities on SharePoint 2010 will increase team productivity by coordinating their daily activities through shared project workspaces enhanced with social networking tools such as wikis, blogs, profiles, and surveys. “Siemens PLM Software and Microsoft have been helping product development organizations share data and collaborate for years,” said Steve Bashada, vice president of Siemens PLM Teamcenter applications, in a statement. “With [this] announcement, we are further harnessing the power of corporate social networking concepts, and helping our customers transform the challenges of working with globally distributed product development teams into a competitive advantage.” Siemens PLM competitors, including Dassault Systèmes, PTC, and Oracle, have recently added their own social networking capabilities to their PLM applications, signaling a significant shift in the way manufacturers work. “Companies are applying the concepts and lessons learned from social networking to connect people and enhance business interaction,” said Jim Brown, president and founder of consulting firm Tech-Clarity, in a statement. In particular, manufacturers want the entire enterprise, not just the engineering department, to collaborate in real time. As Brown put it, “This shift toward corporate social networks promises significant business value, particularly as social computing technologies are applied to PLM.”