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observation I am not sure if it depending on the holiday season but apparently from my side at this moment things have gone quiet. Customers are either on holiday or delaying their PLM processes due to holidays or economical downturn. For that reason some unstructured thoughts

How PLM is Nokia ?

nav Two weeks ago I wrote a post about the problems found with the introduction of the new N97 phone from Nokia – see How PLM is NOKIA. As a victim of their NPI process I am still trying to understand their business reasons to be quiet in their responses. From the NOKIA forum, at this moment already 14 pages of discussion, there is no response from NOKIA, see GPS is cutting out on my N97. It is clear that NOKIA is following the discussion as the moderator has removed some posts, but no positive response from NOKIA’s side. Personally I believe a missed opportunity.

Interesting to see that NOKIA avoids to communicate around this problem. I can imagine keeping the problem silent at least does not alert people not using the GPS, from the other side, in times of crisis customer loyalty is probably something that assists a company in hard times.

PLM lesson learned: the costs of fixing problems once your product is in the field is dramatically higher as compared to the cost made during engineering. Did they do virtual testing ? Did they have a prototype phase ? Or was the product dumped into the market to compete with the iPhone ?

An interesting case to follow – anyone from NOKIA to comment ?

PLM Market Forecast Revised Downward.
V or a W-shape?

Another surprise was the report coming out from CIMdata where they mention that the initial growth expectation for PLM needs to be adjusted – see PLM Market Forecast Revised Downward.

In March, the research house had predicted 3.8% year-over-year growth in 2009 and 6.3% compound annual growth over the next five years — which would have pushed the market to $36 billion in revenue in 2013. Stating in a mid-year report released this week that “the global economic situation has been even more severe than anticipated,” the PLM consulting and research firm said it circled back to include data from the first half of 2009 in its figuring.

CIMdata revised its forecast for the PLM software market in 2009 and beyond, saying it now expects a decline of 2.1% in 2009 from 2008 revenue levels and a 3.5% compound annual growth rate from 2009 to 2013, to just under $31 billion in 2013. The company estimated the 2009 market at $25 billion.

The article contains some more interesting details, as it is also mentions virtual manufacturing, which I believe is one of the key benefits of PLM. I see it as one of the competitive advantages many companies should pursue to cut costs even though it requires an investment and change of work ( real PLM implementation)

wshapeThis brought me to the good (or relative good) news. According to the first optimistic signs we have had our worst point of the recession and things can only go better – this are the V-shape believers. After the downturn we will continue as before.

The more pessimistic analysts say we are in a W-shaped recession. Although things are getting better, we will fall back again and recover later, perhaps in 2010.

Both might be right, but what I see is that either end of 2009 or end of 2010 the estimates are that PLM is back in focus. Will this be business as usual or did companies take the opportunity to modernize themselves towards PLM ? The CIMdata reports suggest the opposite, in my post Economical Crisis and PLM – YES WE CAN I tried to explain that investing now in PLM brings an advantage for the future. Companies that now do not look or investigate in PLM might come in a more difficult situation when the economical growth starts again. As the focus will be than on the old business, the chance for management attention and focus on PLM might become too low. Companies that currently invest in PLM take obviously more risk at this time, but will already reap the benefits faster

PLM, PLM 2.0 or a new PLM ?

coop Another interesting and ongoing discussion is the discussion where PLM is heading. Where in mid-market companies the discussion often is around the need for PLM beyond CAD data management and ERP, others are already visionary talking about the new PLM, which is based on people, social networking and communities.  Look at Vuuch and discussions on PLMTwine and Tech-Clarity. Main question here how will people change, will it be the new workforce that naturally replaces the old workforce and while replacing introduces new ways of PLM or will it be a concept driven from the big enterprises as a new wave of PLM  ? I believe this will become more clear when the economy picks up again and companies might have the bandwidth again for some experiments in this area.

Meanwhile I stay on my island

observation For many years NOKIA has been my favorite phone brand. I grew up with with their phones – every two years a new subscription and enjoying the new stuff. Although to be fare, 10 years ago a phone was just there to make phone calls and send SMS messages.

My previous and last successful phone was the N95, which had the nice feature that beside the fact it was a telephone, you could do a lot more with this apparatus, making pictures, listening to stereo music from decent built-in speakers and my favorite, an accurate GPS using for it navigation and sports.

For my job this was the perfect phone. The GPS brought me all around the globe, to places I did not know they exist, but the GPS brought me there. Every time I rented a navigation license for a week when i was in South Africa, the US, Greece or Asia and it worked – and the man or lady spoke my language.

shout_leftAs as I have seen NOKIA presentations on several PLM events like the ECF in Paris, i was sure that beside the nice features of various phones type, there are managing their portfolio well and everyone in the audience was always impressed by the short go-to-market time for a mobile phone and how competitive this market is and how NOKIA addressed these challenges. Other phone manufactures do no feel jealous (yet), as so far, I never had the drive to switch to another mobile phone manufacturer.

Yes, I was tempted when I saw the iPhone coming up and for sure, I would have switched to it, if Nokia had not announced the N97. For me the logical next phone as:

  • I am loyal to the brand
  • the N97 is the logical extension of the N95
  • it counters all the remarks from my friends that have an iphone

Of course the announcement was in time and the availability was a little later as expected. But this is what you accept as a loyal customer. The grass might be greener elsewhere, but as long as you feel you have a “communication partner” you will feel comfortable and not jump over (the worst nightmare for any competitor – happy customers)

But then it happened:

nav Two weeks ago, I got my new 97 and immediately after going through the new gadgets and look-and-feel, I decided this phone was worth waiting. Specially the combination of touch screen and keyboard pleased me a lot. Then I decided to drive from the Netherlands to Paris and used my GPS.

This was the biggest disaster so far.

Even in situations that there was only the highway, the GPS was trying to snap to roads 200 meters to the left or right and my fear became right, once in a dense area as Paris you have no clue where you were driving.

But I am a loyal customer so I go to the NOKIA support forum and to my satisfaction, I found already 4 pages of remarks from other people experiencing the same – not being alone helps. Here the NOKIA community was working well, suggestions and remarks from others lead to at least a better understanding of the issue but not to a solution.

Here I was surprised to see the absence of Nokia technical experts, who could assist the audience in the right direction.  And some of the local NOKIA helpdesk responses were even worse – see quote from the forum below:

And what are Nokias’ thoughts on all this???  It would appear nothing, unless they do not read this feedback. Having said that, on one occasion I contacted Nokia “support” they blamed it on the satellites, and the fact they are owned by the USA government, and Nokia have no control on them!!!!  Honest, that is EXACTLY what I was told. Dohhhh  (A “knee jerk” response from a body which SHOULD be supporting their product(s).

listen So I went to a NOKIA care center, where the latest available phone software was loaded. I had an interesting of-the-record discussion there with one of the specialists. He mentioned that this kind of issues became more and more standard not only for NOKIA.
Due to time-to-market pressure, phone suppliers bring their products on the market, almost untested. It is the first wave of gadget chasers who detect all the bugs and then in the longer term, the telephone will come with a stable fix almost at End-Of-Life of the phone.

I agreed that this was an interesting strategy and I have seen other companies doing the same, only difference: They mention to their gadget chasers: “Note is is a preliminary version, our official release date is xx – xx – 2009”

Meanwhile the new installed software version improved some of the features, still the GPS is unacceptable. In parallel the amount of pages on the Nokia support forum has grown to 7+ and people, like me, getting more and more frustrated from the lack of response from Nokia. They keep silent ……..

So now coming back to my question: How PLM is NOKIA ?

On of the major benefits of PLM is being more focused on customer inputs and feedback, allowing you to make better products. I know the whole PLM infrastructure is in place at NOKIA, but there is no response:

It is all about connecting people

To my understanding none of the people exposing their GPS problem have been able to get an useful answer. Is it because there is no answer ? Making mistakes is not dramatic but as Confucius said: “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake”.

So I am waiting for the Nokia response to create a solution path – and yes for the competition the door gets open

Below in this YouTube video you can see how it was tested 🙂

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