COFES, Blogs, Business Social Media, and Gamification

By MarkBurhop

I’m sitting at the Sky Harbor airport right now on the way home from COFES.  Delta canceled my flight so I get an extra 14 hours of bonus airport time.  Luckily, Sky Harbor has free Wifi (thanks Cisco!) and a nice Starbucks so I can at least use the time to catch up on some trip reports, twitter, and blog this blog.

A couple COFES folks mentioned I’m not blogging as much as I used to (problem solved today 🙂 ) On the last night of COFES, I spent some time talking with Josh Mings asking how he does it. He is not a full time blogger, you know.  Turns out he struggles just like the rest of us but I did learn I’m not using the couple minutes I’m brushing my teeth to their full potential (seems Josh thinks about his blog then too).

Deelip Menezes (sp fixed!) asked me what I was doing at COFES too. It might make a good blog post as many of my discussions are with potential Solid Edge and Femap partners. I’m obviously checking out new technologies that might be useful for our customers and trying to build some relationships with the folks that have innovative ideas.  Unfortunately, I can’t just go blasting their names to twitter without permission.  Of course, as things develop, I definitely plan to update you with any new partnerships or any cool technologies Solid Edge and Femap users may be interested in. It’s good for CAD designers that want to “get the edge” ;-)and good for these folks that just don’t have the budget to get the word out on what they are doing.

One general topic that everyone is talking about is the use of social media inside a company and around CAD and PLM. We eventually decided to create a new Twitter #COFESSM hash tag to try to continue the discussion. This isn’t really for the marketing folks (e.g. how do you use social media to sell more PLM), it is more for people working with PLM and CAD to talk about the good and bad of bringing social media inside the business. I’ll be watching so if anyone wants to chime in, please do!

Another general topic I liked was around gamification of CAD and PLM. Now Sean Dotson made it clear he does not want to do CAD on a PS3 but there are some other aspects of this that really sounded interesting. As one person pointed out, some gamers can work for hours long into the night.  They don’t get paid and nothing is accomplished (in the real world). Is there a way to make CAD fun and enjoyable enough that people want to work like this? All things being equal, I’d rather work on the fun CAD system.

After the presentation, I did do a bit more digging on on Youtube and SlideShare.I thought this video was pretty good:

Going back to COFES, there will be more information that is still to come.  Dora was super active with her flip camera so I’m expecting some good interviews. Teamcenter Mobility got a lot of discussion and I bet you see more on that too. Watch for it here.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at