Today the clear demarcation of the boundary between product development and software development is blurring fast as software increasingly becomes a major component of products. Companies urgently need to integrate the management of their product and software development efforts. In Part 1, I likened the process to a climb up a mountain. We looked at the current landscape characterized by a chasm between ALM and PLM, and we quickly realized that there are business benefits to be reaped at the summit.
Business benefits of ALM-PLM integration
Let’s take a look at the main reasons for the integration, as outlined by OVUM Principal Analyst Michael Azoff:
- Visibility across all assets
- Improve search and locate information
- Accurately link firmware with hardware:
- Avoid errors, avoid damage costs, avoid reputation risk
- Traceability of assets for engineers in all lifecycle phases:
- Reduce time wasted.
- Enable effective collaboration across globally distributed units.
- Support maintenance, repair, & operations (MRO):
- Quickly locate parts and manage defect fixes.
- Reduce inoperative time of broken products.
So what are the top-level things to understand about the ALM-PLM Integration? Again, according to OVUM Principal Analyst, Michael Azoff:
- Manage software linked to the hardware that embeds it.
- Touch points:
- Requirements management.
- Testing & QA management.
- Change management and version control.
- Release management.
- Integration occurs at two fundamental levels:
- Linking is challenging across a supply chain so data exchange is necessary.
- Live linking is cheaper and easier to manage but need a good process around it.
Now that we have a general idea of why ALM-PLM integration is critical for the road ahead, it’s time to dive in a bit deeper and explore the actual levels of integration. I’ll take you through that in the next article in this series.
Remember: at the end of the series you’ll be able to download the full series content as a handy PDF eBook.