I can hear echoes of the song “The Long And Winding Road” by The Beatles, droning in the background whenever I consider the effort and cost of successfully implementing a valid PLM/ERP integration strategy.
Hit the pause button for a second...The effort of Integrating PLM and ERP is a long and winding road of combining two worlds of data that, for one reason or another, are comparatively formatted entirely dissimilar ...or referencing data that is so transactional and ever-changing, it makes it extremely difficult to sync and display the data in a valid container. Even though a single source strategy made sense to have all product and process data at your fingertips, it seemed inevitable to always have an “out-of-date” spreadsheet one could fall back on.
In today’s world of the digital thread, we know WHY we need to integrate. Most, know WHAT they need to integrate. It was always the HOW that struck dissonant chords within our confidence. A confidence that longed for that utopian process peace of mind (UPPOM?) within the battered hallways of integration success. (ahem)
Hit the fast-forward button...Now that SAP and Siemens have come together and put their proficient thinking caps on to solve this, it makes the bold integration decisions going forward a project no-brainer. Now it’s more a question of WHEN or more explicitly, how fast I can get this and make it successful? You ask,
“Can I now envision a true "single source" strategy? What indispensable items have been placed on the proverbial integration table?”
The simple answer:
Parts, Materials & Documents? CHECK
Manufacturing Process data? CHECK
Federated data? CHECK
Variant configurations? CHECK
Model unit effectivity? CHECK
Workflows that accommodate this? CHECK
…and the biggest requirement: Out-of-the-box? CHECK!
(Reference my colleague Espen Leknes' blog post for richer details on Release 2.)
The partnership has taken this common integration headache from your grasp. Instead of users and SI’s using rigid words like customization, they can now use softer words like, personalization and configuration. We are currently on the second release of the PLM System Integration for Siemens Teamcenter and S/4HANA which methodically supports bi-directional data synchronization. Also, release 3 is coming later this year (Q3) supporting additional functionality.
So no more “Long and Winding Road”. Now you can aptly apply “Here Comes The Sun”. Let THAT resonate.
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