Stop, Collaborate and Listen with Cloud-Based PLM

July 2, 2018

Because we've become a more collaborative society, we've in turn built a better product ecosystem. We can communicate with teams anywhere in the world and work together to create the next best thing. Despite these advances, traditional PLM systems have struggled to keep up.

As humans, we are collaborating at an astronomical rate. More so than any time in history thanks to Twitter, email, video chat, Chatter and others we have many ways to connect and collaborate with our teams.

Because we've become a more collaborative society, we've in turn built a better product ecosystem. We can communicate with teams anywhere in the world and work together to create the next best thing.

After you design and create the next best thing to hit the market since Adidas' UltraBoost shoes you'll find yourself stuck in a vacuum for the next stage. Your company might employ some version of a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution, but it isn't doing much for the company as a whole. People are always kept out of the loop, and no one except your engineering and design teams know about your latest and greatest endeavor. 

What is Product Lifecycle Management?


The phrase “Product Lifecycle Management” was coined almost twenty years ago along with the many companies that sprang up with it during the 1990s. Agile Software,, and MatrixOne were designed to manage CAD files, hardware changes, and manufacturing updates. Just as grunge, CAD files, and dot-coms were running rampant, traditional PLM began to embed itself into product companies worldwide.

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But a lot has changed in those years since. We have goods like the iPhone, rental electric scooters, hybrid cars, and drones that demand a better PLM experience.

Even though we are creating and developing exciting new products at a rapid rate, PLM systems themselves haven't changed much since the phrase's conception and are struggling to keep up in today's digital age. To successfully develop and launch the next best thing in today's market, you need a flexible, modern (and cloud-based) PLM solution.

Modern? Cloud? Flexible? But why?

These aren't just buzzwords. These are needs that every PLM system should satisfy.

A flexible, modern, cloud-based PLM system has advantages traditional on-premise PLM does not.

We live in a world with higher customer expectations. Mobile apps, eCommerce, and next-day delivery have transformed what customers expect from companies. How does traditional PLM tackle that? It doesn't. On-premise PLM systems cannot handle the demands of today's customers. There isn't a way to track customer feedback or manage eCommerce channels in older PLM systems.

 Better eCommerce experience with PLM

On a positive note, thanks to the success of PLM systems over the years, many companies have done a decent job of transitioning products from engineering to manufacturing. However, launching products with multiple partners has become a massive headache for companies. Getting sales, marketing, channels and service partners up-to-speed on the latest product updates – and coordinating all their activities, such as updating sales tools, service instructions, and partner certification – has remained isolated from the product development process.

Smart lightbulbs and smart locks are conveniences we have been given over the last five years thanks to the emergence of The Internet of Things. Even though IoT companies are cashing in on the smart-home boom, they are hitting significant roadblocks with standard on-premise PLM offerings. Many IoT products have multiple systems, partner products, and software packages. IoT products are also connected to their customer at all times giving way to constant feedback and customer usage data. Unfortunately, many PLM systems are unable to manage non-hardware data, and IoT companies are finding themselves looking to the cloud for a robust PLM system.

Smart Home and PLM

The cloud is another invention that has revolutionized how we work. It has helped companies streamline how internal and external stakeholders collaborate on product development and launches. Cloud apps can help lower overhead and IT costs, but they also have a much more significant impact on product success. The cloud has increased internal and external communications thus shortening the feedback loop. Companies are finding themselves in need of a single cohesive platform for threaded discussions, mobile support, point-and-click controls, and customization.


Collaborate and Listen

Propel is here with a brand new invention – cloud-based PLM built on Salesforce.

Propel was started by PLM and development veterans, who spent the last several years working with the latest cloud technologies. When most PLM companies were focusing on designing hardware and handing off changes to manufacturing, the Propel team was too busy noticing the considerable gap in translating product updates into customer adoption and market success.

Propel’s approach to PLM focuses on getting product updates into the hands of people who care about them the most – your customers. We call it “concept to customer” and we are firm believers in it.


If you deal with a complex network of products, services, channels, and customers, Propel can help you intelligently roll out any product changes to your employees, partners, portals, and customers. Propel enables you to collaborate on every phase of the product, so people will continue to love you and your products.

If you don’t plan on getting aboard the digital transformation train, you can rest comfortably with your current PLM system. However, if you’re already dealing with a multitude of software updates, product changes, partner on-boarding and more-detailed customer data, Propel can make a world of a difference.

See for yourself with a demo. We think you'll like what you see.  

Propel provides a modern cloud PLM solution that grows with your business and helps everyone connect with your customers, products, and services so you can propel innovation and propel your business.

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Allyssa Eclarin


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