What is a PLM alpha? …and are you one?

MarcL: Why ‘plm alpha’?

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly, definition of an alpha geek

Peter Schroer:
Over the years, I’ve met with thousands of PLM users, project teams and architects. They’ve been from a wide range of industries and locations all over the world.
And while each person’s perspective on PLM is different, I find that there are some pretty consistent levels of experience. They’re either first-time PLM novices, experienced PLM veterans or this kind of alpha geek in PLM, sort of a “PLM alpha” for short.

As the name implies, these PLM alphas tend to lead the way. They set the standard by which other companies measure PLM success, and are usually the ones that think of new ways to transform their business.   

They’re always on the lookout for new innovations in the field, and are typically the first to apply new technologies.         PLM alphas are great to work with because they combine deep technical competence with an unusually high level of business savvy.

PLM alphas understand that technological breakthroughs occur constantly, and that uncovering the ‘right one’ can create a significant advantage over their competition. They’re not looking for yesterday’s system with some new screens or a dump truck load of unusable features.

Alphas want revolutionary innovation, the kind that typically comes from small groups of highly knowledgeable experts and results in an order of magnitude leap forward.

An alpha knows that advantage is achieved by using something that the other guy doesn’t have. They’re able to independently assess a technology’s merits based on capabilities. PLM alphas want to evaluate, test and validate for themselves because they want hands-on experience.

They want to know with certainty that a new technology is truly revolutionary, and they understand that no amount of customer reference calls will ever provide the depth of insight necessary.     

In fact,       by definition they don’t want something that a lot of other companies have because by that time it’s too late to get the upper hand.

PLM alphas also shy away from success stories, flashy brochures and pretty PowerPoints. They refuse to sit through endless sales presentations because they know that salesmen with slides and magic show demos typically sell snake oil.

They’ve been burned before and aren’t about to let it happen again. Actually, most PLM alphas that I know have been part of knock-down drag-out vendor fights, and have the scars to prove it.      A true PLM alpha takes pride in this.

Most alphas have led multiple PLM implementations, have experience with at least two of the major PLM systems on the market and understand the core capabilities better than the vendor’s own personnel.

They have been down & dirty inside the code. They know every in and out of the data model. They have reached the limits of the system and gone beyond.       They know where each PLM system breaks down, and where they will be forced to customize or compromise.

That level of competence, expertise, experience is typically accompanied by an attitude, a positive attitude that combines confidence and clarity with a healthy serving of curiosity. The PLM alphas that I know are always advocating for the business and taking on new challenges while simultaneously on the lookout for game changers.

They’re busy people. They’re a scarce resource that’s in-demand so they rarely have the time that they’d like to test drive each new technological advancement.

That’s why it’s ‘PLM alpha’       because this is the type of info that these people want to know about Aras and our PLM platform technologies and solutions.

If this sounds like you, we should have the kind of info you’ve been looking for        and if you’re not getting something specific or if you have questions, just post a comment and we’ll get you what you need.

Image from Fear.less


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5 Responses to “What is a PLM alpha? …and are you one?”

  1. What is a PLM alpha? …and are you one? - PLM Blog - Aras Innovator Technology - Says:

    […] So, we just started the new PLM alpha blog which is me interviewing Peter Schroer, Aras president & founder (and chief architect) about our technology, and I thought I’d repost a few of the blogs here so people could get a feel for the new blog and check it out.   Here’s our PLM alpha post from Feb 22, What is a PLM alpha? …and are you one? […]

  2. Stan Przybylinski Says:

    Hi Peter,

    Sounds like people on the far left side of the bell curve to me.


  3. Aras - The PLM That Empowers - PLM Blog - Aras Corporate Blog - Says:

    […] we invite you to experience the Aras difference first hand.p.s. Are you a PLM Alpha? Find out at: What is a PLM Alpha and Are You One? Posted Fri, Apr 6 2012 10:28 AM by Jennifer Contact Aras | Privacy […]

  4. PLM That Empowers - PLM Blog - Aras Corporate Blog - Says:

    […] day I get questions from the PLM Alphas. Big questions. How is Aras different? Why does it matter? How will it change my daily work life? […]

  5. una de las mejores Says:

    Muy Agradecido por motivo de tu weblog. ¡Me alucina!
    Esa blog. Se va ahora mismo a marcadores.

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