PLM World Transforms into the Digital Enterprise Society

New organization moves beyond Siemens PLM Software focus to help a broader set of companies navigate the journey to a digital enterprise.

New organization moves beyond Siemens PLM Software focus to help a broader set of companies navigate the journey to a digital enterprise.

The Digital Enterprise Society aims to help manufacturers navigate digital transformation.


As PLM World, the organization devoted to the Siemens PLM Software user community, is handing the Siemens PLM Connection-Americas conference back to the PLM vendor, it is repositioning as an open tent user community designed to help manufacturers navigate digital transformation.

The newly formed organization, dubbed the Digital Enterprise Society, is being promoted as a forum for the exchange of ideas surrounding the tools, processes, best practices and training required for companies to make the transition to digital practices throughout the entirety of a product’s lifecycle. Unlike the original PLM World organization, which was focused completely on Siemens PLM Software’s portfolio of tools, including NX and Teamcenter, the new organization will be software-agnostic, hoping to gain traction at companies using a range of product lifecycle management platforms and digital technologies to gain efficiencies throughout a product’s lifecycle.

“We want to make a dent in this idea in the manufacturing sector of transformation towards a digital enterprise,” says Nate Hartman, chairman of PLM World and currently past president of the new entity. Hartman is also Dauch Family Professor of Advanced Manufacturing and department head, Computer Graphics Technology, at Purdue University.

While PLM World was primarily focused on issues and tools used in the design engineering process, Hartman contends organizations need to take a bigger picture view when addressing the challenges of a digital enterprise. “When you talk about the concept of a digital enterprise, you need to reach further and wider, and arguably deeper in the organization,” he explains. “You need to be including areas like human resources, procurement, product portfolio development and those involved in customer experience.”

The digital twin concept is also fundamental to the group’s definition of the digital enterprise. The digital twin provides a high-fidelity, digital counterpart to physical products and corresponding processes while serving as a predictive input and dynamic validation mechanism for organizations to advance their product development initiatives, according to its bylaw documentation.

As such, Hartman sees the Digital Enterprise Society’s charter as helping members break out of the CAD and PLM bubbles and take an expanded view of what it means to be an enterprise. In order to do that, the organization plans to leverage the past assets and membership of the existing PLM World organization and slowly build out a more varied group of participants as well as forging partnerships with other PLM vendors to further broaden the membership base. Members will be supported with:

  • Forums to exchange ideas and best practices surrounding the tools and processes used across the product lifecycle.
  • Access to peer experiences, including mentoring and networking opportunities.
  • Education opportunities to help develop a pipeline of talent for digital transformation.
  • Access to content such as webinars and other materials for continuous learning and training.

Hartman says the organization’s first set of deliverables are slated for the late summer/fall timeframe, and the team plans to work with the community to get a better sense of how the Digital Enterprise Society should ultimately evolve.

“Our role is not necessarily to promote one specific technology or set of technologies as much as to promote best practices or some practice of this notion of transformation,” he says. “We will dig into what that means to exist in a world where the way people work will be far different than it is today.”

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Beth Stackpole's avatar
Beth Stackpole

Beth Stackpole is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to [email protected].

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