Visualization looks beyond processes and design

by Sebastian Grimm, Editorial Writer at

In a recent article the well-known opinion-maker Heena Jhingan with Express Computer took an in-depth look at the value and advantages of visualization techniques within ERP or PLM software. Mr Jhingan explores how the scope of PLM solutions is growing to encompass different applications, the supply chain and service management functionality. Here, we give a summary of his arguments.
Based on interviews with a wide variety of vendors, distributors and customers of PLM software in Indian industry, the analyst points out that visualization is a key element in a proven PLM strategy. The reason for that is quite easy to understand: with the visualization of enterprise data, like products or even business information, it becomes quite simple to understand and explore alternatives. With the use of PLM or ERP software, all of the necessary data are available, and you only need to get access to the data and of course you need a visualization engine like that of SAP, which is called SAP Visual Enterprise.
Atul Bhandari, Vice-President, Value Engineering, Industries & Customer Advocacy, SAP Indian Sub-Continent, observed that collaboration between multiple stakeholders in an eco system, including customers, suppliers and internal product development organizations, which could be geographically dispersed, is also driving organizations to build efficient product data management and document management platforms.
In that article Mr Bhandari noted that 3D visualization is also playing a critical role in this information exchange between the different stakeholders. “We are increasingly seeing organizations adopting visual information in order to drive systems such as part catalogues, visual maintenance strategies, visual manufacturing integrated in MES systems and visual sales and marketing, in the creation of customer collateral,” Mr Bhandari noted. “We are increasingly seeing companies expressing a need for a visual enterprise strategy, driving visualization across critical business processes that encompass manufacturing, maintenance, and sales and marketing, with design information from the product development organizations,” the PLM expert explained. But that’s not all. SAP’s 3D visualization approach goes far but at the moment it misses a real 3D collaboration functionality like that offered by the French ESI Group. And it also lacks an interactive and real-time 3D product configuration on top of its configuration module for extended customer interaction. But those engines will be delivered by SAP partners, like the German Lumo Graphics. But nevertheless, the SAP visualization strategy is one important step towards the 3D future.

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