I recently attended and presented a session on SharePoint at the Siemens PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) Conference at the NEC, Birmingham on 17th July 2012. Microsoft were a gold sponsor at the event and I was lucky enough to meet some of the truly passionate individuals in manufacturing at the event who are looking at innovative ways of moving forward in these tough times. An industry close to my heart growing up the son of proud toolmaker passed down from generations running his own business for 30 years based in Birmingham I have a lot of appreciation for things people take for granted and the effort and precision that goes into manufacturing products.
Onto the session, I presented on what is SharePoint and how its currently used in Manufacturing. Siemens were launching their latest offering Solid Edge Insight XT which when used with SharePoint compliments the product and provides additional functionality.
The main areas I covered in the presentation included:
Document management / Collaboration
- Discussions / forums
- Project task lists
- Search benefits
- Templates to provide consistency for documentation
Benefits for Designers / Departments
- Sharing information with customers / suppliers
- Reduced overhead on IT department as you have control of your data
- Office look and feel providing a familiar environment to carry out tasks
- Office client integration
One message that I wanted to be taken away from the session is that there is a base version known as SharePoint Foundation 2010 that can be installed free and the majority of basic document management features I discussed within my session are available within SharePoint Foundation. This is not to suggest that this will provide all the needs for you requirements however a god way to map these is to compare versions http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/en-us/buy/Pages/Editions-Comparison.aspx.
Below are a copy of my slides from the presentation:
A few interesting conversations took place during the conference including:
- How do I move from Oracle / SQL databases
- SharePoint performance was slow how can i improve this – the context to this question was related to converting CAD files stored in SharePoint and a suggestion was to look at the RBS (Remote Blob Storage) capabilities http://technet.microsoft.com/library/ee748607.aspx
- We are going to use SharePoint but we don't know where to start? Well this is too much of an open ended question to answer here but in short the answer is plan and bring in experts otherwise you may not have the best experience. See a previous blog post of mine here http://www.paulgrimley.com/2011/08/will-sharepoint-work-for-us.html.
There is also a case study for Street Crane Company Ltd just been published to Microsoft Case Studies gallery which I encourage you to check out if you are considering SharePoint for your organisation. This can be seen here http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestudyid=710000001163.
Finally I’d like to thank David Chadwick from Siemens for the effort he’d put into the session, he showed real passion for using SharePoint (and all the benefits it has) with Solid Edge Insight / Insight XT.