PLM Forecast: Cloudy with Good Chance of Virtual Team Support

By Dawana Robinson, CSC | LinkedIn Profile

Times have changed. No longer are we managing teams or services in or from one physical location; we are in the cloud.

Businesses are always looking for ways to make their management and staff more productive and their company more profitable. Thus, as organizations embrace PLM in cloud, the need for PLM virtual team support has emerged!

Building a trust relationship

As a manager in the PLM virtual environment, I’ve learned that people, leadership and technical skills are a must for a successful virtual team and satisfied Client. It’s imperative to know what PLM is and how it benefits the client.  Our clients trust us to understand their product and to suggest the appropriate PLM tool and solutions to give them optimal performance whether they are in an aerospace & defense, automotive, medical systems, energy, manufacturing or consumer products industries.

As a company and team, we’ve had to form a trusting relationship over the years, as I’ve had to establish a trust relationship with my co-located and virtual team while showing knowledge of the various PLM tools that we support.

In my case, I manage a co-located and virtual PLM leveraged team. We support clients across multiple industries and we support numerous PLM, manufacturing and IT applications deployed in local and remote data centers, as well as private and public Clouds.  Virtual team cross-functional roles include application, system and database administrators, configurators and testers.

New ways of working

Managing virtual teams demands new ways of working, such as tapping into expert knowledge not available locally or commoditized skills available at a cheaper rate elsewhere or working around the clock as members of the team are often spread across time zones.

Similarly, co-located team members share space but also informal knowledge, networks, energy and enthusiasm that comes from everyday face-to-face, rubbing elbows work environments.

The newest services challenge is managing PLM teams that support cloud platform and application services. PLM teams like mine are both co-located and virtual as they provide assistance and support to our clients. Now they are leveraging cloud-level performance and can support our clients’ PLM systems from anywhere.


Moving faster in the cloud

The cloud takes the lengthy time to provision hardware out of the cost equation. Our virtual team has grown with the need for highly specialized support as well as a wider breadth of application and technology knowledge to deliver high performance services – on an as-a-service basis – in a global, cloud environment.

Are you seeing a similar impact on your support organization? I look forward to your feedback.

Businessman pointing at presentation


  1. John Nallon says:

    This indeed is a challenge and not just the wave of the future, it is here and now. How do you address the challenge of keeping up technically with a virtual team? Do you rely heavily on on-line training classes or webinars? Do you have face-to-face sessions with the team as well? Do you have them actually do field services to meet the customers once in awhile? Seems like a significant organizational change you are managing.


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