Whenever there’s a post on a blog that talks about what technology was like in the 70s, I take notice. I was just starting out as a mainframe computer operator then, and I remember those (now pre-historic) days fondly. I loved big iron…and to some degree think that we have been struggling with the effects of the demise of big iron ever since the arrival of the PC.
But as Ralph Grabowski points out today, the term “turnkey” is back. And while a lot has changed since I first heard the term in the 1970’s, the obfuscation inherent in it hasn’t changed one bit. Most people think it means “everything you need to get a system up and running.” Really it means, “this thing is too complex and in too many pieces to leave you (the buyer) alone with it.”
It got me to thinking about what a “turnkey” product information everyware system might be. As Ralph points out, a turnkey PIE (I couldn’t resist the pun on “turkey pie”..please forgive me), would create “Visions of vendor lock-in, overpriced hardware/software, barely-capable customization, and huge bonus cheques [sic] for the salesmen…”
But isn’t that essentially what all-in product information products based on heavyweight PLM systems are? They require massive infrastructures, large costs and excessive customization.
By contrast, we think product information everyware implies that tools should be lightweight, easy-to-use and have the level of autonomy necessary to enable the end user to create an animation, an service procedure, marketing materials or something else using the core 3D design data and well-known desktop tools.
So, I just gotta ask the question: if turnkey were simple when it comes to creating product deliverables, wouldn’t other vendors simply call it that? Doesn’t turnkey mean it’s not simple?