Unveiling the SAP PLM Evolution: The Shift to the Cloud as a Game-Changer

The recent SAP PRESS E-Bite Introducing SAP PLM in the Cloud delves into the evolution of SAP Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM) and has reminded us of the importance of key changes within PLM solutions.


Among these changes, one highlighted in the evolution chapter is the shift toward cloud-based PLM systems. At LeverX, we strongly believe that this move to the cloud marks a significant turning point in the journey of SAP PLM. This belief guides our perspective as we examine the evolution of SAP PLM.


Why We See SAP PLM in the Cloud as a Game Changer

In the past, companies often faced challenges with on-premise solutions for both discrete and process PLM solutions. For example, managing servers and dealing with potential downtime were common headaches. However, the introduction of cloud PLM systems marked a significant shift towards greater efficiency and resilience. At LeverX, we believe this move to the cloud is a game-changer for several reasons.

Continuous Innovation

Continuous innovation is integral to SAP's cloud PLM solution, which operates under a subscription-based license. This model guarantees ongoing upgrades and improvements to PLM capabilities. This relieves the burden of continually updating on-premise software, as updates are automatically delivered every quarter, making them instantly available to customers. Accessible through the SAP Roadmap Explorer, users can conveniently track all scheduled innovations and upgrades slated for the year ahead. 

Overcoming the Burden of Server Management

For instance, with on-premise PLM solutions, companies often had to deal with managing servers themselves. This led to potential downtimes and delays in accessing crucial data or functionalities. In contrast, cloud PLM solutions, and SAP PLM in particular, removed this burden entirely. Expert providers handle the technical aspects, ensuring seamless operation and rapid response to any issues. This means businesses can focus more on their core operations and less on IT management.

Cost Management in Cloud PLM 

Additionally, cost management was a major concern with on-premise PLM systems. Companies had to invest heavily in hardware, software licenses, and IT infrastructure, often leading to unpredictable expenses and budget overruns. With cloud PLM, however, the financial picture changes significantly. Implementation is quicker and more cost-effective, with predictable pricing structures and no need for costly hardware investments. This allows companies to better manage their budgets and allocate resources more efficiently.

Accessibility Breakthroughs

The limitations of on-premise PLM systems were evident due to physical constraints. Global team collaboration was hindered, and remote access proved to be cumbersome and unreliable. However, cloud PLM solutions effectively tackle these challenges. Leveraging ubiquitous internet connectivity and standardized server environments, teams can now collaborate seamlessly from any corner of the globe. This cultivates a culture of innovation and inclusivity, ultimately enhancing productivity and creativity throughout the organization.


In addition, cloud software as a service (SaaS) empowers the extended enterprise to securely access product development data and processes across various platforms and operating systems, including PCs, laptops, and mobile devices.


The Bottom Line

The rise of cloud PLM systems has changed the game for businesses across different industries, unlocking valuable opportunities. As companies embrace digital transformation, adopting cloud PLM isn't just smart—it's essential for sustainable growth and staying competitive. Now, with SAP PLM available in the cloud, these benefits are more accessible than ever, enabling customers to develop and introduce sustainable products for both discrete and process manufacturers.


Introducing SAP PLM in the Cloud
Introducing SAP PLM in the Cloud

Take PLM to the cloud! Use this E-Bite to get started with cloud-based SAP Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM). Learn about core PLM functionality: product definition, engineering, visualization, and orchestration. Understand how integration with SAP Business Technology Platform enables a seamless manufacturing landscape. Find out how the latest microservice-based architecture optimizes PLM for your organization!

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Lars Olson
by Lars Olson

Lars Olson is a senior client partner at LeverX, and is responsible for solution marketing and enablement of LeverX's SAP Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) practice. Lars joined LeverX in 2023 after a 12-year tenure within SAP's Digital Supply Chain Solution Management teams for PLM, Digital Manufacturing, and Intelligent Asset Management. During his 12-year tenure at SAP, Lars worked on integrating 2D & 3D visualizations across SAP’s on-premise, cloud, and mobile solutions. Prior to joining SAP, Lars was the senior product manager of client tools at Right Hemisphere. Lars holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology with an emphasis in computer aided design (CAD), graphic design, and photography from San Diego State University.