This morning I woke up to this blog post by David Levin of Ledas announcing that Oleg Shilovitsky of Beyond PLM had announced a new company called Inforbix. I knew Oleg was up to something when I met him and his business partner Anatoly Savin recently in Moscow. But I didn’t know what. So I headed to the Inforbix web site to learn more about the company. And I could not make head nor tail of what they were about. So I sent an email to Oleg with three words “What is it?” That lead to a half an half an hour conversation with him this evening, after which I still have no clue what the company is about. Reason? They are still not ready to disclose what it is they are doing.
The web site is actually a teaser. Which is fine. But I found it odd that it has a form asking people to sign up for a Beta program. Which begs the question, “How do you decide that you want to sign up for a beta program when you don’t know what the beta program is about?”
According to this “What is Inforbix?” page:
Inforbix is developing a brand new approach to collecting product data from disparate sources, finding semantically connected pieces of information and presenting them to the user in a meaningful way. These data sources can include CAD files, Office, Emails, databases, enterprise applications (CRM, ERP, PDM, PLM) and homegrown systems. The application functions will include search, browsing and ability to slice, dice and present product data in various forms.
Sounds a lot like the enterprise search stuff that Dassault Systemes is doing with Exalead. I asked Oleg to describe the problem that his solution would be trying to solve. He replied, “There is a lot of product data in Engineering and Manufacturing which is dispersed in different places. People don’t know how it is related and how they can reuse that data.” He gave me an example of one of his customers (who he calls Design Partners for reasons beyond the limits of my comprehension) who manufactured pumps. They found that they had a leakage problem, zeroed it down to Manufacturing and fixed it by changing assembly instructions. Two months later the problem surfaced again. Using the Inforbix solution they were able to look at their data in a different way and found that the problem coincided with shipments from one of their suppliers.
Oleg tells me that these so called “Product Data Applications” that Inforbix is building are going to be off-the-shelf applications and not custom software solutions. It is not a PLM system. And neither is it going to replace any existing system in an enterprise. Rather it will work with existing systems and offer better ways to relate different types of data.
The company is self funded and headquartered in Boston. It has more than 20 people located in Boston and Russia. Now that you are non the wiser as to what Inforbix really is you can curse me for wasting your time and continue doing your work. 😉