Intellectual property is estimated to represent 70 percent of a company’s assets and around 6 percent of this is stolen each year (reference theregister.co.uk). It costs tens of millions to develop a new product. Any competitive advantage gained from a new product introduction is temporary — as fast-followers copy your ideas. Intellectual property theft can quickly erode competitive advantage, cost a company lost sale revenue, and shrink ROI from R&D.
If protecting your IP is good defense, winners also need a strong offense which in today’s market is achieved through collaboration, efficiency, and innovation. Achieving the right balance between offence and defense is what makes winners. By combining the collaborative capabilities of PLM with the protections of Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM) a company can enjoy the best of both worlds. Protection of their IP along with the collaborative benefits of a globally deployed PLM system give the companies the ability to be quick to market, while protecting their window of competitive advantage that a new product provides.
So, how would a PLM system and an EDRM system combine to work together for enabling this kind of solution? The keys would be the following:
Automated application of protection using business logic
A centralized or collaborative security model between the PLM and EDRM systems
The ability to handle multiple formats of data including CAD and work-in-process type data.
These capabilities allow the EDRM to be embedded in the product development process. This will enable the global product development strategies that the most successful corporations employ to stay ahead of their competitors. In addition to these benefits, there are more advantages to integrating EDRM to the PLM system:
The ability to control access to data that has already been shared
The ability to log who, what, when, where and how your data is being used
These capabilities solve problems greater than collaboration. They can protect obsolete data from being erroneously used. They provide audit capabilities that track where and why data is being used. They can work along with the PLM system to safeguard the integrity of the data.
Following are some best practices and policies that support EDRM. You can begin to implement these best practices to safeguard your competitive advantage:
Distinguish between mandatory compliance and IP protection and discretionary, user driven requirements
Centralize security strategy and tightly define policies
Establish key management and recovery processes
Provide a clear understanding and control of who, what, when, and where data is being accessed
So, if you are a company that is leveraging the power of PLM to enable your product development processes. it is time to consider the next level. It is time to consider EDRM and protect your investment, future profits, and your intellectual property.
Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM) is the key focus for Jason Enzweiler, a Teamcenter product manager who works on the Teamcenter platform. NextLabs and Siemens PLM Software are launching new EDRM capabilities to enable the protection of critical customer intellectual property.