Upcoming and Past Events
Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts (RISOMA-SWUG)
March 7|Providence, RI | Taco Inc.
Central MA SOLIDWORKS User Group
March 8| Worcester, MA | Primetals Technologies
New Hampshire SOLIDWORKS User Group
March 9|Nashua, NH | Daniel Webster College
Boston Area North SOLIDWORKS User Group
March 15|Waltham, MA | Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation
Develop3D Live 2017
Stand # 90 | March 28| Warwick, UK
SOLIDWORKS World 2018
Booth # 329 | Los Angeles, CA
SOLIDWORKS World 2017 February, 2017
Solid Edge University 2016 October , 2016
Webinar: Cloud-based document management for manufacturers. October , 2016
SWUG / Boston Area North Group sponsorship September , 2016
Develop3D / Boston USA September , 2016
SWUG / GE Group sponsorship September , 2016
Develop3D Live March, 2016
SOLIDWORKS World 2016 February, 2016
Solid Edge University 2015 October, 2015
COFES April, 2015
CIMData Vendor Forum March, 2015
Develop3D Live March, 2015
SOLIDWORKS World February, 2015
Design for Manufacturing Summit October, 2014
Solid Edge University February, 2014
COFES April, 2014
CIMData Vendor Forum March, 2014
Solidworks World February, 2014
COFES April, 2013
CIMData Vendor Forum March, 2013
Solidworks MA Regional User Group 2012
Social Virtual PLM Conference 2012
COFES April, 2012
Solidworks World February, 2012
Kenesto in the News
March 29, 2017
Apollo Engineering Takes Amusement Park CAD for a Ride in the Cloud
Read the Article @ www.engineering.com | March, 29 2017
February 20, 2017
WILL KENESTO ESCAPE FROM PDM RED OCEAN?
Read the Blog Post by Beyond PLM @ beyondplm.com | February, 20 2017
February 17, 2017
Jeff Rowe interviews Mike Payne, CEO of Kenesto at SWW17
View the interview @ mcadcafe.com
February 11, 2017
Goldilocks Would Approve of This Document Management
Read more: Article @ www.engineering.com | February 11, 2017
February 07, 2017
Kenesto Introduces Kenesto Drive 2.0
Kenesto Delivers Secure Simple Product Document Management for CAD and other Applications
Read more: Press Release | February 07, 2017
Design World: Product development insights
Read more: Siemens PLM Update |March 30, 2016
Case study: Quick design sharing using cloud based document management software
Arnold Machine engineers now meet customer requests more quickly and in a much smoother manner than they did in the past. “We believe these areas will only improve in the future, thanks to Kenesto,” says Miller.
Read more: Siemens PLM Software Community |March 23, 2016
MCAD Café interview of Mike Payne CEO of Kenesto at SolidWorks World 2016
MCAD Café (http://www.mcadcafe.com/) conducted 2/1/2016.
Kenesto Enhances its Cloud-Based Virtual LAN Drive
Kenesto Drive now includes features once available only in more expensive, more complex solutions.
Kenesto provides a cloud-based solution for engineering documents that includes such features as storage, sharing, document management and versioning as well as tools that enable virtual teams to work together. Pictured here is a Solid Edge assembly being shared through Kenesto Drive.
Read More: DeskEng.com | September 16, 2015
An Alternative to General Purpose Cloud Storage Tools
For engineers, file and document management has a few requirements:
(1) viewing 2D and 3D designs in a browser; (2) automatic file synchronization across desktop, web and mobile platforms; (3) version and permission control across project teams; and (4) an ability to lock files for editing to name a few.
Two packaged solutions offer easy to use file and document management and address these requirements of engineering use-cases and workflows often missing from consumer based cloud storage and file sharing tools.
Read More: Design World Blog | September 15, 2015
CAD, CLOUD PDM AND SPECIAL CLOUD SYNC
As soon as cloud storage and file sharing technologies hit the market, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple – instantly recognizing the value of such a technology – raced to provide consumers and businesses with the best possible applications. CAD engineers, however, have been overwhelmingly underserved by even the leading cloud storage and file sharing services, though their features and capabilities have grown and evolved significantly over the years. Fortunately, a new breed of cloud storage and file sharing services has emerged. A breed designed to support the file types and large file sizes that CAD engineers typically work with. A breed that is sure to expand and mature as more competition enters this niche marketplace. For more information on this topic, read Oleg Shilovitsky’s Beyond PDM blog, CAD, CLOUD PDM AND SECIAL CLOUD SYNC.
Kenesto Updates Its Cloud Drive Package
Kenesto, the cloud-based storage provider, has announced the release of new features to enhance its Kenesto Drive product.
According to the Massachusetts-based firm, Drive’s upgrade endows the package with features commonly found on LAN-shared drives. One of the update’s most important improvements is its ability to “lock” a document when it’s in use. Similar to the way local vault systems behave, Drive can now ensure that only one user has “write access” to a document at a time (though others with access to a file can view it in real time). In addition to its ability to lock a document, Drive also makes it clear to others who is working on a project so that communication during initial modeling or revisions can occur fluidly. Beyond Drive’s new “work-safety” features, the package now offers the ability to browse through a file’s version history, making it easy to embed historical context within a project. Why might that matter? Well, having access to version histories can be useful when trying to understand previous design decisions after long-weekends, weeks-long vacations and even revisiting a project years after its initial release. To round out its release, Kenesto has also added the ability for users to work on files offline. Back in March, we covered Kenesto Drive, noting that the company’s core focus has been producing a cloud-based storage system aimed at engineering firms, first and foremost. With its newest upgrade, Kenesto is delivering technology that’s absolutely critical for teams working on products with even the slightest bit of assembly or design complexity. Ensuring that only one author has access to a file eliminates redundant modeling, saving time, money and frustration. Adding embedded versioning should also help bolster the company’s bona fides, with engineering customers proving that Kenesto isn’t just a document repository, it’s also a place to keep the history of your IP safe for generations. So, does Kenesto Drive have a future in the engineering landscape? My first impression was that Kenesto was entering a tough marketplace filled with well-heeled competitors offering similar products, although in most cases, all-in-one cloud storage solutions tacked onto a CAD package. With its newest release, Kenesto seems to be keeping pace with other players in the cloud-based CAD field. Will it be able to maintain that pace? The jury’s still out on that one. However, now I’m beginning to believe that Kenesto’s file-agnostic format might make it a desirable choice for a number of firms both large and small. That can only bode well for the future of the company (and its users).
Original Source: Engineering.com | August 21, 2015
Kenesto Drive to include features traditionally only available through physical LAN mounted drives and Product Data Management (PDM) systems
Kenesto Corp today announced the enhancement of Kenesto Drive to include features traditionally only available through physical LAN mounted drives and Product Data Management (PDM) systems. These new features include the automatic locking of documents. For example, when a file from Kenesto Drive is opened for editing in Windows desktop, Kenesto Drive automatically locks it globally so that other users at any location can open it for Read-Only thereby preventing any unintentional overwrites. The file is automatically unlocked when closed. Kenesto Drive new enhancements include:
- Works just like a Local Area Network (LAN) shared drive
- Auto-locks a document when someone opens it from a Kenesto Drive folder
- Offers status visibility of the document for all users who have access
- Allows editing of documents one user at a time and read only for others
- Provides access to version history so users are assured they are working with the current file
- Offers offline use of recent files
- Enables sharing directly from the drive
“Kenesto is delivering professional storage and sharing options for engineering and design companies seeking a very simple to use, cloud-based document management solution,” said Mike Payne, CEO, Kenesto. “Previously engineers were forced to use either consumer oriented storage products or complicated and expensive PDM products. We are delighted to provide a free solution in addition to a fuller, but reasonably priced alternative solution to our users and customers.”
Kenesto is committed to providing the best solution for customers by continuing to work closely with them. Kenesto’s goal is to help resolve daily challenges customers face in sharing engineering files and documents within their own organization and with suppliers. “Kenesto Drive has helped resolve challenges within our organization in sharing engineering files with our team and suppliers around the world. Our most challenging problem involves design conflicts and who has the current version of a file. Kenesto’s capabilities address these challenges and more in helping us complete projects faster and with fewer errors saving us time and money. Kenesto is evolving into an easy to use and very affordable cloud storage and document management solution for engineers – great achievement” says Frederic Ramioulle, President, Automotive and Transportation at KPIT.
The latest enhancements to Kenesto Drive are now available to existing and new subscribers to Kenesto Free and Kenesto Pro users.
Original Source: PRWEB | August 18, 2015
Kenesto Drive Positioned as Dropbox for Engineers
Kenesto has taken many twists and turns in its journey, making a big initial splash as a PLM alternative, turning slightly towards business processes and workflow and more recently, settling into a steady course as an engineering document and file management solution.
In keeping with that trajectory, Kenesto has broken out Drive, one of the key features of its system, as a standalone offering. It is positioning the virtual cloud drive as an alternative to general-purpose cloud storage tools and taking specific aim at engineers and designers. Kenesto Drive has browser-based 2D/3D viewing capabilities, synchronization functionality and version and permission controls not supported by popular consumer-oriented cloud storage tools like Dropbox and Box, which are often employed by its small- to-mid-size target audience for engineering-specific applications. Smaller shops, most of which don’t have PDM or PLM in place, often rely on shared drives to store engineering documents and CAD files. Some have augmented this base functionality with cloud storage services like Dropbox, but Kenesto contends those offerings are lacking the critical 2D/3D viewing capabilities and set of shared permissions that are so critical when storing and managing design IP. “One of the struggles that people have is that they’re really just looking for simple document management capabilities,” says Steve Bodner, Kenesto’s senior vice president, strategy and products. “We’ve created Kenesto Drive to address the engineering customer who uses a shared drive in a corner somewhere.” Kenesto Drive is also a way to get potential customers acquainted with the Kenesto platform. The free version of Kenesto Drive affords users the basic file sharing and storage capabilities, including automatic synchronization of files between the desktop, web and mobile platforms via the web browser app along with the ability to view and share 2D and 3D engineering documents in a browser, and functionality to lock down files for editing. Kenesto Pro, available as a paid annual subscription for $25 a user per month, includes the standard Drive capabilities along with Kenesto’s other engineering-oriented capabilities such as workflow management, collaboration, document check in and check out, workspaces for different projects, forms, reports, discussions, and other various lightweight PDM functionality. While Kenesto Drive is likely to appeal to users without PDM systems, it also has applicability for companies using PDM to share engineering documents and files internally. “Even those companies that have PDM — it’s still internal to their company,” Bodnar explained. “It doesn’t help companies collaborate with suppliers or customers or virtual contractors.” That’s where tools like Dropbox come in, but with them, Bodnar says companies are creating a secondary environment with all the security risks around design IP. “With Kenesto Drive, we’re giving them one tool to get both of those in one place — simple document management and collaboration just like they would with a shared drive, but with better permissions and security,” he explained. “And it’s not overwhelming like a PDM system.” For more information on the Kenesto solution and the free Kenesto Drive, check out this video. Original Source: Desktop Engineering | July 28, 2015
Kenesto Introduces an Alternative to General Purpose Cloud Storage Tools for Engineers and Designers
Kenesto simplifies engineering document and file management and is designed for the engineering community. Kenesto Drive enhances the value of a company’s desktop engineering document investment by providing a simple means of keeping most-current files available and easily accessible.
Kenesto Corp today announced the general availability of two new packaged solutions, which offer easy to use file and document management. Both packages are designed to address the requirements of engineering use-cases and workflows often missing from consumer based cloud storage and file sharing tools. These requirements include (1) viewing 2D and 3D designs in a browser; (2) automatic file synchronization across desktop, web, and mobile platforms; (3) version and permission control across project teams; and (4) an ability to lock files for editing.
Kenesto’s new packaged solutions offer users a choice between a free and paid version. Kenesto Drive™ – Kenesto’s innovative virtual cloud drive, is included in both free and paid versions. Kenesto Drive automatically maintains desktop files and documents synchronized with Kenesto’s web browser app. Users always have access to the latest version of their documents and files, reducing the risk of wasting time and money working on an older version of a document. Watch the Kenesto Free video. Watch the Kenesto Pro video.
With Kenesto’s Free version, users are able to view and share 2D and 3D engineering documents, keep team members up-to-date with most current versions, and access version history. Kenesto Pro, available as a paid annual subscription offers additional value and capabilities for those users that want to take control of the engineering workflow and design process with collaboration, task and workflow management tools.
Kenesto users can now benefit from simple document management, sharing, and collaboration that provides improved control and visibility of the engineering process. “We’ve encountered many instances where customers have tried to use general purpose cloud file storage solutions, but have been left unsatisfied. Too often, these solutions lack the robustness needed to satisfy CAD data and operations, and also result in version conflicts,” said Mike Payne, Kenesto’s CEO. “We’re introducing Kenesto’s new solution specifically to address the many unmet market needs, while also maintaining ease-of-use paradigms that have made consumer-grade cloud solutions so popular.”
Both Kenesto Free and Kenesto Pro are immediately available to existing customers and new users.
Kenesto (http://www.kenesto.com) simplifies engineering document and file management and is designed for the engineering community. Kenesto Drive enhances the value of a company’s desktop engineering document investment by providing a simple means of keeping most current files available and easily accessible. Kenesto Drive installs quickly and easily on a user’s desktop and features a PC accessible virtual cloud drive; automatic file synchronization, sharing, collaboration, file versioning, check in and check out capability and more. Kenesto offers engineers and designers power, simplicity, and flexibility beyond consumer cloud storage solutions. From its inception, Kenesto has been designed for engineers delivering a robust solution for small and medium sized companies, especially those working in a diverse ecosystem of product development, manufacturing, customers, consultants and others. Learn more and visit us at http://www.Kenesto.com.
Original source: PRWeb | July 15, 2015
Beyond PLM - Which cloud CAD data management is right for me
What cloud CAD data management is right for me?
Develop3D Live - Kenesto
Develop3D Live – Kenesto
PLM systems have a somewhat negative reputation in the engineering market. Many firms wrestle implementing them and sometimes end up being a lot more expensive than originally intended.
PDM, is much more popular but firms can end up running parallel systems in different departments or subsidiaries. A broader adoption of the cloud, which will eventually happen, however anyone feels about security will move both PLM and PDM to reside in the cloud because it will offer benefits in terms of cost, mobility and collaboration. Kenesto originally started as a web-based engineering document process company for creating highly configurable worklows. Over time it has broadened into a ‘collaboration platform‘, offering many PLM and PDM capabilities as a cloud service, namely engineering change requests, bid proposals, and change orders. The company is steered by industry veteran Mike Payne — responsible for the creation of Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, SpaceClaim — and Stephen Bodnar, who oversaw PTC’s Windchill and more recently was integral to the development of Autodesk’s PLM 360 service.
While the net result of Kenesto is the automation of complex workflows, the interface and use of templates enable a quick start. There are projects, workspaces and teams. Team members can be spread across many companies, divisions and geographic locations. Workflows are constructed between team members in a highly graphical way, forms can be easily created and attached to activities, which prompt defined users to complete tasks within set timeframes, supports signature sign off. Standard engineering processes like change requests can be constructed and visualised, Kenesto providing a full audit trail with reporting. The service has a deep understanding of 3D model file formats and an extract bill of materials from assemblies and can be used to manage at the part level.
Recently announced at SolidWorks World, Kenesto has reinvented the Network drive for SMEs with its cloud-based version ‘Kenesto Drive’. You may think this could be Dropbox but this comes with all of Kenesto’s intelligence for automatic file versioning, file locking, automated back-up, sharing, assembly support, off-line access, document-centric discussions and project based file organisation. Dropbox is really just a cloud drive, with no intelligence and only some basic recovery tools for deleted files. Kenesto’s seamless management layer provides a suite of PDM tools without being overbearing or obstructive to design teams. The automatic revisioning means nothing can be over written and with deep knowledge of the CAD formats can make sense of the assembly and BOM. The Kenesto Drive solution needs no deployment as it’s a cloud service and extends an engineer’s current desktop environment as it looks the same as working locally. There’s just enough PDM capabilities to be effective but not too many to overwhelm a small to medium sized company with PLM-level constraints. Kenesto Drive will be available in mid-March for subscribers to the Kenesto service.
Kenesto is written in HTML5 and can run in any browser, or mobile device — Kenesto access is ubiquitous. As Kenesto doesn’t have a CAD solution it’s also independent and works with all the usual proprietary file formats. The feature set is mature enough to compete against established server-based PDM and with workflow, even PLM systems but without a lot of the pain or the cost. The introduction of Kenesto Drive is also a valuable offering for small firms that have started to utilise the web for storing and sharing files but are doing so without any degree of document management. Being able to continue this, with the advantages of revision control alone, are a huge benefit. The additional functionality and collaboration features make it excellent value for money. kenesto.com
Engineering.com: A Cloud Storage, Versioning and Vault Tool Built Specifically For CAD by Kyle Maxey
A Cloud Storage, Versioning and Vault Tool Built Specifically For CAD Kyle Maxey posted on March 24, 2015 | Comment | 267 views
Desktop Engineering: Kenesto Announces Drive Program
Kenesto Announces Drive Program
Kenesto® Transforms Engineering Network Files with an Innovative Desktop ↔ Cloud Drive for File Management and Collaboration
SOLIDWORKS WORLD, PHOENIX, AZ (PRWEB) February 09, 2015
Kenesto Corp, a leading cloud provider of engineering data management and lifecycle collaboration, today announced Kenesto Drive. Kenesto Drive is Kenesto’s latest innovation for mainstream engineering companies designed to serve as an excellent alternative to the commonly used network drive. Kenesto Drive’s cloud-based solution enables small- and medium-sized companies to more simply, yet much more effectively, store, share, lock-for-edit, and automatically version all their project files directly from users’ desktops, desktop applications and desktop file explorers. This includes support for engineering and design data, including 2D & 3D computer aided design files, images, presentations, specifications, and other related documents.
Using the Kenesto Drive, mainstream engineering companies have for the first time an infrastructure-free alternative to the use of in-house shared network drives. Kenesto Drive looks, feels, and works in exactly the same way as an in-house network drive, with the added benefits of:
- Automatic file versioning
- Extremely simple and effective file locking (vaulting)
- Automated back-up
- Personal file ownership with sharing
- Multi-CAD assembly support
- Intelligent off-line file access
- Document discussions and collaboration
- Project file organization
- and more…
Kenesto Drive addresses one of the longest-standing issues for mainstream engineering companies: Their ability to create, share, manage and protect their files without having to switch to other environments or invest in expensive and overbearing PDM/PLM tools. Kenesto Drive simply enhances their existing desktop environment and workflows.
“We’ve tried a variety of basic alternatives for file management and sharing, hoping to find something less risky and easier to use. Some of these alternatives have included Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and others. However, with each one we’ve given up in frustration,” said David Temple, Director of Marketing and Communications at Nextremity Solutions, Inc. “None are ideal from accessibility, version management, project organization and collaboration standpoints; and none help to further reduce risk of files being overwritten in a collaborative engineering environment. Not to mention, none of them support or understand native engineering and CAD files well enough to be viable options for engineering. Kenesto Drive, on the other hand, is the perfect solution to replace the use of a network drive.”
Kenesto Drive will be available mid-March, 2015, for subscribers to the Kenesto service. Learn more by visiting the Kenesto booth at Solidworks World 2015, or to schedule a demonstration, you can contact Leslie Minasian at Kenesto.
Contact: Contact name: Leslie Minasian Email: info(at)kenesto(dot)com Phone: +1 781-780-7400 Web: http://www.kenesto.com
Kenesto is a registered trademark of Kenesto Corp. All other company and product names are the property or trademarks of their respective owners.
The future is cloud-y for engineering data management, by Ray Kurland
The future is cloud-y for engineering data management
Lately I have been deluged with the announcement of or introduction to a series of cloud based data management systems for design engineering that are also focusing on collaboration. I plan this blog to be the first in a series that explores new PDM/PLM (PxM) solutions for product design.
Before I begin, we need to clarify the differences between PDM and PLM. PDM manages design changes during product development while PLM manages engineering and other changes made after the production release of the product for manufacturing and other downstream processes. Using this definition, PDM can be used to store all sorts of information during the design or work-in-process stage. Such information might include, but not be limited to: product specs, preliminary designs, analyses and simulation, product versions, QC specs, engineering BOMs, material types, etc. PLM manages engineering and other changes made after the release of the product from engineering. PLM systems might include PDM data managed during design as well as other data, such as, manufacturing BOMs, manufacturing instructions, NC data, service tracking, cost data, customer level documentation, etc. I think you get the picture.
PTC’s recent announcement of PTC PLM Cloud, a webinar I attended about GrabCAD Workbench and Onshape’s inherent use of a cloud-based solution — all piqued my interest. I began wondering about the differences between them and how one might choose a solution for a mid sized firm. One obvious differentiator is how cloud based PxM software connects to CAD software, be it desktop CAD or cloud based CAD. By the way, if you have not seen Onshape’s Dave Corcoran’s blog about the “The blue screen of death,” then I urge you to read it now. http://www.onshape.com/cad-blog. Corcoran discusses some of the benefits of a cloud based PxM – CAD implementation.
A true cloud based system allows full use of easily extensible computational capability and virtually unlimited storage
A PxM system cloud based system may not be much different from the tired old server based software that has been promoted for years. Adding a web based interface and hierarchical data storage in the cloud, masks an antiquated architecture. The old approach of bolting external data management software into CAD simply does not work well enough. It’s too laborious, takes extra time, and makes little use of design info developed automatically during the design cycle. It’s lack of adoption to date verifies this assumption.
A true cloud based system should be radically different in architecture allowing full use of cloud system flexibility. For instance, one reason I always disliked the previous generation of PDM/PLM was their outdated reliance on text-based interfaces. I would expect modern PxM systems to be graphically oriented offering comprehensible and visual navigation within the product structure. It should offer a tight connection to related CAD systems and automate much of the data management function. Automatic backup and easy restore of historical data are mandatory functions, as are easily distributed design among partners along with IP (intellectual property) protection.
The vendors are all moving quickly to position (or re-position) their PxM systems as cloud based
The plethora of cloud based data management systems for engineering and CAD include the following (plus some I haven’t yet discovered): Autodesk PLM 360, Onshape, GrabCAD Workbench, PTC PLM Cloud, and Kenesto as well as Dropbox and related cloud drive systems. More traditional software is offered by ARAS, Dassault Systemes and Siemens PLM software. What follows is a summary of how some of these vendors are positioning their software.
- Onshape promotes distributed design. Using cloud based CAD along with a fully integrated cloud PDM system allows a brand new perspective on how modern CAD systems should work. Essentially all costs for compute power and data storage are greatly minimized, easily increased, even ”borrowed” for a short duration.
- GrabCAD’s Workbench calls itself “The fast, easy way to manage and share CAD files without PDM’s cost and hassle.” The company goes on to state “Workbench allows teams on any CAD system to work smoothly together by syncing local CAD files to cloud projects, tracking versions and locking files to prevent conflicts.” The enterprise version costs $89 per month.
- PTC recently announced PTC PLM Cloud, stating “this solution leverages the power of PTC Windchill, while simplifying PLM adoption with a flexible, hosted subscription offering, deployable at a pace that matches the needs of SMBs.” I am not exactly sure what this means, but expect to clarify this when I speak with PTC this week.
- Very soon, Kenesto plans to announce a cloud based system that, Steve Bodnar – VP of Strategy, calls a terrific solution for small shops, enabling them to replace their server based, in-house error prone, file based systems with a much higher function cloud based system that requires minimal change to the way CAD users work, yet improves the reliability of their data management.
Alas, how can an engineering organization differentiate which PxM technology to buy and invest their time and money in? More detail about various implementations and my assessment of them will be forthcoming in future blogs.
Kenesto: A Cloud (PLM) Collaboration Platform for SMBs (Commentary), by CIMData
Kenesto: A Cloud (PLM) Collaboration Platform for SMBs (Commentary)
- Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) generally avoided traditional product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, perceiving them to be rigid in processes and governance, high in cost, and neither consistent with nor supportive of the entrepreneurial mindset that helped SMBs become successful in the first place
- SMBs often either use ad hoc approaches such as email and network drives for product lifecycle processes, or adopt solutions of their larger enterprise partners—both approaches put SMBs at a disadvantage in the marketplace
- Kenesto’s hybrid cloud-desktop platform addresses SMBs’ key technology and business needs
- In Kenesto, project teams and users are in control of their documents and designs with anytime, anywhere access; an accessible and customizable personal dashboard, allows users to collaborate fluidly with their teams and supply chain partners, managing their files, projects, and tasks while staying in compliance with quality assurance and regulatory requirements
- By enhancing their solution to include an innovative intersection of cloud-based file management and data sharing with traditional PDM vaulting, as well as offering support for design tool file types, Kenesto is now firmly in the product data management market, and should be considered as an option for mainstream SMBs
The contribution of SMBs to the US and global economies is huge. According to 2011 United States Census Bureau data, there were 5.68 million employer firms in the US, and firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7% of those businesses. Among all US manufacturers that exported goods in 2011, nearly 97% were SMBs. Globally SMBs account for one third of the world’s labor force. Even though SMBs are faced with the same data management and collaboration problems as large firms, they have historically avoided PLM solutions in favor of lower-cost ad hoc approaches. SMBs perceived traditional PLM solutions to be cost-prohibitive and rigid in processes and governance, as typically required by the larger enterprises, and feared that the PLM solutions would be counterproductive to the entrepreneurial culture that helped them become successful in the first place. SMBs’ fears are not totally unfounded. PLM solution providers originally targeted their solutions for larger enterprises, and typically the central governance groups in these organizations required rigid processes and standards to be implemented for them to manage and scale their PLM solutions more productively. Large PLM vendors tried to serve SMBs by scaling down their solutions. Yet these “simpler” offerings still required a rigid IT infrastructure and more cost than SMBs were able to afford. Some new entrants also tried to provide special applications for SMBs, but the market still remained fragmented. As a result, many SMBs continued using ad hoc approaches such as email, FTP file sharing, and storage in network drives. These approaches created issues in document and design version control, change management, efficiency of information sharing and retrieval, and compliance with quality assurance and regulatory requirements—putting an additional burden on already resource-starved SMBs. SMBs are often Tier I and Tier II suppliers to larger firms. In the absence of simpler, flexible solutions that meet their technology and business needs, SMBs are sometimes required to adopt solutions used by their large enterprise partners—despite their aforementioned concerns about the solutions. This can slow their responses to new value chain partners that can be critical to long-term growth. In the end, both using ad hoc approaches and being forced to adopt large-scale solutions puts SMBs at a distinct disadvantage in the marketplace. For the collaboration and PLM solutions to effectively serve SMBs, they need to deliver four critical elements: solutions must 1) be easy to implement, use, and maintain, 2) have process flexibility and interoperability with common document types and design solutions, 3) provide fast and reliable performance across many devices, and 4) provide a very low total cost of ownership. Cloud offerings can address several of these elements. They can be rapidly provisioned and scaled at reasonable cost, and often can be tailored by adopting companies. With its hybrid cloud-desktop implementation, Kenesto provides a collaboration platform that may address all of these critical elements for many SMBs.
Kenesto is a recent entrant into the data- and process-management market. Kenesto was founded in 2011 by Mike Payne, who previously had a hand in establishing several other leading PLM companies. Kenesto is staffed with other well-known PLM industry veterans who have embraced the cloud. They recently briefed CIMdata about their philosophy and approach, and demonstrated some of their platform’s key features, including collaboration on office documents and design files, vaulted sharing and version control, cloud-to-desktop “intelligent” synchronization, and project and task management functionalities. The Kenesto solution is a secure, hybrid, cloud-desktop collaboration platform where product development and delivery teams can collaborate using discussion threads, or by co-authoring documents and design files, with anytime, anywhere access. Kenesto puts a broad range of capabilities at the fingertips of product delivery teams to organize and manage their programs, products, and projects. Teams can create their workspaces with people, workflow, forms, data, and reports—including bills of materials, change requests, and purchasing forms—and be kept on the same page with Kenesto’s proprietary intelligent synchronization approach. Each user is provided with a dashboard that can be customized to personal preferences. An important feature in Kenesto is that users are always in full control of their documents and designs. A user can permit their teammates to view, mark-up, or edit their documents and designs and can collaborate with them in real time or asynchronously. Common document types supported in Kenesto include the Microsoft Office suite and designs created in a variety of CAD solutions including Creo, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, SpaceClaim, and Revit. By enhancing their solution to include an intersection of cloud-based file management and sharing with traditional vaulting, as well as including support for design-tool file types, Kenesto is now firmly in the product data management market. Another appealing feature is the range of work approaches supported by Kenesto, from ad hoc discussions, to collaboration on work documents, to workflow process management, to vaulting with check-in and check-out processes designed to maintain compliance with quality assurance and regulatory requirements. Kenesto also offers a flexible subscription model that is considerably lower in cost than traditional PLM solutions, and arguably lower in cost than the collective ad hoc approaches often used by SMBs. Users can get instant access to Kenesto, and have their teams join based on pre-defined “number of users per month” packages. Another benefit is that the external supply chain partners, i.e., customers and suppliers involved in users’ projects, can review, markup, or edit documents and designs based on user-defined security rules, without the partner having to have to create a Kenesto account or subscription. The initial results for Kenesto have been promising. They already have customers from diverse industries receiving a range of benefits. CIMdata’s assessment is that Kenesto offers an attractive option for SMBs that want to provide a better collaboration experience to their project teams and their supply chain partners.
With their hybrid cloud-desktop implementation, with intelligent synchronization and a user-centric, flexible approach to collaboration and work process management, combined with low cost of ownership, Kenesto seems to have addressed key SMB technology and business needs. In addition, their enhancements to support design-tool file types places Kenesto firmly in the product data management market. Kenesto offers an attractive option for mainstream SMBs looking to improve file and task management and collaboration within their project teams and with supply chain partners.
 Small Business Facts and Data at SBE Council, http://www.sbecouncil.org/about-us/facts-and-data/
Editor’s Pick: Document Management, Sharing and PDM Merge in the Cloud, by Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor’s Pick: Document Management, Sharing and PDM Merge in the Cloud
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Kenesto recently announced new vaulting and desktop file synchronization capabilities for its namesake cloud-based collaborative engineering data management solution. Kenesto is an interesting company and solution. More on those new capabilities in a bit.
Kenesto tags itself as being for mainstream engineering, design and lifecycle collaboration. By “mainstream,” it’s implying small- and mid-sized engineering outfits that do not have the budget, wherewithal or maybe the desire to support a pricey and labor-intensive PDM (product data management) or PLM (product lifecycle management) system. Yet, these companies still have the need for many or all of the features and functions of a PDM or PLM system that does not impede their agility and profitability. This is where Kenesto comes in.
Only the company does not like being boxed into those tags at all. With good reason.
Kenesto is really an engineering infrastructure provider. Its solution is not traditional like PDM or PLM at all. But it has the traditional functionalities you’d expect from one of those systems such as file sharing, the ability to view more than 250 CAD and document types, revisions, CAD file and document data management and change management. Kenesto strives to be more personal for both users and for the design and engineering firms that engage it by bringing modern computing and collaborative concepts to engineering business processes at an affordable monthly subscription rate.
Kenesto – we’re talking about the software now – started out as a workflow management and project execution system and still offers those functions. Still, it’s not just a boss’ thing to map out process and project flows, issue assignments or bossy e-mails and oversee progress toward gates and milestones. It lets individual users map out their own workflows. Managers can set up pre-defined or ad-hoc workflows with people inside or outside your company as the workflow demands. All of a program’s tasks and workflow processes, including sub-workflows and dependencies, can be captured, managed and tracked.
Kenesto reflects a personal cloud paradigm throughout its features. Its user interface offers a customizable dashboard that provides you with ready access to documents and information. You can drag and drop documents from your desktop directly to Kenesto. You can edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel documents in the cloud. You can build custom forms and pages that capture, organize and distribute information. You can also create custom reports.
And on it goes. Tools are available for managing bids and engineering changes. You can have external supply or design chain partners in the loop without hassling them with another system from another company. You can even link to documents in your Dropbox account and enter them into tasks, workflows and so forth.
Kenesto’s new vaulting feature merges the document check-in and check-out functionality with the ability to synchronize documents between your desktop device and Kenesto. Kenesto can connect with shared network drives and remote vault folders that many outfits use to handle files. This can give you better security without the excessive cost and maintenance weights of a large system.
The file synchronization feature is neat because, well, you’re synching files from your desktop to the cloud. This functionality supports shared documents across a team as well as stakeholders inside and outside of a company. It obeys document security per your settings, provides automated file version management and supports update locking of files that have been finalized. It automatically notifies participants of updated documents, and Kenesto maintains a complete audit trail of who made changes and when they did it.
What this all means for you is that Kenesto joins the document management and document sharing paradigms of popular cloud tools with the key features of PDM. This, in turn, ensures you can manage and communicate documents properly. And keep in mind that you can use Microsoft Office applications to edit documents in the cloud as well. These features and some of the others previously mentioned are something different in the cloud and elsewhere. They’re also a good explanation why Kenesto resists being categorized as just another PDM/PLM outfit.
Kenesto is the brainchild of Michael Payne, who co-founded a number of technology companies, including PTC, SolidWorks and SpaceClaim. Payne, as you can see from that vita, has always been ahead of the curve. Kenesto seems to be really striving to bring together the ability to share, organize, manage and collaborate with our modern expectations of how computing for engineering business and data communication processes should operate.
You’ll find a whole lot more on Kenesto and its new vaulting and desktop file synchronization capabilities in today’s Pick of the Week write-up. You’ll also find links to the complete Kenesto feature set, pricing options and system requirements. The latter really just means certified browsers since Kenesto is a cloud-based solution, so all you need is a workstation and a connection. It’s highly recommended that you hit the link and take Kenesto for a complimentary ride to see what it’s all about.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering