GM partners with EDS on .Net deployment

General Motors Corp. announced on Thursday its intention to use Microsoft Corp. .Net to create Web services on top of its design and collaboration applications.

The goal is to add value to standard collaboration tools by making them a portal into real-business applications beneath.

At the same time, Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) launched its E-vis collaboration product for life cycle management targeted at manufacturing, which GM will deploy as its standard platform in this effort.

The expectation is that a collaboration tool linking in real time internal GM engineers and external suppliers will reduce vehicle development cycles and cost.

“Five years ago, we had a 36-month design cycle. Now we have it down to 18 months. It is easier to figure out what consumers may want in a vehicle 18 months in the future than in 36,” said Tony Scott, GM’s chief technology officer.

Up until now, GM’s design process was done in a “serial batch” mode. Although engineers could in some cases look at the same drawing simultaneously, design changes were typically a sequential process, according to Kirk Gutmann, global product development information officer for the General Motors Information Systems and Services organization in Detroit.

“Now it is interactive. By leveraging the XML message passage capability, an engineer in any one of our global design centers and our tier one and two suppliers can view, rotate, take measurements off parts, and make changes in a geometry file, from any PC,” said Gutmann.

To understand the need to reduce design cycle times typical in the auto industry, GM has 17,000 internal seats alone using product development management applications, not counting outside suppliers, added Gutmann.

Using .Net as a lynchpin, this will be one of the first instances of adding business applications, such as the Unigraphics engineering design program, to a standard collaboration package, according to Gutmann.

Web services become a key component of the design solution, according to Mike Sayen, director of collaborative solutions for EDS in Plano, Texas.

.Net was used to Web service-enable the EDS E-vis collaborative solution, which links new and legacy services or applications into a common interface, said Sayen.

The E-vis feature set will include contact lists, calendars, authentication, and authorization components as well as instant messenger, chat, video conferencing and go all the way up to visual sharing of CAD/CAM designs.

“.Net lets us build the applications that reach into those services,” said Sayan.

The Microsoft platform, which includes .Net, Exchange and Windows 2000, were all selected with the thousands of lower-tier suppliers in the auto industry in mind, according to Gutmann.

“If you start with a standard protocol package at a low price point, you can penetrate much further into the supply chain,” he said.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now