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The Digital Enterprise Society Podcast fosters discussion among industry leaders about operations and action needed to drive digitalization principles forward for the future of product development and lifecycles.


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026: Understanding the Next Generation of Design Tools

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Updated: Thursday, November 7, 2019

026: Understanding the Next Generation of Design Tools



On this episode, Thom and Craig welcome Matt Heying, Director of Product at Vertex , to take a look at the future of the industry's design tools. They discuss the importance of understanding cloud collaboration and some of the mobile, social and platform tools that are available today. They examine some of the most surprising problems that are present in modern manufacturing and what the next generation expects from today’s technology. Matt shares why start-up companies are exactly what the industry needs in order to improve quality and efficiency, even if it means disrupting the traditional way that processes have always been done. 


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

The value of SaaS and cloud computing for companies of any size

  • The benefits of the controls and restrictions offered by cloud computing increase the security of confidential information. 

  • SaaS companies are working to educate businesses on best practices and available security measures.

  • As cloud companies continue to be audited and proven trustworthy, more companies will embrace their services.

What the next generation is doing to improve the industry’s future

  • Manufacturing technology needs to keep up with the latest digital solutions, including the connectedness that the younger generation expects.

  • The latest technology often comes from startup companies, not from a tried-and-true industrial giant, and from new college graduates.

  • Standards of excellence do not have to suffer just because technology allows a company to try something new.

Some of the most surprising limitations about modern manufacturing processes

  • Manufacturing processes are often not as up-to-date as they could be.  

  • Traditional practices that were put in place to ensure quality are in need of updating. 

  • Calming the fear that computers are replacing people can start with eliminating the tedium of putting information on a model by allowing a computer to do the job. 


Don't miss Matt's webinar "Are You Ready for the Next Gen Engineer?"


Guest Bio: 

Matt has over 15 years of experience in designing and building B2B cloud-based collaborative applications in manufacturing, finance, and defense. In his role at Vertex, Matt oversees all of the product management and product marketing team in addition to leading initiatives on new markets and products. This unique position gives him insight into ensuring new product capabilities match customer expectations and needs.

Previous to his role at Vertex, Matt served as Vice President of Product and User Experience at Workiva. Over the course of his nine years at Workiva, Matt tackled many strategic and leadership roles including the creation and implementation of a new enterprise product line and building product strategy to grow the product footprint within existing customers.

Matt received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University. Matt’s graduate work at the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and DARPA. His research focused on 3D visualization and machine learning for mechanical and materials design applications.


This episode was brought to you by Vertex Software. Learn more at





Tags:  Collaboration  Tools  Vertex 

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025: Raising Industry Standards with Configuration Management

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, November 5, 2019

025: Raising Industry Standards with Configuration Management 


On this episode, Thom and Craig welcome Martin Haket, Lead CM Architect at ASML.  Martin shares the career path — and mistakes — that led him to his position as lead architect at ASML.  He recognizes the need for raising industry standards with configuration management and offers ideas on the best ways to highlight the benefits of configuration management to those that need it most.  He also shares the reasons he thinks configuration management is the best position to have in any business, how curiosity for knowledge can get you where you want to be, and why everyone needs to be more willing to make mistakes their careers progress.  

 On today’s podcast, you will learn:

Lessons learned from trying to define configuration management

  • Martin shares the results of trying to take on the overwhelming task of defining configuration management. 

  • There are benefits that come with waiting until a crisis to fully adopt a better system. 

  • The value of taking the time to increase your industry knowledge and understanding while you are waiting for a better system to be adopted. 

How to showcase the benefits of configuration management 

  • Where is the greatest need for configuration management and how can you best explain it to those that need it most? 

  • Highlight the steps that more properly measure CM performance and consider the benefits of configuration management — ask what an improved product or process can bring to a company. 

  • Attach a dollar value to the changes that CM can bring to a company. 

  • It becomes easier to encourage CM adoption between sectors when the results have already been proven within the company.

Best practices for raising Industry standards

  • Avoid using tools that are not capable of interfacing with one standard format. 

  • Build tools that interface with the impact matrix and other companies within the industry will follow.

  • Investing in tools that can be re-used throughout the industry benefits all interested parties. 

Martin Haket is the Configuration Management Business Architect at ASML.  After graduating in 1999 in Information Technology, Martin was immediately confronted with configuration management on his first job in the defense industry. In succeeding positions, CM became more dominant, eventually leading to his current position as Configuration Management Business Architect at ASML. In this position, he is driving the introduction of a CM2 based change process and teaching the ASML in-house CM2-12 courses. Martin’s CM2 training started in 2006 leading to CM2-P certification in 2015. In 2017, Martin became IpX's first and only current recipient of the CM2-Doctorate.


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024: Preparing for the Ultimate Career Move - Retirement

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2019

024: Preparing for the Ultimate Career Move - Retirement


On this episode, Thom and Craig welcome Donna Kastner, founder of Retirepreneur to take a look at the steps professionals in their 50s and 60s can take to wind down a full-throttle career intentionally and productively.  Donna shares a snapshot of what today’s workforce and retirement really look like and how those realities impact people who aren’t quite ready to fully retire. She shares several tips to help safeguard careers against ageism, keep up with technology, and avoid becoming obsolete in their industry.  This conversation is not just for those nearing retirement age as Donna also shares advice for Millennials and Gen-Zers to capitalize on their interactions with the older generation. Today’s podcast is for anyone that has ever thought about what they want their final chapters of their professional career to look like. 


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

How today’s longevity economy affects retirement

  • Does it make sense to complete your life’s work in your 60s if you plan on living into your 90s? 

  • The options that are available when you’re ready to dial back from your full-time career but are not quite ready for retirement. 

  • The health benefits associated with staying engaged in a field you love after retirement.

The factors that affect professionals in their 50’s and 60’s

  • Ageism is still a reality for too many companies.

  • Economic downturns factor into advanced employee layoffs, so more experienced professionals need to be prepared for forced early retirement.

  • Full-time positions are often not offered to older professionals despite their qualifications. 

Preparatory career steps that older professionals need to take

  • Identify your strengths and take time to further develop them.

  • Start thinking about this transition in your 50s so you are prepared for it in your 60s. 

  • Embrace the current technology that employers use to get your next job or side hustle, including LinkedIn and Zoom. 

  • Leverage your experience and wisdom in ways that will make you valuable to any company.

  • Recognize that your weaknesses will never be your strengths, and still work to shore up those weaknesses. 

Advice for optimizing interactions between Millenials, Boomers, and Gen-Z-ers

  • Be cautious of stereotyping — don’t make assumptions about the capabilities of any individual based on their generation. 

  • Recognize and prioritize the importance and value of face-to-face interactions.

  • Cross-generational networking is a critically important factor to enhancing your career. 

  • Take risks, learn from them and keep trying no matter what stage of your career you’re currently in. 


Donna Kastner is the founder of Retirepreneur, a collaborative community for professionals in their 50s and 60s.  Having spent a good portion of her career as an event experience design consultant, Donna’s now building a dynamic collaboration community for executives age 55+ who are striving to make a smooth segue from a full-time job to part-time consulting gig. With, Donna's championing a movement to help others design flexible and fulfilling encore careers. Through articles, videos, podcasts and workshops, Donna’s ushering in new conversations about blending work and retirement. You can visit her website here or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags:  Career  Mentorship  Podcast  Retirement 

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023: Keeping Up With PLM’s Rapid Pace of Change

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2019

023: Keeping Up With PLM’s Rapid Pace of Change

On this episode, Thom and Craig welcome Peter Bilello, CEO and president of CIMdata, a PLM strategic management consulting firm.  Peter has seen the increasing rate of change in the digital world over the last 20 years, and he shares insights into both the past and the future of PLM.  He recognizes the expanding need for PLM in every industry and shares ways to effectively set yourself and your company apart as digital industry leaders. Because there will always be a demand for cheaper, faster, and higher quality design, Peter lists specific ways that you can enhance your career by keeping up with the ever changing and increasing pace of change within the PLM space. 


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

The current status and the future of PLM

  • PLM continues to evolve, but processes aren’t always updated to reflect current capabilities.

  • Computer analytics are capable of more than ever, but are companies keeping up with the rate of change? 

  • Comprehension of new PLM terms such as ‘digital twin’ and ‘augmented reality’ requires an understanding of the foundation of data and process management. 

How to be an industry leader instead of a follower

  • Early adoption of PLM is a critical component of success. 

  • Mastering current technology and tools sets new companies apart from older ones.

  • Companies will best succeed by staying ahead of current digital trends such as AI and digital twin without limiting human innovation. 

How to grow a career that keeps up with PLM’s pace of change

  • There will always be a need for better design because consumers will always want higher quality, faster results and lower prices. 

  • Expand your skills and knowledge to maximize your place in the bigger PLM picture.

  • Take advantage of training and networking opportunities to increase your marketable value.

  • Identify and utilize mentors to learn as much as you can within your industry.



Peter Bilello has more than 30 years of experience in the development of business-enabling IT solutions for research, engineering, and manufacturing organizations worldwide. He has participated in PLM analysis, selection, implementation, and training; CAD/CAM/CAE/CIM implementation and management; synchronous and lean manufacturing consulting; software engineering; and general data management strategy development and support. He has authored numerous papers and research reports on PLM and related topics, and his articles, commentaries, and perspectives have appeared in publications throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. 


Mr. Bilello has been directly involved with consultation on the selection, integration, and implementation of large-scale PLM solutions. He has spoken on a number of different PLM-related topics in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.  Mr. Bilello holds a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Physics from California State University, Fullerton, and an MSE in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from The University of Michigan.

Tags:  AI  Augmented Reality  Data  Digital Twin  PLM  Podcast  Process Management 

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022: 3 Best Practices for Highly Effective PLM Teams

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2019

022: 3 Best Practices for Highly Effective PLM Teams 


On this episode Thom and Craig welcome Leigh Ringgold, a senior configuration manager for PLM, to take a look at effective configuration management from one of the largest and most unlikely manufacturers in the world — Facebook. Leigh offers a look at the logistical challenges that come with the configuration managing of such a massive company. She shares her experiences with Facebook that have proven to cultivate a more highly effective team, and she offers advice for anyone that is unsure of where to look next with regards to furthering their PLM career. 


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

The ins and outs of large scale configuration management 

  • Challenges that come with handling massive computing storage

  • Logistics of managing network devices and physical equipment 

  • How to effectively increase connectivity

How to create the culture of a highly effective team

  • A complex vetting process ensures the right person is hired for the job

  • Providing the essential tools and training new employees need prepares them for success 

  • Before you make assumptions about a process you don’t understand, find out why the company does it the way they do

Being a more effective OEM 

  • There is immense value in testing a product within the company before rolling it out 

  • Using a product yourself will help pinpoint areas for improvement

  • Falling out of touch with how a product is actually used will be a detriment to your business


Leigh Ringgold is the Senior Product Configuration Manager at Facebook.  Having entered the PLM industry back when things like ASK Manman and blueprints were all the rage, Leigh has been instrumental largely in start-up through sustaining environments. From medical with breakthrough MRI technology to the past 4.5 years having been spent in a very dynamic team supporting Facebook Infrastructure which comprises four different industries from Data Center construction and complex Compute/Storage Racks; Network and global connectivity products which are the foundation of our business Apps and mission. 

Leigh is a cross functional leader who recognizes business requirements through production having supported Core Internet Routers with Cisco Systems then developing the first PLM team at start-up Juniper Networks. 

Tags:  Configuration Management  Culture  Facebook  OEM  Podcast 

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021: The Integral Role of Configuration Management in Industry 4.0

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2019

021: The Integral Role of Configuration Management in Industry 4.0



On this episode Thom Singer and Craig Brown welcome Martijn Dullaart, Configuration Management Business Architect at ASML and speaker at ConX19.  Martijn has over 13 years of experience with configuration management and understands the importance of changing people before changing systems. He shares insights into the benefits of effective configuration  management, the importance of identifying the digital systems that companies need improvement, and value of getting training in the aspects of your career that you love and that will further your career. 


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

The benefits of effective configuration management 

  • Configuration management touches every function of a company.

  • Increased efficiency and control result in increased quality and innovation. 

How configuration management will assist in a successful transition into Industry 4.0

  • Configuration management plays an integral role in Industry 4.0

  • CM assists in the management of the complexities of the digital enterprise.

  • The first step to effectively improving your processes is to identify the business value you are trying to achieve. 

Why humans resist digital changes and what to do about it

  • The business value of the digital enterprise alone is not going to increase human capacity for immediate change. 

  • Introduce changes and their tangible benefits to a small pilot group first.

  • Resistance to change and setbacks are more manageable in smaller groups

  • Ignorance is not a problem with people — it’s a problem with the systems surrounding the people.


Martijn is a CM Architect at ASML. He has a passion for CM and he creates awareness with businesses about the need for CM and has designed and deployed business processes based on CM2 best practices and implemented PLM to support these processes. Next to his work at ASML, Martijn is co-chair of the IPE/CM2 Global Congress and chair of the Industry 4.0 committee of the IPE/CM2 Global Congress. Martijn is always looking for improvements and discovers trends and takes initiative in introducing new capabilities and innovations like Industry 4.0 in order to help organizations increase quality, reduce time to market and reduce cost. He has over 13 years of experience in both the CM and PLM domain. Martijn has a Master's in Industrial Engineering and Management Science and holds a CM2-P & CM2-S certification.

Tags:  CHa  Configuration Management  Industry 4.0  Podcast 

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020: The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Mentorship

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

020: The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Mentorship


On this episode Thom Singer is joined by Marny Lifshen, marketing communications consultant, author and speaker, to discuss the value of mentorship.  With over 50 years of experience between them, Thom and Marny have each had experiences as both mentors and mentees that have shaped their careers in countless positive ways.  They discuss what a mentor can do for anyone at any stage in their career, how to show up as the best mentee possible, and how mentors can work as a crucial part of a solid and impactful network for your career. 


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

What you can expect from your mentor

  • Don’t expect a mentor to tell you you’re doing everything right.

  • Constructive criticism provides opportunities for meaningful growth.

  • Honest feedback and direction will help shape your career path.

Where to find your next mentor

  • Look for informal mentors from workplace relationships.

  • Identify people you trust and can be open to receive advice and criticism from. 

  • Connect with the younger generation for advice on a skillset you are lacking. 

  • Look outside your industry/organization for less specific but potentially more insightful career advice.

How can you be a quality mentee?

  • Identify what you hope to gain from interactions with your mentors. 

  • Follow up with your mentor after they have offered their advice. 

  • Commit to driving the mentor/mentee relationship early on. 

  • Contribute in whatever way you can to bring value to the relationship.

Why should you want to be a mentor?

  • Reflect on the mentors that have brought you where you are in your career.

  • Mentorship is a highly effective networking strategy.

  • The best career guidance doesn’t only come from a specific age, experience or job title. 

  • Everyone has something to learn and something to teach. 



Marny Lifshen works with businesses and executives to develop brand awareness and credibility with key audiences, and to establish relationships with key influencers.  She is the author of the award-winning Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women. The Second Edition was released in 2015. In 2009, Marny was named a winner of the Profiles in Power and Women of Influence Awards hosted by the Austin Business Journal. She is a nationally recognized expert on strategic networking, communication and personal branding.  She is a seasoned keynote speaker and workshop leader for corporate, association and university clients across the country. 

Tags:  Mentorship  Podcast 

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019: Increasing Innovation and Quality With Configuration Management

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2019

019:  Increasing Innovation and Quality With Configuration Management



Live from ConX19 in San Diego, Thom Singer and Craig Brown welcome Erika Klein, Director of Hardware Engineering at Microsoft.  Erika offers her perspective on the value of effective configuration management, the connection between the PLM system and overall product effectiveness, and the need for greater data governance. Erika also shares career advice — including a guaranteed move for anyone that wants to stand out in the workplace. 


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

The benefit of configuration management in all platforms

  • Software and hardware platforms both need effective configuration management

  • How does configuration management most effectively increase innovation?

  • Considerations that affect product quality vs. time to market

  • End-to-end product lifecycle management becomes more attainable

Understanding a bill of features vs. a bill of materials

  • Which one most effectively manages changing design requirements?

  • Managing software for the hardware within the PLM system

  • How can BOMs reference other BOMs within the same system?

The value of an optimal PLM system 

  • Continually monitoring operations and adjusting as needed

  • The ability to align current system configuration to optimal system configuration

  • The option of adjusting design based on real simulator feedback data

Advice beyond the typical career path

  • Broaden your reach and look beyond your immediate place in the pipeline

  • Identify opportunities to solve problems and increase optimal system performance

  • Initiate problem-solving efforts and bring data to the table with you


Erika Klein  has 20+ years of technology industry experience and is currently the Director of Product Data Management for Azure Cloud Hardware Engineering enabling server deployments to production data centers worldwide. She drove the PLM business implementation for Azure and continues to innovate and drive system integrations, data governance and new PLM functionality. Her experience spans from eCommerce solutions at Sun Microsystems to product development and product data management/PLM at Microsoft. Erika has degrees in Computer Science, Cultural Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from Regis University.


Tags:  Aras  Configuration Management  PLM  Podcast  Simulation 

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018: The CM Challenge — Handling the Rapid Growth Pace of PLM

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2019

018: The CM Challenge — Handling the Rapid Growth Pace of PLM 

Live from ConX19 in San Diego, Thom Singer and Craig Brown welcome Peter Schroer, the CEO and founder of Aras, a PLM software company that is championing a new approach to the business of engineering and drives the PLM technology and business model disruption required to make it happen. Their discussion includes ideas on the configuration management challenges, including how to keep up with the consistently increasing pace of today’s changing technological landscape, ideas for handling the expanded feature management requirements, as well as advice on how today’s newly emerging engineers can utilize these changes to enhance and grow their careers. 

 On today’s podcast, you will learn:

How to best keep up with the pace of change in PLM 

  • Are computerization management practices sufficiently prepared for what’s coming next?

  • Configuration management is still an essential piece of preparation.

  • Risks introduced into products is coming more from software than mechanical.

Handling expanded feature management requirements 

  • Software changes have transformed from weekly or monthly to occurring almost hourly.

  • The design process of products never stops.

  • The CM challenge presents an opportunity for reinvention to get ahead of the digital transformation. 

  • Digital resiliency is the key to staying on top of this constantly changing environment.


An experienced CEO’s advice for young engineers 

  • Your positive attitude toward change will dictate your career success. 

  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone.

  • You have to be willing to learn new skills. 



Peter Schroer has over 35 years of experience working with PLM strategy and technology, starting as an end-user in manufacturing through to the formation of Aras Corporation, the invention of the model-based PLM architecture, and leadership of the fastest-growing PLM community worldwide. As CEO of Aras, Peter champions a new approach to the business of engineering and drives the PLM technology and business model disruption required to make it happen. His experience spans more than a decade in product development and manufacturing with Data General, Thermo-Electron and IBM, and over 20 years in PLM with Workgroup, Eigner+Partner, and Aras. He also earned a BSEE, MENG EE, and an MBA from Cornell University.

Tags:  Aras  Configuration Management  IoT  PLM  Podcast 

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017: Utilizing the Link Between PLM and Engineering

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Updated: Monday, September 9, 2019

017: Utilizing the Link Between PLM and Engineering


Live from ConX19 in San Diego, Thom and Craig welcome Jeanne Rues,  Managing Director of Engineering Services at Allison Transmission. Jeanne has joined the conversation to talk about the ways that PLM is working to meet the needs of manufacturing engineers.  She offers insights into the benefits of simulation testing and explains how the Digital Enterprise is working to help engineers and vendors achieve greater system integration. Additionally, Jeanne shares advice for what should be the next move for anyone that is looking to further their career in the fast-paced and constantly changing production industry.


On today’s podcast, you will learn:

How PLM can meet the needs of manufacturing engineers

  • Improvements need to be made on manual, disconnected processes 

  • Industry challenges are equivocal to the challenges engineers are trying to solve

  • Computer-aided design, prototype BOM and engineering BOM can all benefit from PLM

The benefits of simulation testing over physical testing

  • Simulation allows engineers to better keep pace with the increased evolution of the product lifecycle

  • The complexity of systems is continually increasing, adding pressure for innovation

  • Simulation allows for more effective vehicle testing at a quicker rate and lower cost

What can the Digital Enterprise provide to customers and vendors?

  • Engineers are working to share performance information with customers that will help use products more effectively

  • Being a digitally transformed organization varies by company, but it always allows for greater engagement with vendors

  • PLM can help vendors utilize the analytics that allow for greater integration

Advice for your next career move

  • Recognize that building a career is hard work, then show up, take risks and own your mistakes

  • People will notice when you are willing to lead and take on more than just your designated assignments

  • Identify coworkers that have taken risks and what the consequences have been

  • Taking on new projects can bring risks, but the results will always be rewarding



Jeanne Rues is the Managing Director of Engineering Services for Allison Transmission, Inc. During her 15-year career at Allison, Jeanne’s roles have spanned the breadth of new product development activities from component development to full transmission system development and product launch as the lead engineer for the TC10 transmission. In her current role, Jeanne leads a diverse organization that provides support services for product development activities. These services include computer-aided design and model-based definition, prototype hardware procurement, prototype hardware warehousing, prototype assembly, component-, sub-system-, transmission-, and vehicle-level testing, test data management, and test technology development and implementation.  

In addition to these core functions, Jeanne is a key contributor to Allison’s digital transformation efforts and is leading a major project to expand Allison’s test capabilities at the vehicle level. The Vehicle Environmental Test facility, currently under construction and slated to open in 2020, will be the only one of its kind in the midwest. It will offer an unprecedented level of capability to simulate temperature, altitude, and on-road conditions for commercial vehicles.  Jeanne holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming, and an MBA from the University of Indianapolis.

Tags:  PLM  Podcast  Simulation 

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