The questions I’ve been asked most recently on the topic of Internet of Things (IoT) relate to its value beneath (or beyond) the hype. Not surprising given the huge amounts of PR and tech speak attributed to the topic over recent past. What’s the proposition to (often smaller) business and consumers; as a business what can I do with it to attract (new) customers and how much can I make from it (additive, profitable revenues).
SMM in Hamburg (http://www.smm-hamburg.com/en/) is one of the largest (if not the largest) maritime trade shows in the world. With over 50,000 visitors and 2000+ exhibitors one gets good first-hand insight just how large an industry shipbuilding is.
The Internet of Things (IOT) promises a step change in the added-value of tomorrow’s products. Of course the intelligent connection of product and services offers significant value-add to (companies and) users, but it’s not just the end-user that benefits. Manufacturers can enhance new products with features and services that deliver additional revenues and profit; potentially over lengthy timeframes.
My visit to the TCT show in Birmingham last week allowed me not only to catch up on the latest and greatest in 3D Scan and Print technologies but also to speak with, amongst others, Avi Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems. One of the leading providers of 3D print technologies and materials.
I was reminded by my one of contacts at IBM recently that the IBM i (formerly System i, before that eServer iSeries, originally AS400) was 25 years old last month. In computing terms that development longevity is definitely noteworthy, possibly unique?
Having attended SolidWorks World on and off for many years (at least 9 over the past 15 years if I remember correctly) it’s interesting to reflect on a change in the nature of the event. The event, to me anyway, was a tad less vibrant than former years; the SolidWorks execs and staff were very welcoming and the customers engaging, but somehow the unique passion that was the hallmark of the original team (who’ve now all but departed from the organisation) seems to be diminishing.
Why do I say that? Well for one thing I believe that they’re the first engineering solutions company that have demonstrated a broad, pragmatic suite of design, engineering and lifecycle management solutions that take advantage of the (public) Cloud. Their momentum on Cloud solutions is significant and this sets them apart from many of their competitors who’re still sitting on the Cloud fence.
I like to discern between ‘user-friendly’ and ‘user-centric’. To me, user-centric is more about the manner in which I would like to consume IT and is focused on my personalised experience of software; user-friendly is an important part of this experience but its definition often suggests nothing more than a pleasant user interface. My phone and pad ‘apps’, for example, provide me with a personalised IT environment that’s focused on getting the job done – quickly. The interaction with them, their ‘elegant simplicity’ and high degree of automation, helps me focus on what’s important ‘here and now’ without needless involvement of adjacent tasks.
Having taken a back seat on acquisitions (compared to some of their PLM competitors), Siemens PLM Software, or should I say the greater Siemens, have reversed this trend quite dramatically over the past year. Indeed they’ve made some pretty shrewd acquisitions of late, none more so than today’s announcement on the acquisition of LMS International, a specialist in (notably model based) simulation and test. LMS is based in Belgium and their customer list reads like a who’s who in automotive and aerospace in particular (,not belittling the many other large manufacturing and energy companies and their aligned verticals).