Industry analyst livecast : Siemens Industry Analyst Conference 2018

What happens at an industry analyst event? Are the contents new, different, insightful, exciting?
Hear what our select group of key influencers have to say on this years’ Siemens Analyst conference and judge for yourself. An inside peek on Siemens messaging and focus from an outsiders’ perspective; what’s gone before, here today and yet to come perhaps?
Hosted by my good self, Allan Behrens,  Managing Director and Principal Analyst, Taxal, with colleagues Jim Brown, President and founder of Tech-Clarity and Monica Schnitger, President and Principal Analyst, Schnitger Corporation.

Episode 1 of The IoT Show: IIoT/IoT, how to justify, and how to get going

The IoT Show delivers valuable insights for industrial organisations on the industrial internet of things and topics touching the broader internet of things. We pick engaging, hot topics, and ask our speakers to advise on situations, opportunities, recommendations and gotchas. This series is not a sales medium, rather a series of discussions for you to benefit from the experiences and insights of others.

In this episode, we’re going to look the basics of IIoT and IoT. What is it/are they. What’s their value and who should be interested, importantly how does one get started on the journey.

Episode 1 guests include Bill Boswell from Siemens, Diego Tamburini from Microsoft and Josef Waltl from Amazon.

Episode 1: IIoT/IoT – how to justify, and how to get going

Hannover Messe 2018 : Day 3. The pursuit of happiness (and all things dynamic).

Gone are the digital gremlins of Monday and Tuesday. As of today, Diego Tamburini and I have finessed a workflow for uploading our videos in short shrift.

Day three started afresh with, again, interesting interviews. We decided what was wowing the audience were the use cases of technology on the stands, so that’s where we focused our much of time. Highly visual, as you’ll see from our videos. Continue reading

Hannover Messe 2018 : Day 2 More, great interviews and observations. There is life beyond Hall 7!

Hurrah! Today, we’ve made progress on the technology issues and thanks to those nice networking people at the back of the Microsoft booth for allowing me to plug into their LAN. life savers!

So, to today. We’ve ventured cautiously beyond hall 7 to hall 6. To be honest we’ve jumped from the frying pan into the fire. So much to do and say and we’ve not even scratched the surface. Will need to head back tomorrow for to get more from those in hall 7, after a brief foray into hall 9. Continue reading

Siemens up-shifts their digital gears – Insights from Innovation Day 2017

This years’ Innovation day in Munich (15th December) reinforced, to me anyway, Siemens’ increasing focus on (industrial) things digital. Siemens’ digital revenues are now at €5.2Bn, and growth rates of 20% in software and services reflects the success (first documented in 2014) of their 2020 vision. Importantly, digital investments (including more than $10Bn software acquisitions over the past 10 years) are showing good return.  Siemens PLM Software, being one case in point; CEO Joe Kaeser brags of 29 of the top 30 Automakers using their PLM software, not to mention the fact that Siemens can honestly admit being a company that (successfully) eats their own (digital/PLM/MES/IIoT) dogfood. Continue reading

Autodesk – Aiming to Accelerate ahead of their competitors.

Autodesk’s 2016 Accelerate event – Cloud led, positive customers, excited prospects and approachable employees. In my eyes a positively transforming business. Continue reading

Developing thoughts and strategies for the next big thing – (IoT) Thinking, ‘innovating outside the traditional box (or in this case, dustbin)’

Following on my train of thought on how the IoT is transforming products and business models, I took the opportunity to visit another IoT innovator during a recent trip to the Boston area. Their story is as insightful and thought provoking to those interested in IoT innovation as was my last example. Continue reading

An explosion of individual innovation …incited by the Internet of Things (IoT).

Carl Bass’s (President and CEO of Autodesk) presentation at the 2016 Design Conference in San Francisco spurred me to think more on topics IoT. Specifically, his conversation spurred me to reflect that the IoT’s future is, in part, going to be defined by the enthusiasm (and possibly genius) of individual innovators, new entrants and communities of like-minded ‘boutique’ innovators. Continue reading

OPEN INNOVATION : Ideas from outside an organisation can reinvigorate business innovation

Like individuals, companies can develop tried-and-true ways of tackling challenges and evaluating opportunities. No matter how successful, these ‘standard operating procedures’ also come with blinders to new ideas and even better ways of working. Involving outsiders – a process known as ‘open innovation’ – can help to reinvigorate innovation, reduce risk and increase speed in identifying and achieving solutions.

Two heads are better than one. It’s a well-known concept that explains why brainstorming sessions are so popular in modern business. Apply more minds to a problem and you’re more likely to find an innovative answer to a tough challenge.

Open Innovation, a concept first described by Henry Chesbrough, adjunct professor at the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, in his 2003 book Open Innovation: The New imperative for creating and profiting from technology, applies the same idea not just to individuals, but to companies as well. Also known as external or networked innovation, open innovation allows companies to move from a closed innovation process involving only internal resources to one that innovates by involving external resources.

“Open innovation is dramatically changing today’s business world,” said Sandy Carter, general manager for IBM Ecosystems and Social Business Evangelism. “It’s not just for our customers, but also for us, IBM, internally.”


By supplementing the brainpower available inside one company with input from partners, customers, consultants, government laboratories, crowdsourcing and more, the options for increasing a company’s inputs and improving its chances of finding a truly innovative solution expand exponentially. Expanding their available brainpower is one major reason that companies acquire other companies and form strategic partnerships – to bring new ideas and new ways of working into an established culture.

“Companies can no longer afford to do it on their own,” Martin Curley, vice president and director of Intel Labs Europe, wrote in “The Evolution of Open Innovation,” his “Letter from Industry” to the Journal of Innovation Management. “Indeed the unit of competition is changing in that it is often no longer about how good an individual company or organization is but the strength of the ecosystem in which they participate is often the differentiating factor for great success, mediocrity or even failure.”

But why has a 12-year-old idea become so relevant today? One reason is the changing nature of competition. “The historical, kaizen-like methods of iterating innovation simply aren’t enough to defend today’s business from the radical thinking and clearly differentiating new entrant,” said Gary Barnett, CTO of UK-based not-for-profit environmental start-up AirSensa.

A second reason: The advent of social networks (both internal and external), social-listening tools, dashboards, unstructured data search, crowdsourcing, big-data analytics and the like have made it faster and easier to solicit, collect, analyse and act on inputs from partners, customers and the general public. Armed with these tools, open innovation with almost anyone, anywhere has become both possible and affordable.


Social media, in particular, has thrown the channels of communication wide open, making it easier than ever to listen to and act on what customers and partners are saying. Used internally, social media- style tools help employees locate in-house experts or float ideas and get feedback from across the company. As more conversations take place, particularly among people who don’t normally interact, innovation bubbles to the surface more easily and more frequently.

Companies need to recognize, however, that these tools only work in a culture that encourages free thinking and free speech. If people think they’re being censored, excluded or judged, they won’t participate. Participation also must be transparent. All feedback has value; no one’s input should be shut down.

One way to jump-start involvement in organizations unaccustomed to open innovation is to organize competitions, such as IBM’s facilitated “hackathons,” Samsung’s Open Innovation Centres, Nokia’s Open Innovation Challenge, Philips’ Innovation Fellows Competition and GE’s Ecomagination Challenge. Maker movements, fab labs, innovation networks, idea hubs and crowdfunding platforms offer additional opportunities to gather inspiration and to encourage employees to stretch their innovation muscles.


Any company that dedicates itself to an open-innovation approach, however, needs to be prepared for certain common stumbling blocks. Professional innovation enablers know this situation very well. “Internal culture, for example, can be a principle challenge in maintaining an innovative environment,” said Martin Duval, president and COO of French-based open innovation services company Bluenove.

Internal innovators and influencers are critical assets, but years of experience, successes and failures can lead to prejudices and resistance. IBM’s Carter tells the story of a non-US company that sent a team to study open innovation in Silicon Valley companies. The team returned from its visit, brimming with ideas for improvement – and met a stone wall of resistance. A year later, frustrated by obstacles and disinterest in their home organization, every single member of the team had resigned.

“We need to listen to everyone that’ll talk and talk to everyone that’ll listen,” Barnett said. Listening to an organization’s youngest members is especially critical. “The young help us avoid falling into the trap of always listening to those that are as wrong as we are.” Generation Y, the most tech-savvy generation in history, often sees possibilities that experienced experts might not consider – the types of possibilities that enable radical change.

Ultimately, the best way to create a culture of innovation is to be open to the new ideas of open engagement, as well as the platforms and methods that enable them. Modern technologies make open innovation easier than ever before. What is most important, however, is for forward-thinking businesses to look at opportunities with fresh, open eyes.

This article is a reprint excerpted with permission from Dassault Systèmes’ COMPASS magazine.