Siemens Digital Industries Software Media and Analyst Conference 2019

This years Siemens Media and Analyst conference was branded Where Today meets Tomorrow. Thinking on’t the strap line sounds like a excellent title for a future Bond film. Joking aside, I suggest its intent is more to provide a vision of the future becoming the new norm, and as a aspiration for those looking to digitise their (industrial) operations.

‘New’ was noticeable this year. A new division name, (Siemens Digital Industries Software vs Siemens PLM Software), a new strap-line, some new brand messaging, new location (Brooklyn New York), new packaging ( Xcelerator ) and many new (Siemens) faces (and/or at least job titles). New too were the customer case stories and presentations. Good ones at that.

The days of distopian, monolithic (apps) is no more! Hurrah! The future is open, co-operative, collaborative and ecosystem. Cloud partner Amazon AWS presented their relationship with Siemens. Not to be too controversial, Siemens also cited similar relationships with Microsoft (Azure) and Alibaba. Thinking back, I’ve not been to many events where I’ve seen so many partner logos presented (on slides) during the proceedings.

With so much new, were we, the analysts and press able to keep pace? Well, for my part, I think so, albeit PowerPoint overload remains as a challenge for next year, as it does for many others.

Thanks to Brenda Discher, Marketing and Strategy SVP who provided me with an elegant snippet to summarise the event from Siemens’ standpoint.

I took away many things, not least:

  • Simplicity is elegance and differentiation is/will be very much reliant on experience. To this end, new generations of Siemens technology are key, not least that will add much modernity and value, especially/and to legacy situations. Cloud, Mendix and MindSphere being notable.
  • I’m a fan of Mendix. Good acquisition in my opinion. Many companies are moving, more and more, to software defined feature sets, as well as operational and service paradigms. Mendix helps to achieve impressive factors of productivity to software development; well beyond the historical percentage improvements seen (yet no less necessary) in areas such as mechanical and electronic design.
  • Newly announced Xcelerator aims to simplify and improve user/company experience and to reduce digital complexity, especially during a company’s evolution to the digital enterprise. In practice Xcelerator is (or will be) based on packaged solutions and services; relying heavily on (low code/no code) Mendix for ‘experience’ and ‘glue.’ This should resonate, especially to the enterprise trying to put in place pragmatic digital road-maps; where the complexities of the organisation, not least disconnected applications and work-groups fail to deliver the promise of ‘connected’.
  • In the world of ‘open’, how does one prove openness? An interesting question. Well, for one thing, do ‘open’ to others, before they do it to you. With Mendix and to a lesser extent, MindSphere as beacons of openness, Siemens is well positioned to promote and prove themselves as more open (than some of their competitors). Derek Roos, CEO of Mendix uses the word ‘friction-less’ to describe his/their business mantra and open model. This ‘new’ will hopefully help evolve the ‘other’ (dare I say older generation) to similar levels of ‘friction-less’ in short shrift.
  • Additive, Generative, Simulation, AR/VR/MR, Systems, Embedded and IIoT continue to be significant areas of developmental progress. So too the broader set of assets for digital manufacturing, quality, test and validation (and notably in high-tech), not forgetting analytics, electrification and autonomous….and many, many others.

For those interested feel free to browse slides and comments during the event, via my (and others) twitter feed…. @allanbehrens and the hashtag #SiemensNYMAC.