I was asked to present on the future of manufacturing and associated technologies at Aras ACE in Birmingham this year.
Although I couldn’t record my presentation, I was able to get a few minutes with Aras CEO Peter Schroer and CTO Rob McAveney.Continue reading
Tony Hemmelgarn (President and CEO of Siemens PLM Software) quoted “The most profound technologies are those that disappear” at this year’s Industry Analyst conference. A statement that predicts a next generation of Siemens software perhaps. It’s refreshing that Siemens accepts that the complexities of older generations of (software) are less than ideal and change, (simplification, perhaps even appification) is on its way. Hurrah! Continue reading
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
For many of us engaged in the world of Internet of Things (IoT), anyone suggesting that the IoT paradigm is merely a passing fashion might be considered at best ill-informed***. Proof, if I can call it that, are the many, many practical use cases that IoT and it’s sister acronym, the Industrial IoT (IIoT) (and Industry 4.0) have in the market today. Indeed (if any more were needed), the many customer stories presented at IBM’s foremost customer IoT event, the IBM Genius of Things (IBMGoT) on February 18th in Munich, Germany only serve to re-confirm my sentiments; IoT is here, it’s practical and it’s valuable. Continue reading
Two and a half days of PowerPoint presentations (one session being 3 hours long), videos, demonstrations and numerous conversations with executives of one of the engineering software’s largest companies, Siemens (PLM). That’s a lot of information to process! Continue reading
I’ve just returned from Hannover (Germany) having spent two days at the world’s largest industrial fair. For those unacquainted with Hannover Messe, this is a mammoth fair (trade show) with over 5,200 exhibitors. These aren’t just German companies. According to the organisers’ press release, overseas accounted for about 58% of the exhibitors. 465 of these from the US, this year’s partner country, and (not surprisingly?) about 650 from China. Continue reading
Siemens PLM Software’s analyst event last month provided much food for thought. First off, Siemens showed a new dimension to their messaging. One that’s simpler and more focused on customer outcomes. Second, they provided a vision and many of the pieces that deliver ‘Industry 4.0’ as (to a large extent) a practical proposition.
For those that’re unaware of Industry 4.0, it’s a German Government sponsored initiative, supported by companies such as Siemens, Bosch and SAP. It focuses on a vision of industry focusing on the digitisation of design, factories and (customer and supplier) networks around Cyber-Physical Systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services.
Chuck Grindstaff, Siemens PLM’s CEO and President rightly pointed out that today’s innovation ecosystem is relentless. Products are getting smarter and more complex; definitely true when considering the trend to more software (and electronics) driven product content. To this Siemens wants to be the be the company that helps customers deal with the contradictory drivers of product/ecosystem complexity and business velocity/agility. They aim to do this by providing a broad swathe of solutions that allow companies to design, make and support their products. A world where ‘digital twining’ (such as in areas of design and manufacturing) is as close to reality as possible so that Siemens’s digitally-led proposition to customers is both practical and (clearly) valuable.
Achieving the vision (of Industry 4.0) might be considered quite an objective from any one vendor, but in Siemens PLM’s case we have to remember that they’re supported by the technologies and know-how of the greater Siemens. Having said this, there some provisos; not least amongst these that the PLM division continues to show support for ‘open’ technologies and encourage and grow third party ecosystems.
Back to the conference. Much of the content was focused on providing press and analysts with updates on Siemens PLM’s ‘Smart Innovation Portfolio’, with some excellent customer presentations including one from Dell on their use of big data and analytics in the area of customer service.
Siemens PLM’s product messaging is one of a ‘Smart Innovation Portfolio’. This integrates ‘Engaged users’ (collaboration and intelligent app environments etc.), ‘Intelligent models’ (cyber-physical systems/digital twins etc.), ‘Realized Products’ (automation/manufacturing/planning etc.) and ‘Adaptive systems’ (data driven decision making etc.). While there’s much to comment on I was intrigued by new offerings made possible by their acquisition of Camstar, and so too their new mobile app Catchbook.
Camstar’s suite of tools allow Siemens to expand their available markets beyond traditional domains (well beyond that of MES) to areas of customer service (and by extension IoT), big data and analytics. Their first consumer-friendly (sketching) mobile app Catchbook allows Siemens to expand their reach not only to new customers but also to consumers, mindful of the (sketching) needs of new/next generation users.
Siemens have already made public their interest in transitioning their large platforms (Teamcenter for example) to more ‘app-like’ forms, and to date they’ve done a good job so far in simplifying (and beautifying) their offerings. But the next generation (Y) is (rightly in my eyes) critical on the complexity of monolithic software products and Catchbook is an interesting take on Siemens’ capacity to react to these objections. Transforming to ‘apps’ (and born-on-the-Cloud/subscription based) might be considered by many as primarily a technological exercise; but I’d suggest that it’s as much, if not more so a challenge to (Siemens’) existing pricing, business and sales models.