You certainly have to make choices in life in where you focus your energy, otherwise, it gets way to complicated. For me to learn about Ecosystems and Platforms I have chosen a “select” group of IIoT players or advisors in their field to concentrate upon. Increasingly the insights and leading knowledge seems to be less coming out of the Big Consulting firms but more from those actually operating in the Industrial world (IIoT players).
These IIoT companies are living and breathing industrial solutions to achieve the digital transformation we see coming towards us. These are companies operating at the edge, in the middle in manufacturing the physical solutions or providing or combining the software solutions and they have their heads and assets firmly in the clouds every day. and on the ground. They are actually building the new IIoT world.
These are the likes of Siemens, Bosch, GE, Schneider Electrics, ABB and a few others. Then I often take a look at those operating from their China base, to build my continued understanding of the greater (to date) B2C market and where one, specifically. takes out their ever-growing ambitions, namely Alibaba.
Then, of course, you often “drink in” the consultant’s reviews or reports on our progress on digital transformation or industry 4.0 but they are increasingly lagging the players with a real deep “skin in the game”, that of providing their client’s real tangible solutions. The pace of building an IIoT network is accelerating. I try to keep up and “project ahead” in the limited ways I can. Everything continues to change and accelerate in providing digital IIoT solutions.
I make no apology but Siemens holds my greater attention, as it seems to be highly dynamic at present. It increasingly is opening up in its communicating and I strongly relate to that. I attempt to “push them back” in my probing, questioning and evaluating. I think there is a growing flow and interchange as we build our connected network.
Recently they, Siemens have been bursting with strategic alliances.
Forming partnerships in Cyber Security, with their Charter of Trust initiative. At the Munich Security Conference 2018 earlier this year, Siemens and eight partners from industry signed the first joint charter for greater cybersecurity. Initiated by Siemens, the Charter of Trust calls for binding rules and standards to build trust in cybersecurity and further advance digitalization. In addition to Siemens and the Munich Security Conference, the companies Airbus, Allianz, Daimler Group, IBM, NXP, SGS, and Telekom are signing the Charter. The critical message here is “people and organizations need to trust that their digital technologies are safe and secure; otherwise, they won’t embrace the digital transformation”.
Then you have the strategic alliance with Atos reinforcing their strategic co-operation, with plans to accelerate their joint business until 2020 through an ambitious joint go-to-market plan and the strengthening of their joint innovation and investment program. The program has been increased by €100 million, totaling €330 million – more than three times the original sum. The strategic partnership focuses on the joint innovation and investment program that aims to enhance Siemens and Atos’ digital strategy and develop joint capabilities in Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, advanced IoT & connectivity services, cybersecurity and digital service technologies, to support the digital transformation of their customers through an end-to-end IoT suite.
We then have Siemens and Alstom, who has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to combine Siemens’ mobility business, including its rail traction drives business, with Alstom. The transaction brings together two innovative players of the railway market with unique customer value and operational potential. The two businesses are largely complementary in terms of activities and geographies. Siemens will receive newly issued shares in the combined company representing 50 percent of Alstom’s share capital on a fully diluted basis.
Then you had Siemens Building Technologies Division, acquiring Enlighted Inc., a leading provider of smart IoT (Internet of Things) systems in buildings, headquartered in the Silicon Valley. The company is a successful player in the smart building industry, bringing an advanced digital sensory system to market. Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details. Closing is expected in the third quarter of 2018. Enlighted will be managed as an independent legal entity and wholly-owned subsidiary of Siemens Industry, Inc. Enlighted has a strong footprint in revolutionizing building intelligence by developing a multi-sensor-based IoT platform, using the power of data
Then we have a critical gap seemingly bridged for Mindsphere to expand geographically with the Siemens IIoT platform with a tie-up with Alibaba for the China Market. In this arrangement, Siemens and Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner and foster the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) in China. The two companies will leverage each other’s technology and industry resources to build a unique IoT solution to support Industrie 4.0, China’s manufacturing upgrade, as well as support China’s transformation and other industrial Internet initiatives.
Siemens only recently signed an agreement to acquire Mendix, a pioneer and leader in cloud-native low code application development. Under the agreement, Siemens will pay in cash €0.6 billion to acquire the company. Mendix will retain its distinct brand, culture and continue serving customers across the full range of industries with its unique platform and broad ecosystem and community. Mendix technology enables the creation of apps 10 times faster than other app development technologies and requires 70 percent less resources. Siemens will continue to invest in Mendix’s independent product roadmap, continuing its legacy as the most innovative, open low-code cloud platform. Mendix will be part of the software business of Siemens’ Digital Factory (DF) Division, with the mendix platform also deployed across other Divisions.Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens PLM, said that Mendix will help Siemens break down the barriers for enterprises to build easier IIoT enterprise apps. The capabilities Siemens gains through its Mendix acquisition will help Siemens provide its customers with the “tools to pursue new business models,” and to ease end-user IIoT app developments, as two specific aims.
The latest is between Bentley and Siemens
Then before I bore you to death with a rapid fire of initiatives occurring in Siemens that are all accelerating the digital transformation, so as they can lead out digital solutions on many fronts, we have seen a further strengthening of their alliance with exploiting the most advanced 3D modeling capabilities with a deeper digital foundation on the Mindsphere Platform and Bentley, a long-established partner that focuses on the supply of design, construction and infrastructure operations software
Firstly this alliance has been strengthening in recent years. Recently The Siemens Divisions Process Industries and Drives (PD) and Digital Factory (DF) together with Bentley Systems and the Bentley Institute, have been looking to drive digital enterprise forward over the entire life cycle by founding a Process Industries Academy. The Academy’s aim is to share best practice for plant engineering and operations.
Then this week a further deepening of the alliance between Bentley and Siemens was announced. Bently announced recently its IModel 2 Platform for digital workflows. It is setting about to manage the Infrastructure projects that involve many collaborating disciplines where work is very interconnected, with distributed teams and thousands of asynchronous decisions and changes for design, material choices, aesthetics, structural integrity, safety, and more.
Siemens and Bentley are collaborating more.
This week, August 27th, 2018, they jointly announced a new Capital Project for building a Digital Twin for Autonomous Mobility. Press announcement is in this link. They are making a systematic expansion of Siemens PLM portfolio with Bentley’s software tools for the design and simulation of infrastructures and doubled the joint investment funding to €100 million.
Dr. Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens Digital Factory Division commented that “this builds out the collaboration beyond plant data management by extending it more into enterprise data management, by this new alliance investment, combining their technologies to create a more unique, homogenous environment, to encompass large projects in a holistic way.
Siemen’s Teamcenter will serve as the center so that everyone has access to the latest data. Teamcenter data will be used to create digital twins across the mechanics, electronics and software aspects of a product and its production processes. Analytic insights across all these steps will be provided by Mindsphere (Siemens’ cloud-based IoT operating system)”.
Its aim is captured in this visual
The aim is to realize the full value of digitalization in the Bentley offerings through the Digital Twin concept
So there is this intent to invest in the next collaboration level with Bentley, where for instance Siemens will strengthen their engineering and project management tools with Siemens enterprise wide collaboration platform Teamcenter to create a full Digital Twin for the engineering and construction world.”
The end storyline of this announcement is nicely shown in this visual
Simply the alliance is ‘going digital’ in infrastructure and industrial advancement at an accelerated speed..
So you have to keep a very sharp eye on Siemens at present as it continues to gather pace, expand its alliances, deepen its digital footprint and build on their Digital Twin value proposition through a greater Mindsphere platform.
You just have to keep them in focus to understand their approach to the Ecosystem they are building or constructing. My “push back” has been this is mostly the Supply side, now they must, with as much speed build the “Demand-side” at an equal pace and that has yet to happen. I suppose “we have to watch this space” as they stay a very dynamic player in digital transformation and leading industry 4.0.