Companies are at different points on the digital trajectory; some are beginning their journey, some are implementing changes in a phased manner, while a few early adopters are already seeing quantifiable benefits. But one thing’s for sure: digitalization is dramatically altering the way businesses are transacted globally. Consider the example that really grabbed my attention recently: erstwhile competitors are now collaborating for industrial growth – and this is certainly a game changer.
Previously, one used to hear about suppliers and end users collaborating to disseminate information and understand new technologies. Supply chain linkages were also linear; but this does not work in today’s complex and integrated supply chains. In the digital world, where there are different levels of connectivity, suppliers are forging bonds with each other to simultaneously expand their combined global footprint and help the customer grow.
In line with the rapidly transforming business landscape, the theme for this year’s ARC India Forum was Industry in Transition: Realizing the Digital Enterprise. Presentations and panel discussions revolved around this theme and the case studies focused on how digitalization has created a barrier-free world. The technologies, strategies, and management jargon set the tenor for the Forum. At the event, two such supplier handshakes made me think about how the game can be won through collaboration and cooperation.
Bentley Systems and Siemens
The highlight of Anne-Marie Walters, Global Marketing Director, Bentley Systems’ presentation was on the company’s strategic alliance with Siemens. Key takeaways from her presentation:
- IT-OT-ET integration is vital to streamline business processes
- Asset reliability modeling, digital engineering models, and operational analytics are key requirements of industry
- Collaboration and cooperation are important to realize the digital enterprise
As she explained, the goal is to “drive new business value by accelerating digitalization to advance infrastructure project delivery and asset performance in complementary business areas.” What I found interesting is that the cooperation between the two companies extends across all business domains and covers systematic extension of the simulation portfolio; discrete manufacturing; process industry; energy management; mobility; and building technologies. Under this strategic partnership, Bentley will develop applications using MindSphere, Siemens cloud-based IoT operating system. Besides the financial involvement and commitment of both companies, what sets an example to the industrial world is the collaboration between two giants, which should increase their strengths and deliverables through cooperation to help companies around the world in their respective journeys to digital transformation.
The core concepts of digitalization culled from the presentations by Siemens:
- Smart innovations are transforming industry. The transformational forces behind smart innovations are: Internet of Things, Cloud, 3D printing, knowledge automation, and advanced robotics
- Collaborative strategies accelerate growth
- Digitalization will drive the future of manufacturing
Mitsubishi Electric India and IBM India
The next eye-opener was the collaboration between Mitsubishi Electric and IBM; they even made a joint presentation at the forum! Their presentation was all about collaboration and connectivity at all levels. They said that the IoT opportunity can lead to dead ends and locked doors – the key to open this lies in collaborating and intelligently linking:
- Multiple vendors, devices and networks
- Legacy systems
- Diverse IT software
- Diverse data storage and formats
- Various cloud environments
Speakers from the above mentioned companies effectively drove home the point that when there is supplier-supplier coordination the technology convergence is more agile and caters to a broader customer base. By creating stronger bonds and networking teams, improvements are seen in production efficiency and innovative practices. Ultimately, such an alliance benefits the customer as competence levels rise through knowledge sharing and enhanced capabilities.