Are You Struggling with Technology Evolution and New Designs?

I have been struggling with a fair amount on a repositioning within my business offering. I think firstly that innovation has become digital innovation and that is one space I need to keep going towards. Not only in understanding all of the implications of this shift but in my own capability building to deliver more support to this significant change we are undergoing, through technology connecting up all the innovation “pieces,” from insight triggering to final delivery of the finished design.

The other is continuing to extend out my approach and understanding of the growing importance of platforms and ecosystems within a business. They are the future approach to build a thriving and sustainable business.

My questions recently have been where is my fit in this thinking or supporting platforms and ecosystems, beyond what I am presently doing?

The visual shown above is attempting to frame this for me. There are four critical aspects of platforms and ecosystems that need to be shaped. Let me explain:

Continue reading


Facing the future- the galactic war of IIoT platforms moves into its next phase

So Hannover Messe 19 (#HM19) is behind us. The pavilions are being pulled down, some stored away for use next year.

The buzz, excitement and the sheer energy and effort, that thousands put into their role as part of this event, is amazing. The exhibitor, like the committed visitor, ends up exhausted, even ‘spent’ but was it worth it?

The “housing” under HM19 of so many competing forces within Industry all vying for attention is overwhelming. It reminds you of how competitive and confusing all of this transformation stuff is. So conflicting actually.

The memories can be fleeting or they can be lasting. In the end, they nudge us all nearer to decisions, these sort of events help us to become more informed. what we lack is a better way of containing all we have learned so we can filter it, sort it and relate the multiple messages to our own needs. Not easy but “do-able” in better ways than we have today. The “return on investment” gets better if we can make connections into “connected stories” I have some thoughts on these but that is for another time. Let’s get into this piece.

What is holding my interest is the increasing “intensity” in the Industrial platform providers. How they are setting about their sales pitch, their proposition, their place within their solutions solving your needs. It is a rapidly evolving one, that is challenging all IIoT platform solution providers to keep up the unrelenting pace to be seen as leading in this area. This is a very expensive race. How can clients determine that their solutions are the right ones, pitching their Industrial Platform solutions for the IIOT world? It is a highly competitive time, yet I predict with the next twelve to twenty-four months, will be a make or breaks time, for many platform providers.

We are I feel, moving into a breakthrough in so many solutions that make up the digital transition puzzle. Yet due to this very competitive positioning, it seems we are caught up in some very fragmented marketing of self-justification claims, that leave many potential clients utterly confused. We need far better-organizing frameworks, some dialing down on the hype and rhetoric and some thoughtful and constructive messaging from all these IIoT platform providers. Will they, is another story but the battle of IIoT platforms has only just begun. Continue reading

Digital transformation is our place of purgatory today.

We are caught in a moment of time. All the hype, push, the argument for making the “digital transformation” is so badly stalled in many of our Corporations. We are running a marathon, mostly it seems fueled by “spent” energy and a growing sense of lowering our belief and confidence that we can finish this.

These digital transformations are like the deer, suddenly caught in the headlamp of a car that simply freezes, they seem immobilized, even for brief seconds, sometimes its reaction to flee is too late, it gets caught out by the oncoming car.

I feel many of our entities are caught in this moment of fear, bewilderment, rather paralyzed in how to tackle digital transformation. It is overwhelming. The advice available often does not help, it compounds that fear, they seem to be just staring at the size of the problem. Continue reading

Entering the Fray Differently in Industrial IoT Platform Solutions

We have ABB forming a JV with Dassault Systems. We have Rockwell firstly linking up with PTC and now a Rockwell and Schlumberger tie up. They will significantly make a difference in the complexity of those offering  Industrial IoT platform solutions.

What do these strategic moves mean to the IIoT market and to potential clients?

In some way, they indicate levels of consolidation, the realism of how to compete, and catch up with the bigger IIoT Platform investors today, that have been pushing and pioneering the IIoT market.

The two, GE with its Predix IIoT platform and Siemens and its Mindsphere one, are equally facing a certain crossroad in future decisions. I’ll outline later in this article or have raised questions previously in past posts. The impact of these competitors joining the fray is certainly announcing this market is getting highly competitive.

What will be future decisions for others offering more niche platform solutions as well, such as Bosch and Schneider Electric? More is yet to come but when you begin to see multiple announcements in acquisitions, partnerships, and JV’s, then you know the market is entering its next phase of growth – that crossing the chasm, one that is entering a very competitive positioning to grab market share and client wins. Investment decisions are perhaps about to get even bigger or solution sets more “imaginative” to attract clients into making their commitments.

Firstly, a short snapshot of the recent Partnership announcements Continue reading

The Ability to Scale and Collaborate in Platform Thinking.


Credit Tatiana Plakhova @

For no specific reason, I went a little quiet on my posts on this site recently. There was not one reason, it felt that February just slipped by.

Actually, I can partly explain it as it was partly caught up in a project that took more time than I expected.

Also partly caught up in a lot of mixed feelings that held me back, so I got a little blocked in my thinking. You do have moments like that but you eventually work through them and “something” unblocks and things start to flow again.

Suddenly in the first few days of March, like Spring arriving, it was a very different burst of energy, well actually more insights, that have kicked off my month well. Continue reading

Are PTC and Rockwell Automation Delivering the Connected Enterprise?

In June 2018 we saw that Rockwell Automation (ROK) made a $1 Billion investment into PTC that will give Rockwell just under a 9% ownership interest in PTC. I decided to wait to look at this. Now here is the time for a review eight months later.

I have made initial snapshots (all separate links) on Schneider Electric, Bosch, GE, Siemens, ABB,  Alibaba and Baidu to look a little deeper at their platform offerings. I still have to dig into Azure and AWS sometime but this partnership of a leading software provider in the IoT space and Rockwell, dedicated to industrial automation takes precedence, as my primary focus is on platforms and ecosystems in business IIoT.

Rockwell had not responded up to this point in a strategic way to the very strong pushes, led by their largest competitor, Siemens on IIoT platforms. Siemens has been building their Mindsphere offering in their own unique purposeful ways.

This move and partnership between Rockwell and PTC might change the game significantly. PTC will be supplying a real IIoT backbone of platform components and are rapidly delivering an integrated industrial digitalization solution.

Slapping $1 billion on the table really does potentially transform both businesses. Continue reading

Are we learning the lessons in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

So it is that wonderful time of year. Business Leaders mix with other Global Leaders, Influencers and those that want to move and shake present opinion, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland from 22nd to 25th January 2019. Now I love this event. The deluge of fresh reports on all things concerning our leaders thinking come flooding out, all hoping to be read and understood in their seriousness.

You have to apply “selective reading” but this year the main theme is Globalization 4.0. It strikes me the challenges within the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) have shifted to this new emerging theme of Globalization 4.0. So after I and many, many others have got used to one revolution we seem to have merged this into another. The argument is simple, the condition of the planet, a changing multipolar international order, and rising inequality are shifting the goal posts. If we do not gather around the need for changing the deteriating human condition and reducing the rapidily depleted natual resources that we have at our disposal, by taking action at corporate, national and international level we are, can I say it, “simply fried”? Globalization4.0 is somehow trying to scope out the issues, for heading this off. Well, maybe! Continue reading