The increasing pace of the IIoT world- don’t hold your breath.

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. Continue reading

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Biting off more than we can chew can be a good thing……depending.

I had mentioned in a related post on my other posting site that I wanted to understand a recent Siemens event.

This was partly presenting 3rd financial quarter results but more on their future course with a Vision 2020+ and its respected parts being the design that is going to take the business out further by exploiting the parts within this vision.

There was a lot to take in on limited information and understanding. View the post “A feast of opportunities for Siemens?” for my first reactions on this.

The whole expansive story around Siemens new structure announced at this event offered some of the opening details, yet it is still to be “fleshed out” later in the year, by their management.

I specifically zoomed in on the new Digital Industries (DI) structure and where it is seemingly heading. Presently this new operating group will have 78,000 employees and a business revenue of around Euro 14 billion, that contributed a profit margin of around 16% in their fiscal 2017.

The expansion of the digitalization business has a very exciting acquisition announced the day before, with the Mendix acquisition, a leader, and pioneer in the area of low-code application development platforms, where you can potentially program and deploy apps up to ten times faster. This has been one of several “pain points” for Mindsphere, the Siemens digital platform, on providing a menu of apps to support client problems, so we should see some significant improvement on this point.

This purchase of Mendix can make a significant difference and propel the platform into a new value proposition, a 2nd generation digital platform where “smart” becomes central. I will be coming back to this once I have undertaken a little more research and assumption undertaking, in the next few days, as it has some compelling value positioning for Siemens, I believe.

It was the other part of the digitalization expansion that stopped me a little. This is what I want to discuss here. Let me work it through.
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Opening up our thinking towards ecosystems has a powerful effect

ecosystems-abstract

Our whole understanding of innovation is changing; there are numerous shifts occurring.

We are evaluating and changing our existing focus from closed (internal orientation) into ones that are having a far more open stance. We are searching for more collaborative innovation (external orientation) combining external partners into more ‘collective thinking’.

This shift is offering us extra acceleration that is needed to improve our innovation performances from concept to market delivery.

Collaborative innovation is also leading us to higher chances of achieving greater impact and success, as nearly all novel ideas lay outside the organization’s domain of understanding. As we increasingly include the customer and their needs within our understanding, these multiple collaborations and dialogues are building this better internal understanding.

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Platform Providers need to think more about Ecosystems Principles and Design

In my opening post (here) I was thinking where platform providers seem to be, in their current value proposition. I cannot see their approaches as sustaining. Now, this is a personal opinion and observation but let me lay out an alternative view.

I believe we are at an inflection point where the design of IIoT platforms needs to be integrated into a new way of Ecosystem Design.

There is a real need for a more shared value, breaking through the old traditional boundaries of single companies working with ‘selected’ providers of service and highly selective platform providers.

Ecosystem design is about being open in all potentially valuable proposals and co-creation possibilities. It is using multiple platforms as being part of a very different future design. You go where the best collaborations can take place not get .locked into one.

We need to stop and start to think about Ecosystems and their design for platform providers. Platforms have been amazing in their design, recognition, and value in a very short time. They are changing the way we undertake business. We have passed through the early phase of their design. It is now time to bring platforms into there place within a greater Ecosystem design.

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The case for changing the IIoT platform providers value proposition

I have been reflecting recently on where we are in all the efforts, focus, and resources, that have been going into the building of our IIoT platforms. This has mainly been around the questioning of where they should fit within the needs of an ecosystem, the end outcome of our new industrial design in my opinion.

Let me offer up an initial case of why there is a need for a change in where we are in on IIoT platforms and their current emphasis and focus How we need to change the value equation out in the future in our solution designs and positioning of platforms, as a need to achieve. This is based on considering a greater ecosystem perspective.

Here I attempt to lay out the current position and suggest there is a case for change. The IIoT platform provider needs to change their value proposition urgently in my opinion, or move along a faster evolutionary curve certainly, to get clients seeing their own value-add endgame not just the IIoT providers race for dominating the platform space.

So let’s look at where IIoT platforms currently are and in my related post where we might consider some changes in how we are evolving the platform story. Continue reading

Being Reminded We Are In A Zero Distance World

Visual taken from the paper “The Zero Distance World” through Ericsson.

I downloaded a paper, written by Geoff Hollingworth, Head of Ericsson Cloud Marketing, Ericsson Evangelist, in collaboration with Jason Hoffman, Head of Product Area Cloud Infrastructure, Ericsson last year called “The Zero Distance World”

I came across it again this week, as I was busy re-organizing my files and references and I wanted to share parts of it, in quotes that I feel are fairly powerful

On checking, I saw that Geoff Hollingsworth has left Ericsson and when I went in search of this paper I got the message back “Page Requested, Cannot Be Found“. Annoying but let me press on and draw out some things that held my attention and why I am posting some of the points made.

Firstly we are often are told it is becoming a “zero-sum game” and so this “Zero Distance world” made me curious. So let me “pull out some points that I think resonate for me and hopefully for you. Continue reading

The dynamics within platform business models

Market dynamics have changed dramatically in the past few years. The concept of connected networks has been having an increasing impact on all industries and market sectors.

Specifically, the platform business model has been generating a significant dynamism that is hard to ignore recently. We are increasingly in need to scale as quickly as possible and by moving to the emphasis of platform capacity, helps this considerably.

Platforms require networks and the need to build ecosystems and the whole focus is on increasing engagement, or build this “capacity”. Connecting all this up can provide real scale. Building greater capacity, especially without adding to resources yields a greater return.

I feel the way we presently view scale, one presently linked far more to one single entity, one that is wanting to scale up their business model and that limits opportunities. I feel searching for new ‘capacity’ opens this up and takes us more towards the open, collaborative platform business model, where real growth seems to reside for our business futures. Continue reading