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Smart Data: The Competitive Advantage

June 19, 2015 by Theresa Böhme

Peter Weckesser of Siemens AG explains how digitalization and Smart Data can impact a company’s business processes and bring them to the front line of the competition.

New technologies have lead to great transformations in traditional business models. Four branches of technology in particular stand out as the most important catalysts in the transformation of the industry.

The four most important technology trends

  • Increased data collection of industrial production processes
  • Cost-effective communication of data through broadband networks
  • Long-term and cost-effective storage of large data volumes in real time
  • From Big Data to Smart Data: real-time analysis of information

“The consumer goods market has clearly demonstrated how changes in technology can lead to changes in business models,” says Peter Weckesser, CEO Customer Services DF&PD at Siemens AG. “People used to buy CDs; now they prefer to stream music. This has completely transformed the music industry.”

Data is the raw material of digitalization

Another example of changing industries is software: IT companies – with SAP leading the way – are following the new trends and restructuring their business models from traditional software licenses to software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Weckesser explains why: “It is becoming more and more evident that customers in the industrial sector no longer want to buy simple production lines from manufacturers, but rather expect the machines to maximize productivity. As a consequence, engineers must now increasingly design production lines with availability and output in mind.”

It has become the goal of this industry to gather as much data on production processes as possible, which is making the target-oriented use of Big Data and the digitalization of processes more important every day.

According to Weckesser, “The essential raw elements for the digitalization of business processes are data and the ability to exploit this data through domain competence. This will be the decisive competitive factor for all industries.” Real-time analysis of immense data provides very valuable information called Smart Data that can greatly improve business processes.

Cooperation project: Siemens Industry Cloud

The Siemens Industry Cloud is a cooperation project between Siemens and SAP based on SAP HANA Cloud Platform. As an open cloud platform, it plays a key role in the analysis of huge data volumes, not only for the industry today, but also for the digital company of tomorrow. Real-time data analysis with SAP HANA helps Siemens Industry Cloud ventures optimize their business processes in predictive maintenance, asset and energy data management, and many other areas.

“With the Siemens Industry Cloud, our customers can now create a digital model of their production lines with real data from the actual production line,” explains Weckesser. “This allows them to create accurate comparison models or simulations.” Products can now connect through open device interfaces based on OPC – even if they are not from Siemens.

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