Digital Transformation: Success Factor People

prostep ivip innovation day

Today, together with Microsoft, prostep ivip hosted the 1st Innovation Day. What a day, the 60 participants were taken by this event, the topics and the open atmosphere. The idea behind the event was to challenge an IT giant like Microsoft with topics of the Association and to give the participants a better understanding of the innovations currently arising on the market.

With regard to digital transformation, we are currently experiencing a fusion of engineering, production and IT. IT vendors provide innovations, which already can be applied in their customers daily business. But often it is hard for the customers to really realize and take advantage of these innovations. Thus, as prostep ivip understands itself as a digital transformer in product creation and production, the idea was born to bridge this gap by an event.

Digital Transformation = Technology + Process + People

This is maybe an unorthodox definition of digital transformation, but taking all talks, all questions and comments together this was the common understanding of today. And the most important part of this equation was seen in people. People have to understand the technology, have to be enabled to take advantage from its application and need trust in it. Some people still think that this is a problem which just starts to arise at the horizon. No, we are already in it. Besides of hyping technologies, we have to start related ethical discussions (e.g. an autonomous driving car hits a passenger, who is responsible) and we have to start and gain experiences on how this “brave new world” influences our daily work and life. By the way, it was impressive to see how Microsoft itself applies new collaboration methods and technologies in its new building in Munich.

It is time to start now. Thinkers and ponders will loose and die in this globally driven race.

In his opening talk Stefan Raschke, Sector Director Automotive Microsoft, underlined, that companies like Microsoft do not respect traditions, they are driving innovations. Microsoft wants to make business potential accessible for their customers: Increasing productivity, quality and end-consumer interaction and services, decrease costs.

For a standardization organization like prostep ivip this also means to rethink its standardization strategy. In the past, huge system monoliths exist. Today, small and smart services are implemented and flexibly applied, processes and IT architectures are not hammered in stone anymore. Openness and flexibility, in IT but also when talking about industrial processes, is required. And future-prove standards have to respect this. The ages of huge monolithic standards, developed over decades, are over. We have to flexibly develop and federate smart standards.

Markus Widl and Maggie McNenamy took the challenge and presented modern mechanisms for collaboration and communication offered by Office365, OneDrive, Skype etc. online. The presentation of the latest and coming Surface Book and Surface Studio, including CAD- and design-capabilities by Daniel Schiemann and Sean Pirtle made curious.

Robert Nahm, Industry Manager Automotive Sector Microsoft, then talked IoT and the digital twin. Focus is to offer customer-benefits in IoT. Use cases concerning energy management, predictive maintenance, condition monitoring were explained. An IoT-hub between the Azure cloud and end devices is offered (towards the machines, OPC UA is offered). Stream Analytics offers a smart way for analyzing field data on the fly (high-performing, without the drawbacks coming from old-style, database-driven thinking).

The HoloLense was introduced impressively by Olaf Schöley and Alex Harder from Iconics. A good interactive augmented reality experience for the whole audience. And the benefits in planning scenarios and for assembling, repair and overhaul were clearly understood.

Thomas Varlet took the challenge to talk and show how to accelerate product design and development processes – simulation and high-performance computing in the cloud. Plug & Work.

And finally Markus Wilhelm-Köstner talked about secure enterprise mobility, Azure Information Protection and RMS. In future, Microsoft will extend it offer to protect documents (Office, PDF etc.), pictures, CAD- and JT-files, toward 3D printing – that’ll be a big step forward. [A personal remark: Man, that was cool! 12 years ago I wrote my doctor thesis about IT-Security in PLM, and now I could see a commercial product flying, great!]

In the closing session, the participants stated that this day was beneficial for them. Yes, we are not at the end of the road, but there are solutions on the market addressing industrial needs. Many of the concepts gathered in prostep ivip are reflects. But there is more to do. And so, we will keep you informed about the next prostep ivip innovation day.

Thank you very much for the good collaboration and hospitality, Microsoft. Future co-partners of such kind of events will have to make efforts to reach this level of professionalism.

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