Creating one Industrial Ecosystem

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the Siemens Innovation Day. I really appreciated it, yet it took me time to absorb all that was provided, over these past two weeks.

The day before the main event I was included in the Industry Analysts visit to the Siemens Technology Center, at Neuperlach in Munich. We were provided a variety of insights in different presentations and demonstrations, of the technology they are working upon.

The time spent in the Siemens Technology Center was far too short, in getting the depth I would have liked. Yet, by accessing and re-evaluating all the presentations I have collected over the recent years, I pieced much of it together, into the clarity that I wanted, well actually needed, to understand where Siemens was positioned and going. They are heading in a good direction in what I heard, felt and saw.

One outcome is this post.

I am grateful to have had the time to translate this in my mind. We all move on far too quickly and not have the time to sufficiently reflect, and that can be a huge mistake.

I came away from my visit to Siemens greatly impressed, now I am busy filling in the blanks.

The opportunity to attend has certainly triggered a lot of thoughts and connected me into Siemens, a whole lot more. They do seem to be are on a good path for growth but to make it a path that fully connects to exploit all the opportunities it can explore. Surprisingly, I felt they lacked a more holistic view of innovation; a clear innovation process, and dedicated focus on this, which is required. Innovation is certainly central to the future of Siemens but it seems to me not to have the core positioning it should have.

If you don’t reflect on the holistic contribution of a connected innovation, a complete connecting up of the innovation process, you can limit your potential. Time to market suffers for one. Knowing customer need can be another. Silo’s of knowledge can lock out new potential opportunities. The Innovation process needs to be robust in structure, commitment, and resource. My limited time trying to appreciate where innovation fully fits within Siemens was clearly constrained, but from my past experience using the word “innovation” is different than its application. I felt innovation needed a more holistic focus.

I think we need to find ways to truly connect, the emergence of managing across the Industrial Ecosystem strikes me as a future path to explore. More on this during 2018 will emerge, not just from me but from the very people operating and managing across connected Ecosystems.

Two immediate points of value for Siemens struck me

Siemens is in some highly competitive industrial markets. Like many others, they are embracing digital as strongly as a number of other companies I have been following. I did get some disconnects still at the event and this post is attempting to elaborate on these. Among these was that I was not able to understand the differences (if any) in their platform offering, Mindsphere.

I had to come away and dig a little deeper myself and subsequently produced this post “There is a growing force in Siemens Mindsphere as it gears up for 2018″

Although Mindsphere was featured prominently as the core of all their digital work, surprisingly, it was little featured specifically, in the Siemens technology center presentations and on the following day at the Innovation Event. I think there are some reasons for that. Partly they, Siemens, have lived with Mindsphere for some time and it has become embedded in where they are going, perhaps forgetting the significant lag the outside world has to this, to relate or appreciate or make those essential comparisons. Customers are working through a variety of choices in selecting the platforms they require, there is unease with the risk of “lock-in” for all involved, to understand and evaluate “gain and return”.

Equally, they are perhaps still lagging others in what they can provide as application solutions. I would reckon 2018 will be a huge ramp up for them as they have , in my opinion, one or two edges that, if exploited well, will give them some real ‘competitive edges.’

The second insight was around the prospect of Industrial Knowledge Graphs- now that becomes really intriguing.

The one ‘thing’ that really caught my attention, is still under the mainstream of Siemens corporate attention, I would possibly speculate. It was showcased in the technology center, it is going to be vital for the connected innovation I see as our future.

Knowledge Graphs were a real trigger was on my visit to their technology center. This was not even mentioned at the Siemens Innovation Event the next day surprisingly, on recall, so it is presently flying (perhaps) under the Corporate radar, still to be integrated into the offering of Siemens. It seems ready but I feel is yet another 2018 roll out, or certainly should be.

These insights set me off on a new train of thought and the presentation gave me what I needed on (Industrial) Knowledge Graphs for the initial depth of understanding I was seeking.

Still, a dedicated post on Knowledge Graphs “As we enter 2018 we will need Knowledge Graphsgives a taste of what might come with my added innovation twist

Siemens, for building their Knowledge Graphs solution has partnered, firstly with Metaphacts and built their solutions on the AWS Neptune Engine, offering a query, open language system to build these Knowledge Graphs that works on building relations. Neptune offers knowledge graph that allows you to store information in a graph model and use graph queries, to enable your users to easily navigate highly connected data sets. Neptune supports open source and open standard APIs to allow you to quickly leverage existing information resources, to build your knowledge graphs and host them on a fully managed service.

Besides Siemens, Astra Zeneca and Thomson Reuters have been looking to explore this concept of Knowledge Graphs. More importantly within Amazon themselves, it is being used for Amazon Alexa, so this is forming part of all their futures, it seems.

The intrigue builds nicely in my mind on the value of Knowledge Graphs

What if we can suddenly scale, have availability in different ways and design, be able to query in fast, reliable, easy and open ways? What does that do for knowledge? Knowledge and insights lead to innovation. Our complete view opens-up, it evolves over time and new insights, the more we build and enhance our knowledge, the richer potential we have to build with. Now that sounds tantalizing in what it possibly offers.

Thanks Siemens- a great trip full of fresh insights

I left Siemens sensing they do have a very good structure in place to build a deeper connected future. One that is moving towards a clear Industrial Ecosystem of design. This excited me in its potential as we start 2018.