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Interview with Angel Versetti — Global CEO and Co-Founder of Ambrosus

We continue to publish a series of interviews with team members of projects which seem the most promising today. This week we talk with Angel Versetti — Global CEO and Co-Founder of Ambrosus.

How can you explain the definition of supply chain to a philistine?

Supply chain for me is a network of different actors supplying, processing and distributing raw materials, in many cases improving and adding value to these materials and turning them into products and ultimately bringing it to consumers. Supply chain refers to all the stages and processes associated with this transformation and transportation of these objects. To use a metaphor, I view supply chains as the arteries and veins of the global economy.

What is your go-to-market strategy?

We approach companies primarily in food and pharma sector who either want to improve their internal supply chain processes, or who want to boost their marketing and sales using a platform that combines IoT and blockchain to assure quality , safety and origins of products. We usually begin with a joint workshop with a company to derive the value proposition and then we deliver a project, consisting of blockchain (software) and IoT (Hardware) solutions, which the company can run in an industrial pilot project.

There are usually 4 stages in our joint interaction with companies

Stage 1 = Initial Contact and Information Exchange

Stage 2 = Negotiation and Solution Application

Stage 3 = Pilot Project or Proof of Concept

Stage 4 = Mass Adoption and Implementation

See this article to review in detail how we work with corporate clients.

What advantages do you have in comparison to other supply chain companies?

The core advantages of Ambrosus in comparison with other supply chain companies are ultimately threefold: First, Ambrosus provides a holistic solution that allows enterprises to leverage both physical devices/sensors, as well as a comprehensive digital infrastructure to store and manage data from their supply chains. Second, the technology underlying this holistic solution — namely the Internet of Things for sourcing physical data, and blockchain for securing such data — allows enterprises to increase the scope of data they are capable of tracking and managing, as well as the range of stakeholders such data can be shared with. In short, using the IoT, new types of traceability become possible, and by using blockchain data can be securely shared with third parties in new ways. Third and finally, Ambrosus offers enterprises these digital solutions at a highly cost effective rate that allows enterprises to retain and integrate the Ambrosus Network with other existing ERP or SAP based traceability solutions that may already be in place.

Can you explain the technology that stands behind your supply chain lines?

The core technologies grounding Ambrosus traceability solutions are i) the Internet of Things, and ii) the Blockchain. The Internet of Things, refers to intelligent device connectivity whereby physical processes can be quantified, monitored, and understood through communication with a digital network. For Ambrosus, IoT based traceability allows custom solutions to be created for different products and different supply chains: a product can have a temperature monitor attached to it, have a printed QR code on its package, be shipped in an intelligent box capable of logging acceleration, shocks, and location, and much more. The Internet of Things ultimately provides the ability for enterprises to extract a much larger variety of data from their supply chains. A more indepth look at the IoT solutions can be found here in the discussions about the Ambrosus Innovation Laboratory.

At the same time, the blockchain is revolutionary, insofar as enterprises are able to securely store, manage, and share that data (along with any other document based or existing data) with other enterprises, legal authorities, or third parties (i.e. consumers, or insurance companies). Data is immutable written into the blockchain in such a manner where a new and unprecedented layer of trust and accountability can be created between enterprises. In order to make such a solution business-friendly, Ambrosus provides companies with the opportunity to store proof of their data on the blockchain, while also keeping the actual contents of such data in a private database or existing cloud solution (due to financial, legal, or other necessities). As such, the Ambrosus Network effectively combines the IoT, the cloud, and the blockchain in a single enterprise oriented platform. An application layer is then also provided by Ambrosus to allow enterprises the ability to configure and share the data they wish to with partners or third parties.

Taken together, the technology that grounds Ambrosus’ supply chain solutions is a comprehensive digital infrastructure that combines blockchain, the internet of things, and existing cloud based solutions, to guarantee data integrity within and between supply chain stakeholders.

What kind of difficulties you are likely to face? Have you ever had such situations?

As with all new technologies, the learning curve in explaining the benefits and value propositions of blockchain and the internet of things can at first be difficult for enterprises to grasp; older and more traditional paradigms for managing supply chains can make it difficult for some enterprises to see the potential of disruptive innovation. In part this is due to the fact that blockchain has become a buzzword that many companies are naturally weary about, and the Internet of Things is still not a mainstream technology in many industries across the globe. A second difficulty concerns supply chains themselves: supply chains today are often times large and convoluted processes that may involve anywhere between 6 to 9 different stakeholders (sometimes less and sometimes more). Providing a complete supply chain solution can sometimes involve having to work between multiple stakeholders, unless one stakeholder is able to own most of the supply chain (as a wholesaler may).

Most often, the best way of facing such difficulties is by focusing on concrete solutions and explaining to enterprises how they stand to gain or save value by implementing a blockchain and/or IoT based solution. For supply chains, developing a solution that brings benefits to all of the stakeholders involved is also important for making adoption more fluid.

How do your clients track information given by your supply chain?

The Ambrosus Network operates according to a universal data model of Assets and Events. A physical or logical object (i.e. an Asset) is digitally identified with the series of procedures or instances that happen to it (i.e. Events) over the course of its journey throughout a supply chain. All of the information pertaining to an enterprises Assets and Events is displayed according to the Ambrosus Dashboard. This tool allows enterprises to organize, manage, or separate different Assets from different events in a single interface, and thereby visualise what is happening in different areas of the supply chain. Additionally, for integrated solutions (i.e. solutions that are between one or more enterprises) specific applications can be built in order to allow all of the parties involved in a segment of a supply chain to be able to access the data flows as they are received on the network. With open sourced Software Developer Kits (SDK’s) Ambrosus provides enterprises with the opportunity to customize how they wish to visualize or display the information that is being tracked throughout a supply chain.

Examples of such traceability can be found in use cases of the Ambrosus Network concerning the traceability of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, as well as Premium Korean Beef:

The Vanilla Traceability includes a short mini-documentary in it as well.

Korean Beef Solution.

Meanwhile, an original look at the Ambrosus Data Model can be found here.

How trustworthy are scanners on your supply chain?

Ambrosus distinguishes itself by providing one of the most secure sets of IoT solutions for supply chains currently on the market. Whether the device is a 2D QR Code, a temperature monitor, an RFID tag, or some other intelligent sensor, Ambrosus is able to encrypt the data collected by the device, and ensure that it cannot be tampered with while that data is transmitted to the Ambrosus Network and blockchain. Altogether, many sensors, devices and gateways contained within the catalogue of Internet of Things solutions have the ability to be encrypted from end-to-end, creating arguably some of the most innovative, reliable, and secure devices currently on the market, and especially when it comes to digtising supply chains.

Which technology are they based on?

Ambrosus IoT devices are made up of sensors, devices, and gateways: sensors refer to the transducer itself that transforms physically measured data into a digital signal of bits. Devices, provide the entry module from which these signals can be received, stored and shared with other devices out in the field (think MESH Networks) using technologies such as bluetooth, LoRa, or a physical scanner/reader of some sort. Devices also most often contain batteries. Finally, gateways refer to the communication module from which a device can be connected to the internet and data can be transmitted to a central (or distributed) network using Wifi, SigFox, Satellite, etc. The gateway connects the Ambrosus IoT sensor with the Ambrosus blockchain network. Altogether, traceability is comprised of sensors, devices, and gateways. Importantly, this entire process is accompanied by a cryptographic signature that ensures the security of the data from the moment the signal is received by a device, until that same data is transmitted through the gateway to the Ambrosus network. A further overview about research and development of technologies at the Ambrosus Innovation Laboratory can be found here.

What partnerships are you working on now?

We prefer not to discuss the partnerships we are working on until we finalise / sign deals. We have mostly collaborations and negotiations started last year that we are working on transforming to large scale deals. The sectors are still the same: food, pharma, commodities. More info will come in due course.

Do you have a partnership with a logistic company?

we are presently targeting producers and manufacturers of products, who in turn work with logistics companies, but no direct collaboration between Ambrosus and logistics companies.

How did you choose the name of your company?

Ambrosus is based upon the Ancient Greek word ‘Ambrosia’ which used to refer to the food of the gods, which gave them strength and immortality. The connotation is of health, vitality, and exceptional quality. When applied to the world of blockchain and the internet of things, the name Ambrosus is used to refer to the integrity that is provided for all data collected and transmitted across the Ambrosus network generally speaking, and in particular with respect to life-essential products such as food, medicine and chemicals that we put in our bodies and that directly impact our health and strength. Thus the initial goal of Ambrosus is to bring us closer to gods, by veryfying the quality and safety of products we are consuming. This was originally applied to food and pharmaceutical supply chains, but has since been expanded into larger industries such as chemicals, electronics, and smart cities. The connotation however remains the same: with the Ambrosus Network, data integrity is guaranteed and complete data flows (from Sensor to Consumer) are subsequently of the highest and most reliable quality giving strength and power to everything that consumes them.

What is your favourite cryptomeme?

Not sure I have one. Sadly, I have little time to follow meme trends…

You can also follow Angel on Linkedin and Twitter for more insights!

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