In the beginning were data. Increasing amounts of data. But what good is a storehouse filled with data? Especially when you have to build additional storehouses to hold more data?
We all know that this is just a hole to throw good money into unless we can reap benefits from the data.
John Burton, CEO of Ursa Leo, recently gave some time to me to explain what this new company is up to. And it’s pretty cool. It begins with data formed into a digital twin of the factory, oil rig, equipment, and the like. But they asked how can company managers and operators reap benefits from their data? The company began by focusing on visual representations of the data. It hired engineers from the gaming industry to show photo realistic reproductions of the plant, equipment, building, and so on. Think things like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality brought to life by the latest in gaming technology.
They develop on the Unity gaming engine that is designed to run on just about anything (derivative of gaming industry). So, for example, you can get a bird’s eye view of the factory. Show sensors perhaps as green dots. Zoom in to see sensors; zoom in again for ever greater levels of detail including sensor data. It is a simple screen showing IoT data from sensors and asset data bases. It’s spatially related. The model resides in the cloud, so the same view and information is available to everyone making it great for remote maintenance support, for example, also training and remote control.
Visualization includes x-ray vision, rewind/replay events, “make pieces of equipment fly apart, visualize fluid flow, heat maps (like temperature of gas for example).
Recently, the company announced that it has closed its Seed Round B and raised $725K. The round was led by Keiretsu Forum and Bay Angels with additional private investors. As UrsaLeo continues to grow, the money will be used to expand operations into manufacturing and building management, further product development with collaboration and remote control modes, and enhance the company’s new social distancing technology.
With the closing of the Seed B, the company also announced the hiring of Michael Uribe and Alina Verdiyan as Senior Vice Presidents. Michael will lead the Building Information Management Division and work with developers and building operators to bring cutting edge 3D technology to public spaces. Alina will lead the Manufacturing Division and have worldwide responsibility for dedicated sales, marketing, and operations.
“The UrsaLeo team and traction they’ve achieved with early customers signals an opportunity for rapid growth in valuation,” said Chandika Mendis of Bay Angels. “With the adoption of social distancing technology and digital twinning, one of the hottest sectors at the moment, enterprise software that helps to simplify problem solving in challenging times is an attractive investment. We look forward to tracking their success.”
I first started hearing seriously about data ops last year at a couple of IT conferences. Then a group of former Kepware executives founded High Byte to point data ops specifically to the manufacturing industry. I told them I thought they had something there.
A representative of Seagate Technology sent me information about a study done with IDC about data in organizations. I haven’t had a relationship with Seagate for many years, but this is a timely report about enterprise data pointing out that 68% of data available goes unleveraged and that manufacturing is a laggard in this arena.
As enterprise data proliferates at an unprecedented pace – set to grow at a 42.2.% annual rate over the next two years – a new report from Seagate and IDC has revealed that the majority (68%) of data available to enterprises goes unleveraged, meaning data management has become more important than ever.
Furthermore and somewhat surprisingly, the manufacturing sector shows the lowest level of task automation in data management, lowest rate for full integration of data management functions as well as low adoption of both multicloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures.
The report also identifies the missing link of data management—DataOps—which can help organizations harness more of their data’s value and lead to better business outcomes.
The report, Rethink Data: Put More of Your Data to Work—From Edge to Cloud is based on a survey of 1500 global enterprise leaders commissioned by Seagate and conducted by the research firm IDC.
“The report and the survey make clear that winning businesses must have strong mass data operations,” says Seagate CEO Dave Mosley. “The value that a company derives from data directly affects its success.”
Some additional findings include:
- The top five barriers to putting data to work are: 1) making collected data usable, 2) managing the storage of collected data, 3) ensuring that needed data is collected, 4) ensuring the security of collected data, and 5) making the different silos of collected data available.
- Managing data in the multicloud and hybrid cloud are top data management challenges expected by businesses over the next two years.
- Two thirds of survey respondents report insufficient data security, making data security an essential element of any discussion of efficient data management.
The missing link of data management is reported to be data operations, or DataOps. IDC defines DataOps as “the discipline connecting data creators with data consumers.” While the majority of respondents say that DataOps is “very” or “extremely” important, only 10% of organizations report having implemented DataOps fully. The survey demonstrated that, along with other data management solutions, DataOps leads to measurably better business outcomes. It boosts customer loyalty, revenue, profit, cost savings, plus results in other benefits.
“The findings of this study illustrating that more than two-thirds of available data lies fallow in organizations may seem like disturbing news,” said Phil Goodwin, research director, IDC and principal analyst on the study. “But in truth, it shows how much opportunity and potential organizations already have at their fingertips. Organizations that can harness the value of their data wherever it resides—core, cloud or edge—can generate significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.”
HPE Discover Virtual Experience wrapped up last week, but I have much to think about and report. The HPE team did an excellent job pulling together a conference where we saw many different living rooms and home offices. Tough job; well done.
The release of a new software portfolio from HPE may sound more to the interest of enterprise architects, but I have already seen demos of where this also aids the coming together of OT and IT in order to bring the production side of an enterprise into more of a value to the enterprise. This is important toward the counteracting of recent enterprise history where production was a “black box” and corporate financial geniuses viewed it as something that could be moved around chasing low cost.
From the blog of Kumar Sreekanti, CTO and head of software at HPE, we learn about the coming together of Ezmeral—brand name for the software portfolio.
Digital transformation is being amplified by an order of magnitude. In fact, many business leaders that I’ve spoken with are now embracing a digital-first strategy—to compete and thrive in the midst of a global pandemic. And the enterprises that use data and artificial intelligence effectively are better equipped to evolve rapidly in this dynamic environment. Now these data-driven transformation initiatives are being accelerated to enable faster time-to-market, increased innovation, and greater responsiveness to the business and their customers.
As CTO and head of software at HPE, my focus is on delivering against our edge-to-cloud strategy and vision of providing everything as a service. Software is a very critical and important component of this strategy. It’s also essential to helping our customers succeed in their data-driven digital transformation journeys, now more than ever.
We’re committed to providing a differentiated portfolio of enterprise software to help modernize your applications, unlock insights from your data, and automate your operations—from edge to cloud. Today, we announced that we’ve unified our software portfolio with a new brand: HPE Ezmeral.
The HPE Ezmeral portfolio allows you to:
- Run containers and Kubernetes at scale to modernize apps, from edge to cloud
- Manage your apps, data, and ops – leveraging AI and analytics for faster time-to-insights
- Ensure control for governance, compliance, and lower costs
- Provide enterprise-grade security and authentication to reduce risk
Business innovation relies on applications and data. The apps and data running the enterprise now live everywhere—in data centers, in colocation centers, at the edge, and in the cloud. Most of the applications running businesses today are primarily non-cloud-native; and data is everywhere, with more and more data being generated at edge. Our customers are having real issues with non-cloud-native systems that will not or cannot move to the public cloud due to data gravity, latency, application dependency, and regulatory compliance reasons. Data has gravity, so our customers want to bring compute to the data not data to the compute. And because data is exploding, it’s driving the need for AI and machine learning at enterprise-scale—with the ability to harness and leverage petabytes of data.
Our customers want flexibility and openness; they want to eliminate lock-in. They want pay-per-use consumption in an as-a-service model. They want open solutions that give them the best of both worlds—with a modern cloud experience in any location, from edge to cloud. We address these needs by providing HPE GreenLake in the environment of your choice, with a consistent operating model, and with visibility and governance across all enterprise applications and data. Our software provides differentiated IP to deliver these cloud services through HPE GreenLake.
And in today’s news, we announced new cloud services from HPE GreenLake. This includes new HPE GreenLake cloud services for containers and machine learning operations—powered by our HPE Ezmeral Container Platform software to run containerized applications with open source Kubernetes, and HPE Ezmeral ML Ops software to operationalize the machine learning model lifecycle.
This week I attended the AVEVA World customer conference sitting on my patio with a bank of computers on the table. It’s always nice to catch up with the latest from technology suppliers, even if we couldn’t meet in person and have all those informative hallway conversations.
Next week I’ll be attending three conferences, something that would have been a physical impossibility only a few months ago. Looks like all of my anticipated conference trips have been cancelled until November.
I must begin with a note regarding the AVEVA/Schneider Electric relationship. If you go back a few years, Schneider Electric made a rather large and significant acquisition. It kept the Foxboro and Triconex (and a few other) brands and used the software parts—Wonderware and Avantis and some others—as an investment into an engineering software company called AVEVA. As a result, Schneider Electric owns just over a majority of the shares in the publicly traded software company. And, therefore, Schneider Electric played a significant minor role in this conference.
Schneider’s chairman and CEO, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, said, “AVEVA should be agnostic. Our customers don’t have just one system but have the problem of integrating the complexity of having more than one system. AVEVA is completely open. We are independent companies working closely with each other.”
Craig Hayman, CEO of AVEVA, noted during his keynote address, “We’ve pivoted to emphasize digital. We recognize that people and data are the two most important assets. We do this technology in order to make people successful. Businesses have the great responsibility to protect employees and customers. We’re seeing the power of data and analytics helping companies respond to incidents as they occur and operate assets as efficiently as possible.” Indeed, digital, data, and people were the keywords of the event.
In further remarks, Tricoire emphasized “Digital Trust and Sustainability”. He shared how COVID-19 has accelerated existing digital trends, encouraging more efficiency, “remote everything,” greater resilience, and for sustainability to mitigate and adapt to primary threats of both the pandemic and climate change. He said, “Faced with a very volatile environment, companies need superior agility, and increased efficiency. This means they need increased capacity on one side, resiliency on the other side. The overall winner is digitalization. And the need for digitalization has been further reinforced by companies new need to operate remotely, for higher efficiency, and ultimately, for much better sustainability.”
Guest customer keynoter, Saad Bashir, CTO of the City of Seattle, speaking on “Digital Agility in the Age of COVID-19” shared his thoughts on what happened in Seattle when the pandemic hit. “Although we had planned for digital resiliency for some time, we didn’t really know how it would go until one morning all 30,000 people in our team decided to stay home and log on.” Although the team’s resiliency plans have held up well, Saad adds, “We’ve already seen opportunities from the lessons learned and one that’s worth highlighting is digital resiliency…with a unified view of our infrastructure with systems that are seamlessly connected so that they can inform decisions.”
Much discussion involved both Cloud and Edge—you must develop both, can’t have one without the other.
Ravi Gopinath, AVEVA Chief Cloud Officer and COO discussed cloud and AI. He noted four areas of investment—new way of engineering; new way of visualization; reliability and safe operations; drive agility. Develop cloud on one side and AI on the other. The cloud strengths—deploy applications easily, low TCO, enable flexible consumption, and enhance collaboration. AI provides—analysis, prediction, guidance, learning. Leading to Digital Twin, Big Data, and Industrial IoT and Edge.
The press release coming from the event focused on Schneider Electric, who announced expanded partnerships with AVEVA, Lenovo and Stratus to address the convergence of IT and OT. This partnership is bringing together system integrators with IT solution providers to build integrated industrial edge computing solutions resulting in the immediate release of three programs to empower system integrators to expand their value to end users, enabling their customers’ industrial digital transformations.
These programs include:
Industrial edge reference designs: Co-developed with AVEVA, including solutions from Lenovo and Stratus, these reference designs reduce risk and time to market with fully customizable, pre-integrated EcoStruxure Micro Data Center solutions for any edge environment. With secure solutions designed to meet IT standards, system integrators can free up time from the IT architecture to focus on the software and solutions. These reference designs are available in Schneider Electric’s Local Edge Configurator and can be customized to specifications.
A digital training program for system integrators: Edge computing continues to prove itself as a space for opportunity for system integrators to extend business models and establish their roles as consultants. This learning program includes a comprehensive digital training series for system integrators on Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Micro Data Center and EcoStruxure IT solutions to help address common challenges at the edge.
The Industrial Edge Exchange Community: Built within Schneider Electric Exchange, the Industrial Edge Community allows system integrators to easily identify and engage with edge-certified IT solution providers. It is designed to facilitate new business and address IT/OT projects, and features a tool that pairs Alliance System Integrators with Schneider Electric’s Edge-certified IT Channel Partners.
“The smart factory is becoming smarter. Our expanded partnerships and new industrial edge programs empower system integrators to leverage their domain expertise and become IT/OT convergence specialists and meet these needs for their customers,” said Philippe Rambach, Senior Vice President, Industrial Automation, Schneider Electric. “We know that smart manufacturing is driving an unprecedented wave of IT technologies into industrial spaces. As companies leverage AI, robotic processing automation, and more, they will require edge computing solutions to reduce latency and enable resiliency, while ensuring privacy and security, and addressing important data and bandwidth requirements.”
What is the Industrial Edge?
For industrial operators to capture the benefits of increased automation, they cannot rely on cloud-technology alone to bring the resiliency and speed demanded by AI, HD cameras, and other Industry 4.0 technologies. Local edge data centers are IT infrastructure enclosures/spaces/facilities distributed geographically to enable endpoints on the network. When in industrial environments such as a manufacturing plant or distribution center, this application is referred to as “industrial edge.”
Digitization is on everyone’s lips these days. If you have not taken steps to implement and improve digital data flow, you are probably already behind. I receive information regularly from PwC and here is a new report on how digitization is reshaping the manufacturing industry. The report takes a look at 8 companies and showcase how they improved their efficiency, productivity and customer experience by ensuring they have the right capabilities central to their operating model and by matching them with strong skill sets in analytics and IT.
Pressure from the consumer, new regulations and advances in information technology are all reasons that are pushing manufacturing organizations to digitize so they can avoid falling behind the new breed of market-leading ‘digital champions.’ The report identifies 4 significant changes CEOs must implement to maximize the benefits of digitization.
1. Drive organizational changes that address new digital capabilities and digitalized processes – e.g., product and process design and engineering, end-to-end procurement, supply chain/distribution and after-sales – right from the top, because these are so new and different
2. Hire more software and Internet of Things (IoT) engineers and data scientists, while training the wider workforce in digital skills
3. Learn from software businesses, which have the ability to develop use cases rapidly and turn them into software products
4. Extend digitalization beyond IT to include significant operational technologies (OT) such as track and trace solutions and digital twinning
From the report, “Already, digitally ‘smart’ manufacturers are gaining a competitive advantage by exploiting emerging technologies and trends such as digital twinning, predictive maintenance, track and trace, and modular design. These companies have dramatically improved their efficiency, productivity, and customer experience by ensuring these capabilities are central to their operating models and by matching them with strong skill sets in analytics and IT. “
During 2018 and early 2019, PwC conducted in-depth digitisation case studies of eight industrial and manufacturing organisations in Germany, the US, India, Japan and the Middle East. Drawing on discussions and interviews with CEOs and division heads, we explored the key triggers for change these companies faced, assessed how digital solutions are being implemented and how digitisation is affecting key aspects of their operating models. We also compared our eight organisations with other publicly cited digitisation case studies, and leveraged PwC’s 2018 study Digital Champions: How industry leaders build integrated operations ecosystems to deliver end-to-end customer solutions and other ongoing PwC research.
This paper is the result of ongoing collaboration between PwC and the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS). GMIS provides a forum for industry leaders to interact with governments, technologists and academia in order to navigate the challenges and opportunities brought about by the digital technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. PwC has been a knowledge partner with GMIS since 2016.
The eight case studies in this report make clear how far the role of digital technology goes beyond traditional IT systems. It also encompasses OT and data and analytics technologies. Full integration and linkage among these different technologies, and the ecosystems they are part of, are essential to a successful digital transformation. Yet success is impossible without a digitally smart workforce that is familiar with Industry 4.0 skills and tools.
These challenges are the subject of the second part of the report Digital Champions: How industry leaders build integrated operations ecosystems to deliver end-to-end customer solutions, which will be published in January 2020.
The report will elaborate further on the emerging theory of digital manufacturing and operations, in which successful, digitised industrial organisations will increasingly have to act like software companies in response to four key factors:
- The connected customer seeks a batch size of one, necessitating greater customisation of products and delivery time, improved customer experience, use of online channels and outcome-based business models.
- Digital operations require both engineering and software abilities to enable extensive data analysis and IoT-based integration, as well as digitisation of products and services.
- Organisations need augmented automation, in which machines become part of the organisation via closely connected machine–worker tasks and integrated IT and OT.
- Future employees will be ‘system-savvy craftspeople’ with the skills to use sensors in order to collect and analyse accurate data, as well as design and manage connected processes.
About the authors
Anil Khurana is PwC’s global industrial, manufacturing and automotive industry leader. He is a principal with PwC US.
Reinhard Geissbauer is a partner with PwC Germany based in Munich. He is the global lead for PwC’s Digital Operations Impact Center.
Steve Pillsbury is a principal with PwC US and the US lead for PwC’s Digital Operations Impact Center.
Suppliers of manufacturing software, some from surprising places, are putting sizable investments into products that will help customers reap the rewards of digitalization. Today, I’m looking at both ABB and Emerson Automation Solutions. Previously I checked out GE Digital and Rockwell Automation. Each has taken a slightly different course toward the goal, but notice the common thread of enhancing software products to help customers prosper.
ABB enhances manufacturing management technology
The new version of ABB Ability Manufacturing Operations Management will offer new features including:
- Enhanced user experience based on new HTML 5 web client;
- A new smart interactive dashboard application that provides greater visibility and collaboration;
- A new statistical process control (SPC) application, to determine if each process is in a state of control;
- A new Batch Compare application – for advanced batch analysis.
“ABB Ability Manufacturing Operations Management is a comprehensive, scalable and modular software suite that optimizes visibility, knowledge and control throughout the operations domain,” said Narasimham Parimi, Head of Digital Products – Product Management, Process Control Platform. “This release provides a range of rich new functionality and a new enhanced user experience that enables operations to become more productive and responsive.”
ABB Ability Manufacturing Operations Management is designed to simplify production management by enabling performance monitoring, downtime management, and maintenance support, as well as providing statistical production analysis tools. It provides solutions and tools to facilitate the collection, consolidation and distribution of production, quality and energy information via the plant’s web-based reports, trends, and graphs.
A new, self-service dashboard application promotes increased collaboration, providing visibility from shop floor to top floor and spanning IT and OT environments. It increases data connectivity to all apps and modules within the MOM suite, combining historic and manufacturing data and providing the user with improved customization capabilities. Dashboards can be shared amongst users, further promoting collaboration between teams. Trends and events are displayed together, which enables customers to identify issues and opportunities enabling informed and timely decisions.
The new common services platform features an HTML 5 web platform that runs across all suites ensuring customers have a seamless user experience, so that applications can be viewed on different devices right down to a 10-inch tablet.
Statistical data process control (SPC) is used in manufacturing to determine if each process is in a state of control. The new SPC application works across all the different apps and modules and helps the user to improve quality and production related performance.
In addition to the existing Batch View and Batch Investigate features, a comparison option has been added to the platform’s batch analysis applications, allowing different types of comparison.
Cyber security remains one of the key issues in the advancement of Industry 4.0, and the new features in MOM include enhanced security.
Emerson Expands Analytics Platform
Plantweb Insight platform adds two new Pervasive Sensing applications that manage wireless networks more efficiently with a singular interface to the enterprise.
Emerson has added two new IIoT solutions to its Plantweb Insight data analytics platform that will enable industrial facilities to transform the way they manage their enterprise-level wireless network infrastructure.
As digitalization and wireless technology adoption continue to rapidly expand in industrial facilities throughout the world, the need for greater visibility of network infrastructure performance is key. These new Plantweb Insight applications provide a quick-to-implement, scalable IIoT solution that helps customers advance their digital transformation strategies and achieve greater operational efficiencies.
The new Plantweb Insight Network Management application provides continuous, centralized monitoring of WirelessHART networks. This first-of-its-kind application provides a singular, consolidated view of the status of all wireless networks in a facility, with embedded expertise and guidance for advanced network management.
A key feature of the Plantweb Insight Network Management application is a configurable mesh network diagram, providing visualization of network design and connections along with device-specific information. It also provides an exportable record of syslog alerts, network details outlining conformance to network best practices and more.
While the new network management application provides a holistic look at wireless networks, the Plantweb Insight Power Module Management application drills down to the device level, allowing facilities to keep their wireless devices appropriately powered so they can continuously transmit key monitoring data. By aggregating power module statuses, users can evolve traditional maintenance planning and implement more efficient and cost-effective practices.
“We were able to infuse a decade of experience with wireless technology into these new offerings,” said Brian Joe, wireless product manager with Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “Our customers will now be able to manage and improve hundreds of networks through a singular interface, realizing significant efficiencies in individual network and wireless device management and maintenance.”
These new applications further enhance the Plantweb Insight platform, a set of pre-built analytics primarily focusing on monitoring key asset health. Other applications in the platform include pressure relief valve monitoring, heat exchanger monitoring and steam trap monitoring.