After attending several technology supplier user conferences this summer and fall, a colleague asked why suppliers are emphasizing software. I ponder this question in this podcast essay. And ask what the new breed of engineers will bring with new ideas. Maybe Arduino control platforms? Worth asking.
Do digital tools have the effect of adding more things to our plate rather than helping us get things done? Gary looks at how software helped him get productive and then seemed to bog down and still accomplish a lot, but it seems slower over all. Even more, what is more important—getting more done or doing what is impactful?
Siemens Digital held its Realize Live conference June 12-15 in Las Vegas. I was there for the Media/Analyst program as well as to explore how the software integration is progressing and coming together.
All in all I am impressed with what Siemens has done since I first talked with an executive from Germany in 2007 about a vision of digital factory and again in 2008 following the company’s acquisition of UGS. That acquisition gave it the tools to pursue that digital vision. In the ensuing decade plus, many more acquisitions have bolstered the role.
The meetings began with Siemens Digital executives proclaiming how Siemens is now not only the leading automation supplier in the world, but it is also the leading industrial software supplier in the world. Now they are aiming at leading industrial cloud provider.
One key word for the week was Xcelerator, its platform and ecosystem for tying the parts together. Another key word, seen all over the exhibit floor, was digital thread. The digital thread connects various modules—since software is increasingly modular as in pick what you need. Xcelerator is that digital thread.
Siemens software is not afraid to try things, see what happens, make changes, and put them out again. Mindsphere is one such initiative. It experience three major revisions. By the 3.0 version it seemed to find its niche. Now it has morphed yet again and reappeared as Insight Hub.
Tony Hemelgarn, CEO, showed industry segment after industry segment where Siemens is the dominant player. They truly are doing something right. He also pointed out that when Siemens talks of moving its software to the cloud, they mean moving their software to the cloud—not just file sharing in the cloud as some competitors do.
Mendez people on the show floor showed me the cool parts of the no-code and low-code applications. It’s a visual programming environment that I liken to NodeRED for context.
Siemens had to talk of AI somewhere. It has found application within TeamCenter along with spoken reports from the field that can flow into quality reports for corrective action.
Rahul Garg, VP Industrial Machinery, talked with me about how Siemens works to make applications simple to use which means that they will be used (I’ve lived that life in factories, I know how important that is). Talking metaverse (without goggles) he pointed to deeper diagnostics and ability to under the surface to find root causes and problems.
Update on the industrial metaverse essay and podcast given the Google, Facebook, and Microsoft news to AI, ChatGPT, and search ads. Thoughts on merger and acquisition including new thoughts on Emerson bid for NI. Finally, a new take on video for manufacturing. Sponsored by Ignition from Inductive Automation.
I have published another podcast. Two developers reflecting on Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in terms of Gartner’s Hype Cycle–about getting enthused at the event and then reality settling in when the amount of work is realized. I reflect on the several trips I made in May and June in the same model. I’m not saying all I got was hype, but the trip from enthusiasm to realism is worth taking.