Siemens Xcelerator is an open digital business platform aimed at accelerating digital transformation and value creation for customers across industries. It’s a curated portfolio of software, IoT-enabled hardware and digital services following key design principles of interoperability, flexibility, openness and ‘as-a-service’, says Peter Koerte, chief technology officer and chief strategy officer, Siemens AG, as he tells Sudhir Chowdhary that India will play a key role in the global rollout of the platform. Excerpts:
What is the larger significance of Xcelerator in India?
At present, the Indian industrial domain is undergoing shifts, driven by a host of factors, including fast-changing customer and consumer demands, changing manufacturing standards, policy interventions, regulations and localisation of various vital processes. Indian companies in manufacturing, infrastructure, energy and transportation need to negotiate a wide variety of challenges ranging from maintaining data integrity, access and security, facilitating business decisions to the management of complex cultural changes. Siemens has launched Xcelerator as an open and evolving digital business ecosystem with a curated portfolio of IoT-enabled hardware, software, and digital services. It is aimed at supporting customer efforts to accelerate their digital transformation and create value for organisations of all sizes in industry, buildings and mobility.
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What do you mean by ecosystem? The ecosystem denotes that it will help customers find the right partnerships for their digital journey. Whether it’s product innovation, modern IT landscapes and cloud acceleration, end-to-end consulting, application development and management services. We have a growing ecosystem of more than 4,000 certified partners – from hyperscalers to independent software vendors (ISVs).
Is the Indian market ready for Siemens’ Xcelerator?
Of course. Otherwise, we won’t be here today. We have more than 6,000 software developers in India, which means that we also have a really strong, competent base to help us build those applications and solutions that are required by the Indian market. Secondly, we have a very strong footprint with the SMEs.
Furthermore, our larger customers in India are also working with technology like digital twin, which is a part of the Xcelerator and beyond that. There are already digitalisation implementations in India which can scale up using the advantages of Xcelerator. So, for sure, with Xcelerator there’s a big expectation that we are going to tap into new growth markets.
What are the main customer challenges that Xcelerator aims to address?
In an increasingly VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), world, Xcelerator will help customers manage fast-changing market environments, ever-increasing complexity, changing and disruptive business models, integration challenges, the need for flexibility and resilience; in addition, Xcelerator will also help customers to meet sustainability targets. In India, while some of the large businesses have been quick to transition into this digital world, many SMEs in the manufacturing sector are yet to put these digital technologies to work.
How will you address industries at the bottom of the pyramid issue in India?
The SME & MSME sector is a vital growth engine to the country’s economy. SMEs in India will be the greatest beneficiaries of the Xcelerator platform as it can help them to scale up, upgrade and adopt new designs and components much faster to stay competitive. The Xcelerator aims at providing them a unique platform and enabling them to utilise their full potential through Industry 4.0 technologies. It will give them access to cutting-edge tech solutions like cloud applications, flexible handling systems, AI-enabled decision support systems etc and advanced training to increase operational confidence and manage risks.
What is the relevance of the industrial metaverse in India?
Already today, we use many of the technologies that will define the metaverse: among them are 5G, AI, edge technologies and digital twins. In the industrial metaverse, companies of all sizes will be able to employ digital twins with real-time performance data and create innovative industrial IoT solutions. It will also offer enormous potential to transform our economies and industries.