At a recent panel discussion, I joined members from the Stratus partner ecosystem to talk on the topic of digital transformation (DX) and why a successful DX project can’t be delivered by one vendor alone. It takes a combination of expertise and technologies to support a full digital transformation journey and underpinning it all is the choice of computing platform. Over this blog series, I will be highlighting key components of an effective DX ecosystem and how those components must work together to create the most value and deliver the most powerful transformation. I’ll also look at the industry challenges that are solved through a holistic approach. Concluding the series will be examples of live deployments in a variety of industries.
So, what was the driving force behind the panel discussion?
All vendors worth their salt offer DX ready technologies. However, the reality is that the potential of a DX portfolio is only maximised through the complete integration of technology, processes and people.
Even taking a ‘best-of-breed’ approach, where end users buy a basket of parts and try to put them together, can be problematic. An example of this would be how Enterprise Resource Planning applications were deployed 20 years ago, with businesses quickly realising that their complex products and numerous plant-floor control systems couldn’t integrate into existing data platforms to provide contextual, actionable intelligence.
The panel discussion, facilitated by the First Friday Club Editors’ Briefings, was designed to draw focus away from specific digital transformation technology and focus instead on how top vendors can be brought together to become part of an ongoing digital transformation strategy and solution for end users. Together, the panel was challenged to show how they play their part in an ecosystem that meets the challenges of the ever-changing industrial landscape.
Successful digital transformation needs combined expertise
To showcase how the lifeblood of DX, seamless, real-time, contextualised data integration, requires technology and expertise from a number of partners, we joined a dream team of digital transformation partners. The world-class software portfolio of AVEVA was represented by their VP for Northern Europe Martin Levionnois, while leading industrial automation vendor Schneider Electric was represented by their Software Leader for UK and Ireland, Mazhar Hussain. Alongside myself, representing Stratus and our unrivalled Edge Computing solutions, was Sue Roche – General Manager of SolutionsPT who completed the panel by providing insight into the vital role of a trusted digital transformation services partner to bring such global vendors’ technologies to bear on a DX project.
It’s worth noting at this point that all four companies have worked together to offer a unique Edge Data Centre, namely the EcoStruxure Micro Data Centre, but I won’t go into details about this ground-breaking Edge solution as that will be the subject of the next blog. Instead, I want to focus on why the right Edge Computing platform lays the groundwork for an ecosystem approach to successful digital transformation.
I like to think that digital transformation can be compared to an athlete looking to maximise their performance. While there will always be an underlying regime of fitness and monitoring, each performance aspect must be assessed against strict standards. If an area is under-performing it is selected for improvement. Apply this same logic to a manufacturing setting and often the first area for improvement is the ability to gather and analyse machine or process performance data. Accurate and reliable data that can be stored on-site and presented in real-time will set the benchmark performance target. Only with this in place, collecting and processing data, can the next steps on the digital transformation journey continue.
With the backbone of data analysis and an ingrained DX culture, companies can accelerate digital transformation. Capabilities, for instance, like a digital twin of production to virtually simulate the impact of new equipment or process changes before they are implemented in the real world to boost efficiency. Stratus Technologies provides this backbone through our Edge Computing platforms, and it’s perfect for running world-class software from AVEVA, combined with industrial automation hardware from Schneider Electric, especially as part of a properly scoped digital transformation project from SolutionsPT.
We have talked a lot about selecting the best a company has to offer and combining it to create an ecosystem for true digital transformation. There are plenty of reasons why Stratus Technologies is chosen. Half of the Fortune 100 companies, 5 out of the world’s 10 largest beverage companies, and 4 of the 5 largest global credit card networks use Stratus platforms for our Always-On continuous availability. Our simple, protected, and autonomous Edge Computing platforms run a range of software applications from a variety of leading partners, and where we excel will always be the elimination of unplanned downtime, exemplified worldwide by our customers, who experience more than 99.999% availability. To find out more about how Stratus Edge Computing can become part of your DX ecosystem and underpin your DX journey, visit our strategic alliances page or contact me on LinkedIn. For more information about how Stratus Technologies seamlessly works with DX partners to solve industry issues, keep an eye out for the EcoStruxure Micro Data Centre with the ftServer blog available next month.