Why platforms need success stories

KI Service - Industrie 4.0

By Nils Klute, Specialist IT Editor and IoT Project Manager at eco – Association of the Internet Industry

Service-Meister relies on open platforms and an AI-based ecosystem. Now a workshop for the development of the first data products has begun. we will be accompanying the experts as they exchange views in a two-part series. Part 1: Why platforms need success stories.

In 2009, Angry Birds was the top-ranking iPhone game. Developed by the Finnish company Rovio Entertainment, the app debuted on Apple’s smartphone. The game not only continues its success story today thanks to its legendary game design, but it is also firmly connected with the market power of the iOS platform. “At the time, the app may have been what led some customers to buy an iOS device in the first place,” said Dr. Alexander Löser of Beuth University. Together with Dr. Florian Wilhelm from inovex and Prof. Steffen Staab from the University of Stuttgart, Löser invited the Service-Meister Consortium to a virtual workshop. After all, no matter whether it’s a mobile game or an AI app, at Service-Meister the success of the artificially intelligent (AI) ecosystem depends on the data products that companies will build for maintenance. Experts exchanged views on this online with use case practitioners.

Europe and Germany: Potential for open B2B platforms

Seamless offers, attractive digital services and innovative subscription services – today, large platform operators such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple are showing what makes for success and where the opportunities lie. Although platforms from China and Asia lead the B2C market worldwide, in the B2B segment the potential for Europe and a project like Service-Meister is evident. “Whether it’s mechanical engineering, logistics or chemicals – industries like these are still accessible as platform markets for local companies,” Löser said. “Companies must make the right decisions now and invest for the long term.” SAP’s success story shows what this can look like. The software company from Walldorf dominates the global market with its B2B data products and platforms for corporate real-time resource management.

It keeps systems available, corrects faults remotely and supports service technicians with intelligent tools. “The data products from Service-Meister are designed to minimize risks and uncertainties in complex processes,” said Löser. This is a characteristic that will make the Consortium’s results very interesting for service users. Take Kaeser, for example: The compressor specialist minimizes risks for its customers by offering compressed air as a service as part of a rental model. Users keep manufacturing equipment available and reduce investment costs. And Service-Meister is no different: “With the data products, we can ultimately ensure the runtime of a machine,” said Löser. An example is given by Consortium partner Würth: If a drill malfunction can be predicted, then a replacement can be arranged just-in-time.

Practical for providers, advantageous for customers

From “power by the hour” to “pay per finished product” and “guaranteed uptime”, smart data products are making new business models possible. Supply and demand then come together via platforms. This is practical for the providers because they can focus less on sales and more on their core business. It’s also interesting for customers because they can access a flourishing marketplace. Furthermore, platforms make customers visible meaning that providers can better tailor their products to target groups.

One thing is certain: The future belongs to intelligent data products in industrial services as well. Eight out of ten companies see immediate added value for their own productivity in this service. And, as shown by a 2019 study by Lünendonk, more and more German companies expect service providers to bring intelligence to their services.

In the second blog post about the workshop, you’ll find out where the pitfalls lie in the development of data products, what data companies need and how management can be convinced of the value of digital services. After all: “Successful data-driven services require a structured and strategic approach´,” said Dr. Florian Wilhelm of inovex..

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