Technology giant Siemens re-organises to excel in African industry sector
German conglomerate Siemens focuses on three main areas; industry, energy, and healthcare. In each of these areas, technology is at the core of all its operations. Professor Siegfried Russwurm is the Chairman of the Board for Siemens, as well as the Managing Board Member responsible for Africa, and the CEO of Siemens’ global Industry Sector.
As from 1 October 2011, Siemens’ Industry Sector is to be re-organised in order to help enhance the industrial productivity and energy efficiency of key industries on the continent. Russwurm explains more.
“As globalisation increases, our world is becoming more interconnected, not only from a technological perspective, but also in economical and logistical terms,” he states.
For companies operating on the African continent – and indeed players in all of Africa’s key industries – this trend towards globalisation means they must streamline their production processes in order to hold their own against global competition. “It’s about ensuring the efficiency and affordability of production processes while increasing the speed at which high quality products are manufactured,” Russwurm believes.
African industries are confronted with the same challenges as those in other regions around the world. Development cycles in the manufacturing industry are becoming shorter, while the complexity of products and associated volumes of data during the product life cycle are becoming shorter.
Added to this, energy is becoming a significant cost factor while resources are becoming scarcer. Moreover, the environmental requirements are becoming increasingly stringent. Customers expect comprehensive solutions from a single source and service activities are demanded over the entire lifecycle of the product.
“Because Siemens has a presence across 190 countries worldwide, we have the relevant expertise to address the challenges on the continent. We have a wealth of global knowledge and experience. In addition Siemens has the capacity to provide tailor-made products, solutions and services across key markets in Africa, such as the mining, water and waste water, automotive and petrochemical industries, as well as all areas of factory and process automation,” Russwurm reveals.
He points out that it is only with a thorough understanding of the processes and requirements that are unique to the African market, whilst partnering with clients on the ground, that companies operating in the African environment can provide the relevant services to their clients.
“It’s also important to bear in mind that innovation cycles have become shorter which puts the industry under additional pressure when competing in global business arenas. For all of these reasons, Siemens has taken a global decision to reorganise its Industry Sector,” Russwurm informs.
“The Siemens Industry Sector will now comprise the Industry Automation Division (IA) and Drive Technologies (DT), incorporating Industry Solutions. Customer Services will form a separate division and address the technology based services for industrial customers,” he continues.
But what will the reorganisation mean for the service arena? “Siemens will continue to forge ahead with its service and retrofitting business, since this market offers high growth potential. This is true for the more product-orientated service activities: the product and lifecycle services (LS) as well as IA and DT. However, it also applies to value added services (VS) which include consulting, remote condition monitoring, condition based maintenance and energy efficiency programs,” Russwurm explains.
The re-organisation of the Industry Sector also answers the call of the market for an end-to-end offering from a single source. “We will be able to offer vertical market customers individual products and specific partial solutions to complete our services and system integration,” he adds. In this way, Siemens will have the agility to adapt its offering to create the ideal fit for each customers’ individual strategy – without the need for cross divisional co-ordination processes.
The benefits of the process operate on two levels. “From a Siemens perspective, co-ordination efforts will be greatly reduced. In addition, customers will profit from fewer interfaces, creating added value to Siemens’ offering and increased customer loyalty,” Russwurm maintains. “It’s an end-to-end approach, which outlines clear responsibilities for supporting customers. Individual products or services or complete systems originate from a single source.”
Russwurm believes that in a climate where rising energy costs and stricter environmental regulations are a reality, energy efficiency is the deciding factor when it comes to economic efficiency and growth.
Siemens’ commitment to the environment and sustainability is evidenced in its Environmental Portfolio, a range of products and services aimed at energy efficiency. “We have created innovative technologies and solutions that reduce energy requirements over a product’s lifecycle while reducing energy costs and ensuring a rapid return on investment,” Russwurm reveals.
He believes that productivity and energy efficiency work hand in hand to ensure a significant competitive advantage in any industry. “After all, efficiency gains are profits which pay off repeatedly,” he adds.
The products and solutions available within the Siemens Environmental Portfolio aim to assist Siemens customers to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, bring down their energy costs and enhance business success through greater productivity. “In this way, we are also driving the growth of Siemens,” says Russwurm.
Through a process of intense research and development, Russwurm points out that “green” products will become more affordable in the future. “That said, the price of the product is not the only thing to consider. One should also weigh up the costs for the complete product lifecycle.
"For example, in the case of electric drives, 95 percent of the overall costs derive from the electricity costs, with the actual purchase price accounting for a mere three percent. This is particularly pertinent when one considers that the latest generation of energy efficient electrical drives consume 45 percent less energy – a sizable saving potential,” he notes.
Indeed, Siemens as a global market player is cognisant of the opportunities that abound on the African continent.
Evidence of the continents’ importance in the global economy is the fact that at the end of 2011, the United Nations the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17, known informally as the Earth Summit) will be hosted in Durban, South Africa. This is the first time the global climate change conference will be held in Africa.
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.