Connected Car Challenge

Connected Car Challenge Winners – Where Are They Now?

By | Automotive, Connected Cars, Innovation | No Comments

What is the Connected Car Challenge?

In late 2017, I introduced the idea of the Connected Car Challenge to the Vehicle IoT Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International).

The Connected Car Challenge is an open innovation competition. Participants—small, early-stage startup companies and individuals—propose, build and demonstrate an innovative connected-vehicle device, system, or application that demonstrates how vehicle connectivity can contribute to changing and improving mobility, quality of life of individuals and communities, and the environment.

The final stage of the competition took place during SAE’s WCX conference in April. Generous support from Amazon AWS, Dassault Systemes Solidworks and SAP Automotive allowed SAE to award the three winners substantial cash awards of  $10,000, $5,000 and $3000.

The motivation to hold the Connected Car Challenge is obvious. The auto industry is undergoing massive changes that will continue to shape its future for many years to come. More than ever before, technology and business innovation are coming not from the R&D and engineering department of traditional automakers and suppliers but from new entrants into the space. And while nontraditional megacompanies such as Intel, NVIDIA, and Google are driving much of the conversation, still much comes from small startups and even individuals. Nearly everyone is familiar with the mega-acquisition of Mobileye by Intel, but this is but one—albeit an exceptionally significant one—of many more to come. Read More

Triple Self Portrait (Norman Rockwell, 1960)

Digital Twins: Is More Better?

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy, PLM | No Comments

The Digital Twin

A digital twin is a live digital representation of a physical asset. It is a cyber-physical mockup that represents both the physical instance and its broad business context in which it operates, from inception to end of life.

The digital twin acts on behalf of connected physical objects by receiving alerts and notifications, sending instructions and updates, and providing real-time information on their state and health to the owners, operators, and maintainers of these assets.

The digital twin is an integral part of the assets’ lifecycle activities. Beyond enabling remote connectivity and control flow, a digital twin must be able to curate a rich decision-making context of a broad spectrum of information and lifecycle activities such as configuration, service entitlement, and maintenance and upgrade history.

Can I Get One, Too?

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The Treasure Trove (Anthonie Palamedesz)

SAP: How to Turn the Monkey on Your Back into an Asset

By | IT Strategy, Strategy | No Comments

SAP’s Enterprise Legacy

Software giant SAP boasts a rich portfolio of monolithic ERP applications that cover a broad range of enterprise business processes and policies. Over nearly half a century of continued growth, both organically and through acquisitions, SAP has established a strong presence across industries and business functions, and forged strong relationships with corporate top brass, especially in the CIO and CFO organizations.

But emerging technologies and changing business strategies are challenging the “Big ERP” market of yore. Enterprise digitalization, cloud computing, and Internet of Things-based business solutions are changing the way enterprises build IT systems and consume services. Traditional monolithic on-premise enterprise software is being replaced by cloud-based connected applications and mobile user interfaces.

In the era of lean and agile cloud-based applications threatening to displace worn-out on-premise systems, SAP needs to exploit new technologies and support cloud-based architectures and emerging business constructs. And in the eyes of some, it still needs to shake off the image of a provider of old-architecture software and stodgy mainframe-style user interfaces.  At the same time, SAP continues to support a very large installed base of more businesses and accompany them on the journey to adopt new technologies and business constructs.

This is a significant undertaking. Commenting on this, one SAP executive said: “our legacy is a great asset, but, at the same time, it can become a monkey on our back.”

How can SAP turn this monkey into a strategic asset? Read More

Alice Meets the Caterpillar (Sir John Tenniel, 1865)

Will The Rise In Computing Power Make Ubiquitous Artificial Intelligence A Reality?

By | Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning | No Comments

Like the Internet of Things that shed its drab M2M image to become the centerpiece of the digital transformation of industrial enterprises, artificial intelligence is sprouting a new life from its 50-plus years old roots. (Yes, we’ve been doing AI, admittedly with limited success, since the late 1950s.)

Conversations about AI seem to follow a course similar to that of the IoT narrative.  Initially, IoT pundits were obsessed with the ability to connect billions of “things” to the Internet. Not only did most of these predictions proved overly optimistic, but the connection between sheer connectivity and meaningful business outcomes was loose, at best.

Today’s IoT narrative shifted to focus on business outcomes enabled by the data generated by connected devices. Industry matured from counting conduits to measuring the value of their content. Read More

An Old Woman Weighing Gold Coins (Rembrandt School, 17th Century)

The ROI of IoT: Quantifying the Strategic Value of IoT

By | Internet of Things, Strategy | No Comments

The Digital Transformation: From Conduits to Content

In the earlier days of the Internet of Things, the industry was obsessed with the magnitude of the network and forecasting how many millions and billions connected “things” it will encompass. As it turned out, those predictions were mostly overblown, vague and inconsistent.

But the hypothetical ability to connect billions of devices to the Internet is of little or no consequence to most industrial companies. Of course, telecom companies, wireless carriers, and semiconductor manufacturers see growth opportunities across many industrial sectors, but these numbers are meaningless to an organization that is trying to harness the IoT to optimize and grow its business and its customers’ business.

The fascination with astronomical number of connected devices is finally subsiding and the conversation is moving gradually from data pipes and conduits to utilizing their content to create business value. Read More