Business/economy

Open software platform for the smart home ABB, Bosch, and Cisco to Establish Joint Venture Partner ecosystem planned with appliance manufacturers

  • New software platform allows simple exchange of data between different types of devices enabling a new range of services
  • Partner alliance to be open to all appliance manufacturers and service providers
Mannheim/Stuttgart/Munich – ABB, Bosch, and Cisco plan to establish an international joint venture that will develop and operate an open software platform for smart home devices and applications. A shareholder agreement to this effect was signed on November 27, 2014. The joint venture is to be domiciled in Germany. The plan is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. The companies involved expect that the joint venture will be able to commence operations at the beginning of 2015.

For a home to be “smart,” it is crucial that all the appliances and systems in the home – e.g., washing machine, heating units, lamps or window blinds – can simply and securely exchange data with each other as well as with smartphones and tablets. The aim of the joint venture is to develop and operate an open software platform that will enable this simple exchange of data between different manufacturers’ devices. In the future, therefore, users will not have to worry about technological compatibility when operating their electric and electronic devices at home. The new platform will also make it possible to provide a range of services related to household devices, in areas such as energy management, security technology, and entertainment. This will help enable new business models: Software developers, for example, will be able to create a wide variety of apps for these areas of use.

In addition to developing and operating a software platform, the companies intend to invite appliance electronics manufacturers, home automation vendors, and service providers to join a business ecosystem. The business ecosystem will aim to facilitate collaboration and incorporate a wide range of user requirements when developing the software platform.

About Bosch
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group's products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. 92 percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

About ABB
In 2013, ABB Germany generated sales of EUR 3.37 billion with approximately 10,000 employees. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

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  • December 01, 2014
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Packaging Technology division: Bosch and Klenzaids plan joint venture in India Expansion of activities within pharmaceutical sector

  • Joint venture expected to employ some 380 associates
  • Product portfolios are an ideal complement to each other
  • Strengthening of global market presence, especially in liquid pharmaceuticals
Mumbai, India / Waiblingen, Germany. Processing and packaging specialist Bosch Packaging Technology and Klenzaids Contamination Controls Pvt. Ltd. are planning a joint venture in India. Both companies signed agreements to this effect on November 28, 2014. The plan is for Bosch to acquire a 49 percent share in Klenzaids, an owner-managed company that produces processing, packaging, and clean-room technology for the global pharmaceutical industry. By setting up the joint venture, the two partners aim to extend their global reach, particularly in liquid pharmaceuticals and packaging machines for clean-room environments. The Klenzaids and Bosch Packaging Technology product portfolios complement each other across the board. In particular, the joint venture will allow the companies to better satisfy Indian customers’ growing demand for complete lines from a single source. Based in Mumbai, Klenzaids generated sales of around six million euros in 2013 and employs some 350 people. Bosch Packaging Technology, which last year achieved global sales of 1.1 billion euros and employs some 5,600 associates worldwide, already has a presence in India through its Verna location in the state of Goa. The joint venture is set to be headquartered in Mumbai and is expected to employ some 380 associates. The plan is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities. The purchase price for the shares acquired by Bosch was not disclosed.

Better products and services for customers in India
The joint venture is being set up primarily to benefit Indian customers. Klenzaids will contribute its expertise in clean-room and processing technologies as well as peripheral systems, and Bosch will contribute its strength in innovative filling technologies. Klenzaids provides customers in the private and public sectors not just with plants, systems, and accessories but also with turnkey solutions: buildings and equipment that a customer can use as soon as they are built or assembled to process and package its particular product. These solutions include laboratories with the highest protection class for use in the field of biosafety.

Profitable growth and value orientation
Friedbert Klefenz, president of Bosch Packaging Technology, said: “We already have a long history of trusted collaboration with Klenzaids. The company is known for employing excellent people and for providing high-quality products and services. I am delighted at the prospect of a future together.” Hamish Shahani, managing director of Klenzaids, said: “Joining forces and pooling our resources will give us a stronger starting position in the emerging Indian market. Despite our different regional backgrounds, Bosch and Klenzaids have a lot in common. Both place great emphasis on profitable growth, innovative strength, reliability, a motivated workforce, and strong value orientation.”

Complete lines from a single source
Klenzaids is an Indian family-run business with a product portfolio that includes laboratory and transfer systems designed to meet clean-room requirements. These machines are indispensable for the sterile production of liquid pharmaceuticals. One of the company’s USPs is its ability to supply laboratories that meet biological safety class standards 2-4. Class 4 laboratories have to satisfy the highest safety requirements, such as being able to guarantee the absolute isolation of microorganisms from the environment. Among the company’s other strengths are isolators and processing technologies for the production of liquid pharmaceuticals.

Strategically important complement to Bosch’s Goa location
Bosch Packaging Technology has been developing, building, and selling vertical and horizontal flow wrapping machines for packaging food as well as filling and sealing machines for liquid pharmaceuticals at its location in Verna since 2012. To date, Bosch Packaging Technology has sold over 1,500 packaging machines to leading brand companies in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Steffen Berns, president of Bosch India, said: “Following the inauguration of our manufacturing unit in Verna, this is the second milestone for our packaging technology business in two years. I am extremely confident that this new partnership will further strengthen our product portfolio and market reach. The activities of both parent companies dovetail perfectly, and our pharmaceuticals unit as well as our customers will benefit immensely from this joint venture.”

Klenzaids Contamination Controls Private Limited, founded in 1978 and based in Mumbai, is a leading supplier of clean-rooms, pharmaceutical machinery, accessories and delivers regulatory compliant turnkey, "design-build” projects to the pharmaceutical and life-science industry. Additional services and training support the customers to comply to manufacturing techniques and practices under international regulatory norms. From its headquarter located in Mumbai with support centers in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune and its manufacturing facilities at Umbergaon, South Gujarat, India, a team of 350 dedicated and experienced employees serve customers in India and in export markets such as United States of America, Canada, Poland, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, and Italy.

Additional information is available online at www.klenzaids.com

Based in Waiblingen near Stuttgart, Germany, and employing 5,600 associates, the Bosch Packaging Technology division is one of the leading suppliers of process and packaging technology. At over 30 locations in more than 15 countries worldwide, a highly-qualified workforce develops and produces complete solutions for the pharmaceuticals, food, and confectionery industries. These solutions are complemented by a comprehensive after-sales service portfolio. A global service and sales network provides customers with local points of contact.

Additional information is available online at www.boschpackaging.com

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group's products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

Further information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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  • December 01, 2014
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The company suggestions scheme turns 90 Bosch: Associates' ideas save 395 million euros From a “suggestions book” to global ideas management

  • Company founder Robert Bosch introduced the suggestions book in 1924
  • Two associates at Bosch foundry have received the highest possible cash reward of 150,000 euros
  • Christoph Kübel, Bosch director of industrial relations: “Associates' ideas enhance our innovative strength”
Stuttgart – For 90 years now, Bosch has systematically benefited from its associates' creativity and innovative spirit. In the past ten years in Germany alone, the company has saved some 395 million euros thanks to suggestions for improvement made by its associates. Last year, the global supplier of technology and services paid out 7.7 million euros to associates at locations across Germany in reward for their ideas, which had saved Bosch some 33 million euros. In total, a good 21,900 associates submitted their suggestions, an increase of 2.4 percent over the previous year. In the fall of 1924, Robert Bosch announced the launch of a company suggestions book. In so doing, he laid the foundation stone for what has since become a global ideas management program. His aim was to “perfect work processes and improve products, or reduce the cost of producing and managing them.” Bosch recently received the 2014 DeutschenIdeenPreis (German idea prize) for the best ideas management program in the automotive supplier category.

“The creativity of our associates continues to fuel our innovative strength,” said Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, on the occasion of the anniversary. “The experience, creativity, and proactive thinking of each associate makes us more competitive and leads to better products. Often, small ideas that are beyond the scope of everyday tasks can make a big difference,” Kübel said. According to Kübel, such ideas are also the product of a working culture that values cultural diversity and promotes creativity.

Ideas management: more than making suggestions
At Bosch, associates at every location are encouraged to submit suggestions for improvement. Ideas can include, for instance, ways of optimizing operations, improving product quality, avoiding waste, or promoting environmental protection. Associates are also encouraged to submit ideas that may even go beyond their direct areas of responsibility. If an improvement is implemented and results in cost savings, the associates concerned are given a cash reward of up to 150,000 euros. In addition to this company suggestion scheme, Bosch also relies on systematic ideas generation. “We don't just submit suggestions, but also generate ideas,” said Peter Schmid, who is charge of the Bosch Group's ideas management program. “For example, coordinators attend workshops to learn how they can use creativity techniques to actively support associates at their locations. Knowledge platforms, advisory services, networks, workshops, and further training can contribute to continuous improvement.” Associates can even train to become “Bosch Innovation Agents.”

Clever ideas – making clogged pipes a thing of the past
Two associates at the Bosch site in Lohr, Germany, received the highest possible cash prize of 150,000 euros. Ferdinand Schneider and Xhafer Istrefi, who work at a foundry of the Bosch Drive and Control Technology division, came up with an inexpensive way to clean pipes through which molten steel flows: they use oxygen. “In the past, clogged pipes resulted in frequent down-time, and there were often delays before the next processing steps could take place,” Schneider says. The two associates went ahead and improved the process, without thinking of a potential cash reward. “We didn't submit our idea as a suggestion for improvement until we noticed while testing it out that production numbers had improved,” Istrefi says.

U.S. plant in Charleston: leading the field in ideas management
The suggestions scheme that the company founder Robert Bosch introduced in Germany is now part of a comprehensive ideas management program. Designing and implementing customized idea generation shapes the basis of innovation. Today, Bosch ideas management is successful around the world. The program comprises a network of more than 60 coordinators, who support Bosch locations in systematically coming up with ideas for improvements. This is in addition to the ideas that associates come up with by chance. The Charleston location in the United States has been especially successful of late. HR boss Kübel described the plant as having by far the best ideas management. In Germany, the Ansbach plant leads the field.

Suggestions for improvement 2.0 – standardized ideas management around the world
In the future, ideas management around the world will be even simpler. Many associates can already submit ideas electronically, and now the different IT systems used at Bosch locations in Germany and beyond are set to be standardized. At the Jaipur site in India, for instance, an online system has already been introduced. At easily accessible terminals, each associate can see whether or not their supervisor has already looked at their idea, and whether it has already been put into practice. At Bosch, today's ideas management program reflects the words of Robert Bosch, which continue to inspire associates around the world: “We should all strive to improve on the status quo: none of us should ever be satisfied with what they have achieved, but should always endeavor to get better.”

Internet:
Bosch as an employer: www.bosch-career.de
Diversity at Bosch: http://bit.ly/1485Zrk
DeutscherIdeenPreis: http://bit.ly/1FV1Gjf

Audio:
Robert Bosch (in German): “Always strive to improve”: http://bit.ly/1sj5Lo8
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  • November 24, 2014
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Dual education system in Asia German Minister visits new Bosch training center in Vietnam

  • Proven Bosch occupational training model paves the way for professional competence development
  • Some 50 Bosch trainees in Vietnam since the center opened one year ago
  • Demand for qualified skilled workers rising in Asian growth markets
Ho Chi Minh City/Stuttgart – Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, visited Bosch's training center in Vietnam today. Last year, the company became the first to introduce occupational training based on the tried-and-tested German “dual system” in Vietnam. Since then, some 50 young Vietnamese men and women have taken the first step toward their future careers by training to become industrial mechanics at Bosch. The occupational training model combines theoretical instruction at a vocational school with practical training at the company.

“The strong economic relations between Vietnam and Germany are boosting demand for an increasingly well-trained Vietnamese workforce,” Gabriel said during his visit to Bosch as part of his trip to this year's Asia Pacific Conference of German Business in Vietnam. “Initiatives such as Bosch's cooperation with a local vocational school are breaking new ground in vocational training in Vietnam.” Vietnam's prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung has also expressly encouraged Bosch to promote the system's further development in the country.

High demand for Bosch occupational training model in Asia
At Bosch, vocational training can look back on a long tradition. Robert Bosch set up the first occupational training department at his company in 1913. Today, the supplier of technology and services is training some 6,900 apprentices in a total of 20 countries. Nearly 2,000 of those apprentices are based outside Germany.

In Asia especially, the need for qualified skilled workers is growing at an increasingly rapid pace. “For Bosch, Asia Pacific is an important growth region. We see professional competence development both as a part of our localization strategy and as essential for our growing business in this dynamic region,” said Peter Tyroller, the Bosch board of management member responsible for Asia Pacific. Over the past ten years, Bosch has more than doubled its sales in Asia Pacific to 11.1 billion euros. The company aims to double its sales in the region again by 2020. In addition to large countries such as China and India, the growth markets of Southeast Asia are set to make an increasing contribution to this development.

Along with the center in Vietnam, six other Bosch locations in Asia offer training according to the German model. In Thailand, the “dual system” was introduced in 2013. In China, Bosch opened the first of four training centers in 2007. The center of excellence for vocational training in India has been in existence since 1961 and has repeatedly been named the best in the country. In light of the increasing competition for the best people, Bosch plans to continue opening additional training centers around the world in the future.

Bosch in Vietnam
Bosch has been present in Vietnam since 1994 and opened its first branch office in Ho Chi Minh City in 2008. Since July 2014, Bosch's headquarters in Vietnam have been located in Dang Nai province. The Bosch plant in Dong Nai produces pushbelts for continuously variable transmissions. In 2010, Bosch set up its first software engineering center in southeast Asia. Located in Ho Chi Minh City, the center employs around 650 associates. In July 2014, Bosch opened an additional development center for automotive technology there. Altogether, Bosch currently employs some 2,000 associates in Vietnam.
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  • November 20, 2014
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