Things, users, companies, and partners linked in a single network
Secure and fail-safe
Easily integrated in existing IT infrastructures
Berlin – Bosch Software Innovations has released a new version of its software suite. Version V1.5 is specifically designed for realizing projects in the Internet of Things (IoT) and for enterprise applications including Business Process Management and Business Rules Management. A unified networking approach is used to link things, users, companies, and partners, both on an IT level and in terms of business processes. This provides the basis for many different industry solutions and applications, ranging from predictive maintenance for Industry 4.0 and the provision of a networked charging infrastructure for e-mobility services to the interconnection of decentralized power generation units to form a virtual power plant. The software suite is equally suitable for implementing traditional enterprise applications such as fleet or insurance management. The Bosch Software Innovations Suite has a modular architecture and offers adaptable components for Device Management (M2M), Business Process Management (BPM), and Business Rules Management (BRM).
“People share cars, generate their own energy for their homes, and use their smartphones to control central heating and domestic appliances – and these are just some of the many areas in which the Internet of Things opens up entirely new possibilities,” says Dr. Stefan Ferber, who is responsible for product and portfolio strategy at Bosch Software Innovations GmbH. “As a result, the products and services we use every day at home and at work are becoming increasingly interlinked, even those that were previously completely unrelated. This paves the way to new business models, but also places new demands on the companies that operate in these sectors, and on the design of the networked devices. Our new software suite enables device manufacturers and service providers to meet this challenge.”
The solution is based on the principle of “modeling instead of programming,” hence its model-based architecture. No programming skills are required thanks to a graphical user interface, which enables end users in the various specialist departments to create and activate their own processes, as well as to administer access rights and play a role in the setup process. An added advantage of the software suite is that it can be easily integrated in existing IT infrastructures.
Modular suite provides greater efficiency and flexibility The software suite consists of a Common Environment (CE) and separate components for Device Management (M2M), Business Process Management (BPM), and Business Rules Management (BRM). As Ferber points out: “Given the unprecedented speed at which the business world is changing, new requirements often mean that, instead of having to optimize just a few processes, the whole set of existing workflows needs to be reworked. The model-based approach employed in our software suite gives companies the necessary flexibility to respond to each case as required.” The separate components within the suite interoperate in a coordinated manner, enabling companies to deploy the solution across the full scope of their operations.
Management and networking of devices, processes, and business rules The M2M component of the software suite provides device management functions that allow devices to be integrated in business processes on the basis of predefined rules. This creates a platform for interconnecting distributed things and devices in order to create effective functions for the Internet of Things. The BPM component allows you to formulate precisely fitting and flexible processes, which in turn will allow you to accelerate your operations and increase your productivity. It also makes it possible to integrate existing business processes in a wide range of heterogeneous IT infrastructures – an important factor in the successful implementation of IoT and business scenarios. The BRM component enables you to organize your business logic by grouping decision paths and business rules. Its processing functions for business rules cover all process elements from creation to administration, optimization, and maintenance. Additional product components necessary for the smooth integration of M2M, BPM, and BRM are included in the Common Environment (CE), for example security features, the administration of access rules, and authentication and authorization checks.
Bosch is a leading supplier and leading user of connected industry
Bosch pools its own expertise and benefits from a broad-based footing
The real Industry 4.0 revolution is in business models
Hannover – “At Bosch, we’re not just making connected industry a reality, it already is – and its future is bright around the world.” These were the words of Bosch board of management member Dr. Werner Struth at the CeBIT Global Conference. The technology and services company is relying on its own expertise and on its broad-based footing to implement connected industry (“Industry 4.0”). “We have all the competencies we need to turn connected industry into reality, both for ourselves and for our customers and partners,” Struth continued. Bosch is not only a leading supplier but also a leading user of these technologies. The company already offers software and hardware solutions for connected industry, and has successfully introduced aspects of connected industry at its own plants, including standardized data exchange between companies.
Exploratory approach and broad-based footing “Worldwide, we’re currently running some 50 pilot projects to put beneficial use cases for connected industry to the test,” said Struth, whose responsibilities as a member of the Bosch board of management include manufacturing systems. The company’s approach is both centralized and decentralized: it gives the various projects attached to different Bosch units a great deal of freedom in how the functional specifics of each use case are defined. Meanwhile, it sets up a central organizational unit to act as global coordinator for the various initiatives, in particular as regards a unified software and hardware architecture. “Working in this way allows us to realize economies of scale in how we grow our knowledge base,” Struth continued. “The exploratory approach we’re taking leads to new, inspiring, and innovative solutions.” He went on to say that from the user’s point of view it is important for technical standards to be defined that allow easy configuration of systems, and that it is also essential to give due weight to security considerations.
With more than 260 manufacturing sites worldwide, Bosch has extensive manufacturing know-how, stretching from the manufacturing of millions of automotive components to the customized manufacturing of packaging machinery. This know-how is complemented by the software expertise of the company’s own software and systems unit, Bosch Software Innovations.
The real revolution is in business models Struth pointed out that the current phase is centered on two key tasks. One of them is to develop further enablers for connected industry, for instance data recording and transmission using RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags or web-enabled sensors, along with data mining. The other task is to develop beneficial use cases and new business models. “In what people are calling the fourth industrial revolution, the real revolution will be in new business models. And those who stand to gain from connected industry are those who can develop user-oriented solutions,” Struth stressed.
Success of networked solutions depends on high level of benefit
Second conference planned for 2015
New alliances for the internet of things
Stuttgart/Berlin – If the internet of things is to gain widespread acceptance, its main focus has to be a high level of benefit. This was the message from the Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner at the “Bosch ConnectedWorld” conference in Berlin. Held on February 5 and 6, this was the first conference of its kind. Attended by more than 400 experts, it focused on smart batteries, smart homes, and smart sensors.
Huge market potential The delegates agreed that the internet of things opens up huge market potential. By 2015, Bosch expects that roughly 75 percent of the global population will have access to the internet, and that six billion things will already be connected to the web. This growth is happening at a high exponential rate.
The opportunities presented by smart factories On the internet of things, parts and machines can also exchange information, allowing industrial manufacturing to be made more flexible. This will effectively create “smart factories” which are expected to lead to considerable increases in productivity, with opportunities opening up for German industry both as a supplier and a user. “The internet of things, and the smart factories that go with it, has the potential to create and preserve jobs in a high-wage location such as Germany,” Denner said. In this context, Bosch expects to see many new alliances, including between companies that have so far had nothing to do with each other.
Cross-industry conference Delegates to the Berlin conference – which included speakers from Cisco, BMW, McKinsey, Vodafone, and the University of St. Gallen – came from a wide range of industries, and from companies of all sizes. “This also shows how important alliances are for putting connected solutions into practice – all of us expect to see new alliances among completely new partners who have hitherto worked in completely different domains,” said Dr. Rainer Kallenbach of Bosch Software Innovations. This subsidiary, the group's software and systems unit, employs 600 associates. It also organized the conference. A second conference is planned for 2015.
A wealth of opportunities for Bosch The internet of things and services will change business and society. The technological basis already exists: tiny radio sensors can automatically record the status of any object and transmit this over the internet. Using the right software, this data can be evaluated and used as the basis for decisions. This opens the door to a whole new world of business models. As Kallenbach emphasized, this means a wealth of opportunities for Bosch: “The internet of things is not only relevant for industry, but also for mobility, energy, smart homes, and smart cities. Right now, Bosch is unsurpassed when it comes to covering this breadth and depth of applications – from the tiniest sensor to the connected city.”