I read something the other day: today is the future’s past.
And I thought about that for a bit and decided to turn it around to machine builders. Today you deliver machines to end users that utilize your machines to make things. Tomorrow that end user will want more from that machine. How will you deliver it? Because if you don’t, you will really be in the past.
Part of the answer lies in Secure Remote Access. Part of it lies in trust between you and the end user (who by the way is your customer, if you haven’t figured that out).
As part of Automation Fair Rockwell Automation sponsored a “Global OEM/Machine Builder Forum”. Cisco participated in that, via Jeff Reed, VP Product Management, Unified Access Business Unit. I am not in any way summarizing that Forum, but there were 8 different machine builders on the panel. And when asked what they saw as their priorities, they responded:
Service and Support
Safety and Training
They all reinforced that the single biggest challenge was to get IT on the same page. To understand the business value of secure remote access.
That tells me we have some education to do.
Lets start here: Secure (means you know who is on the network and when and what they do) Remote (means they are not physically on site or in your plant) Access (means they are on your network – that implies trust on mutual parts). “They” can be a trusted employee, a trusted partner, a trusted vendor.
From a machine builder perspective the more diagnostics you can get from the machine, the more you can help your end user (think of Services revenue). You can also upgrade the machine, should the user elect to allow you. Without sending an engineer.
From an end user perspective you gain efficiency, performance, and you still control who is there. And if you give them access, you control what they get access to. And if you elect, you can let your machine builder upgrade your machine either at their request or yours.
It is all about cost efficient productivity. You can choose tomorrow or the past. Today is already gone.