Pushing the Industrial IoT envelope… coming soon to Asia?
The many years that Sanjay Brahmawar spent working with customers to solve specific industry problems – in oil and gas, manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and other industrial sectors – is just one of many skillsets he brings to the table as Software AG’s new CEO. Just a few days into his second month as chief when EITN interviewed him in KL, Sanjay is on a 100-day tour of Software AG around the world to learn and understand the German-based business he currently heads up.
Sanjay outlined what would be keeping him busy at least till the end of the year. He said, “Being able to define the challenges, opportunities, and ideas we have in terms of capitalising the market potential – the first 100 days is really about identifying that.
“And that means working on two things, which is delivering our product commitment for the year, and defining the go-forward strategy by building on the strengths we have.”
In a way, Sanjay is also building upon experiences he has gathered in the industry over the past 19 years. He takes over as the first Asian CEO at Software AG, but his experience and background is undoubtedly international, having lived and work in various parts of Europe, and significantly holding global executive roles as well.
His last role was as GM of Global Revenue of IBM Watson Internet of Things, where he had to set up its global centre in Munich, an industrial base and focal point for an ecosystem of industrial and automotive suppliers such as BMW, Daimler and more.
“The thing about cognitive technologies like IBM Watson is you (have to) apply them to a large set of data and IoT is all about collecting a lot of data from devices,” Sanjay said.
In 2025, there is an estimated 35 to 45 billion devices that will come online, and the amount of data that is about to be generated is beyond massive.
As it is, there is already a lot of data that the industry is collecting and Sanjay pointed out, “So, the question is how do we get insights from them?”
All of this aligns extremely well with what Software AG started 14 years ago, when former CEO Karl-Heinz Streibich established the company’s global digitalisation business.
Sanjay opined, “It’s a great portfolio. And Software AG is combining our core strengths in integration and middleware with the Internet of Things.
“That’s what’s exciting. It ties in well to my experience and industry background, and where we are taking our company in the future.”
He explained that collecting data is basic. But the magic happens when artificial intelligence, tools and capabilities are used to translate all of that data into value for customers.
One very good recent example is their joint venture with machine builders in Germany. ADAMOS (ADAptive Manufacturing Open Solutions) sees the strategic alliance between industrial and IT software leaders, namely DMG MORI, Dürr, Software AG and ZEISS as well as ASM.
That’s a combined install base containing several hundreds of thousands of machines and systems.
Sanjay described, “These machine builders connect their machines onto our IoT platform. Data is collected via sensors and we have intelligent models applied to them.” This enables, for example a predictive maintenance service that is based on the condition of the machines, monitored in real time, instead of based on a maintenance schedule.
“We are in the market of digital transformation, and you can collect data from devices and assets, but to really make intelligence out of that data you have to combine it with your existing systems which could be your ERP, your CRM and more. The only way to do that; and with an IoT platform; is with integration capabilities.
“And that’s where Software AG’s Digital Business Platform comes in.”
But it doesn’t end there.
The company is systematically building upon their core capabilities and experience in integration and middleware, by acquiring capabilities in IoT, artificial intelligence, and analytics.
With a mindset to strategically acquire technologies that will enhance their portfolio, the new CEO sees tremendous opportunity to support their customers in their digitalisation initiatives.
Sanjay is the fifth CEO in a previously all-German line up, but he embraces the international dimension he now brings to the second largest software vendor in Germany.
“We are in 70 countries, we support customers globally, and we have a client base that is very global. Thirty-percent of our business is in North America.
“So, our international exposure and international way of working is very critical for our success.”
When it comes to the Asia region, he said, “I want to ensure we bring the full power of Software AG here.” That means making the company’s product and industry expert resources that are located outside Asia, accessible to customers located within Asia.
This is demonstrated by the German company making Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia their hub from which they also serve their international client base, with R&D, customer support and global consulting located here as well.
Sanjay concluded, “We are growing in this region and as we grow, we will invest more to be able to stay ahead.”