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ProSTEP iViP Symposium 2016: How to master the challenge of digital transformation?

May - Darmstadt - Top of the agenda at the ProSTEP iViP Symposium was Digital Transformation and the question of how successful companies have to adjust their business processes and models in order to meet this challenge. The two-day event, which was sponsored by Daimler and Accenture, lured more than 660 participants from 19 countries to the International Congress Centrum Stuttgart (ICS) – a new visitor record and the largest visitor turnout for years in a row. The fact that more than one-third of the attendees visited the symposium for the first time, proves that the traditional ‘family event’ of IT managers from the automobile and aerospace industry is also well received by the next generation.

The key issues on this year’s agenda, which included 46 keynotes, lectures and in-depth workshops, were Industry 4.0, Digital Manufacturing, Model-Based Systems Engineering and Cross-Company Collaboration. 36 software manufacturers and service providers presented their solutions at the accompanying exhibition, also setting a new record. Some of these companies just joined the association.

"The high response rate and growing number of participants clearly indicates that the ProSTEP iViP Symposium has become well established internationally as THE conference on topics related to Product and Application Lifecycle Management. Nowhere is professional exchange and networking so actively encouraged and promoted", emphasized Dr. Steven Vettermann, General Manager of the ProSTEP iViP Association. He stressed that the digitalization of products and processes will remain the central topic in future events because of its relevance not only for the automobile and aerospace industry but for other industries as well.

In leading industries of the German economy the digital race has just begun, said Dr. Frank Riemensperger, General Manager of Accenture GmbH. He recommended to start with the digitalization of manufacturing but to not let it go at that. He stated that the world of smart services and new business models is more decisive for a company’s success than operational efficiency in manufacturing. In this context, he said, it is important to control the platforms, where the data of smart products runs together.

The development of smart products and services requires new tools and methods such as Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), which was once again an important topic on the agenda. The lectures indicated however, that most companies are still at a very early stage when it comes to the anchoring of MBSE in their processes. Toyota has even developed its own methodology for function-oriented structure modelling, to better address the needs of their mechanics.

The digital transformation will affect not only the business processes of companies, but it will also change their IT strategy and environment, explained Helmut Schütt, Chief Information Officer (CIO) Trucks, Busses & Vans at Daimler in his keynote. According to him there will be a two-speed IT system in the future, featuring a stable PLM backbone and agile apps, in an effort to ensure faster solutions for their customers. The roadmap of ThyssenKrupp AG, presented by Dr. Michael Picard, aims at establishing a similar system. The ThyssenKrupp industrial group and CONTACT Software will sponsor the next ProSTEP iViP Symposium, which will be held on 17-18 May 2017 at the Colosseum Theatre in Essen, Germany.

The highlight of this year’s symposium was the news, that the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will take over the patronage for the interoperability initiative Code of PLM Openness (CPO) of the ProSTEP iViP Association. The Federal Government thereby underlines the importance of interoperability for the international competitiveness of the German industry, stressing its indispensability for providing smart products and services that can be used all over the world.


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