Due to the internal pressures on different companies to cut down on cost and external demands to be more receptive to the needs of the customers, many manufacturers are looking towards the most advanced and latest networking capabilities as a means of achieving those objectives.
Research has shown that top performing manufacturers are moving into industrial Ethernet technology in other to connect their plant assets, manufacturing systems, and business systems to integrate manufacturing data from the plant floor to the office front. (Aberdeen group, 2011).
In the competitive world, Siemens faces major competitions from the likes of GE Energy, where different competitors exist for product lines like Aldstorm Grid and ABB for smart grids. (Martin, 2015).
Also in areas of product and services, the challenges faced by Siemens include resource inefficiency, climate protection, economic efficiency and getting reliable and dependable power supply. (Martin, 2015).
Alongside, the rail division is not left out as they also face competitions from many companies such as Bombardier, Hitachi, Alstom and CAF. (Martin, 2015).
Due to this, they are now putting gaps in the market in a bid to optimise network performance, operational performance and corporate performance. (Aberdeen group, 2011).
Siemens in the centre of a transformation as every business are concerned with becoming more digitalized. Networks like 3D printing, internet of things, mass customization, and big data are discussed at conferences and encompass the fundraising corner of start-ups.
However, these entities take on a different meaning for the Siemens company as the company prides themselves in putting maximum time and efforts as well as talents into combining information technology to the process by which it designs, builds and delivers its advanced sophisticated products. (Siemens.com, 2018).
Also, the company made its first ever telephone exchange in 1980 and gained a UK based defence and technology company called Plessy in 1988. Siemens continued to be in control of the company’s avionics, radar and traffic control businesses and all these were later sold off to the British Aerospace and a German Aerospace company. (Martin, 2015).
Following this, the Siemens Company continued to strive and develop interest in technology, energy and business and has thus acquired many network connections. Other competitors of Siemens are GE healthcare, Toshibar and Cerner. (Martin, 2015).
Some of the major factors that enabled Siemens Healthcare stay afloat of its competitions at a network level were:
· Innovation: Due to the large volume of patients and revenue spent on R, they were able to meet customer demands.
· Lifestyle value programme: This program was integrated into the company for the customers benefit; it helps them to gain the most from their investments by exposing them to support programs to develop their skills, increase productivity and capabilities ensuring better outcomes of patient. (Martin, 2015).
· Service delivery: Siemens uses the expert local services, training and logistics for delivery of services to their customers. The purpose of this idea is to combine personalised care and advanced services that are easily accessible.
· Customer Focus: This is the most important aspect and it means happy customer, better customer relationship and improved satisfaction and turnover and quality. (Martin, 2015).
Resolution of the tension:
“Our many years of experience in automation and communication technology means that we can offer special network designs that are precisely tailored to applications in the different industries”. A statement made by Herbert Wegmann, the general manager industrial communications and identification, Siemens. (Siemens.com, 2018).
The below statement made by Herbert Wegmann, the general manager industrial communications and identification, Siemens seeks to address the difficulties in the network sector and devising means of combating them. (Siemens.com, 2018).
According to Herbert, intelligent data analysis digitalization is an efficient way to reduce and optimise competitions be it in form of predictive planning and optimisation of manufacturing processes, improving resources and cost efficiency in the process industry or by fostering trail-blazing strategies for the energy supply system. (Siemens.com, 2018).
Examples such as the digital twin enables the company to design, stimulate, and optimise machine and plants before their implementation to everyday use. By so doing, there will be an increase in efficiency and productivity. (Siemens.com, 2018).
Therefore, having a very strong and agile industrial communication network is the key in this process as they make smooth the path towards digital enterprise by promoting a reliable and continuous exchange of information in real time, along the whole value chain and at all level of the company. (Siemens.com, 2018).
Moreover, the importance of the IT security is increasing in Ethernet-based networking through to field level. Since the risks of potential cyber-attacks in an automated system are more than the attacks posed on office networks, the solution is to provide an end-to-end and multi-level protection against both internal and external attacks in the form of ‘Defence in Depth’. Therefore, to optimise network security preventative measures will include checking all interfaces, checking remote access to the internet. (Siemens.com, 2018).