Anyone that missed the importance of the “ecosystem” to Wonderware’s strategy had to have dozed off during Chief Executive Officer Sudipta Bhattacharya’s keynote address at the company’s WonderWorld 2008 North America user conference Oct. 6-10 in Las Vegas.
Building on the keynote of Vice President of Global Product Management Rashesh Mody on Tuesday, who laid out the product roadmap and the concept of the partner ecosystem, Bhattacharya addressed “Wonderware 2.0.”
One of the problems that has made today’s mortgage crisis so bad was that even though front-line workers knew what was happening, there was no mechanism for them to be heard—no transparency. In the “Road Ahead” for Wonderware (www.wonderware.com), a Lake Forest, Calif.-based manufacturing software supplier, the mission is to empower production workers by making manufacturing information transparent, and giving them input mechanisms that can flag the attention of management.
Most of the seeds of innovation will come from outside the company, continued Bhattacharya. Herein lies the power of the partner ecosystem termed “collaborative innovation.” Theorists say that ecosystems will co-evolve into multi-firm, decentralized, interdependent, collaborative communities. This is the newest form of organizing. To this end, Wonderware is trying out several new media—Web-based tools to help partners, integrators and Wonderware people share ideas. The company is also implementing a plan by which eventually, an integrator or partner who develops a vertical industry solution or software object can put it into the ecosystem and allow it to be sold through Wonderware to a far broader market than they otherwise might.
Partners should have confidence in working with Wonderware for several reasons, Bhattacharya concluded. First, the company has grown 20 percent in the past year. It is backed by a strong owner—London-based Invensys plc. And the company is ranked first or second in every market that it serves, according to independent analysts.
During a follow up meeting with Automation World, Bhattacharya and Pankaj Mody, vice president of product development, mentioned that building such an ecosystem as a way to go to market is not efficient. Indeed, it may be a little messy. But it is the most effective way to organize.
In product news, Wonderware announced availability of the latest version of its mobile workforce and decision support system. The Wonderware IntelaTrac system includes configurable software and ruggedized mobile hardware solutions that enable workflow, procedural and general task management capabilities focused on plant operations, maintenance management, production tracking and compliance applications.
It can be operated using Smartphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), rugged handheld computers, laptops and personal computerds (PCs) to enhance the productivity of mobile workers. The integration of IntelaTrac into the Wonderware portfolio is the first significant result of the recent acquisition of SAT Corp. in August 2008.
In other news, the company announced expansion of its Wonderware Innovation Partner Program with a new tier of “endorsed” systems integrators. The selected SI partners have demonstrated their commitment to providing superior solutions and service to Wonderware customers, and to building a strong Wonderware practice within their businesses.
Wonderware Innovation Partners that have achieved endorsed SI status in the United States are: IPACT, Progressive Software Solutions (PS2), Stone Technologies and Total Systems Design. Several international system integrators also have achieved this status: ASECO Integrated Systems, of Canada; Key Solutions, of Mexico; Genius Technologies, of Brazil; NetCDS, of Argentina; ENCO, of Spain; INDEFF, of Luxembourg; G&O Automatisierungsgesellschaft GbmH, of Germany; and Prevas AF, in Sweden.
In addition, Mtelligence received “Partner of the Year.” Progressive Software Solutions Inc. and ASECO worked in a joint venture to receive “Most Innovative Solution of the Year” for their Enterprise Message Service. ASECO is also receiving “North American System Integrator of The Year.” All of these awards were based on level of collaboration, support, customer satisfaction, and innovation.
Wonderware also announced the winners of the annual Wonderware Open competition, which recognizes innovative industrial and manufacturing applications worldwide.
Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) was selected for “Best SCADA Application,” (for supervisory control and data acquisition) based on its use of Wonderware software to provide a comprehensive range of reliable, cost-effective and environmentally responsible water and wastewater services to clients, including municipalities, private sector companies and First Nations, the native communities in Canada, in the province of Ontario, Canada.
Portland General Electric (PGE) was selected as the winner of the “Best HMI Application” category for its use of Wonderware HMI (human-machine interface) software to manage its demand-response program, which provides electrical grid capacity by linking customer-owned generators as part of a “virtual power plant” for its Dispatchable Standby Generation (DSG) program.
The “Best Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence Application” winner is New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo., for its innovative use of Wonderware applications to manage its long-standing programs to reduce, reuse and recycle. This solution enables the brewery to track any bottle or tank of beer back to all of its ingredients and processes within 30 minutes.
Cytec Engineered Materials (CEM), West Paterson, N.J., was selected as the winner of the “Best Manufacturing Execution System Application” category. As a materials manufacturer that specializes in high-performance composite materials and adhesives for commercial and military aerospace, automotive and marine applications, Cytec chose to implement an initial pilot manufacturing process based on Wonderware MES software.