The Advent of Open Architecture Pushes Enhanced Interoperability
Does interoperability between Comos and Openplant signal the beginning of one-stop shopping for the digital plant?
Gerke: No. One-stop shopping where suppliers act on behalf of each other will not exist in the short term. We do not believe that one-stop shopping would work in the process industry. We discussed this issue at the Digital Plant Congress. Interoperability between system suppliers is essential. Our partnership will set an example and drive interoperability forward.
Geiss: We will undoubtedly initiate a trend in the market, and we will make a clear case for open architectures to our customers. In the run-up to Hannover Messe, we held open, constructive discussions with two customers as sparring partners. Customers have embraced our vision and the advantages which the partnership with Bentley offers to them. The trend towards seamless solutions is unmistakable, and we are working with Bentley to enhance our ability to satisfy this need. Open architecture is essential to avoid data inconsistency. To ensure that each plant is as profitable as possible, the Capex to Opex hand-over phases must be closed-loop. Naturally, we have looked at our customer base and identified customers which the two companies have in common. Our goal is to generate additional demand in the market through joint marketing activities. Both sides support the interface which we have put in place. Nevertheless, both parties fully intend to continue development work on their respective portfolios, namely Openplant at Bentley and Comos at Siemens. There are no plans for joint software development. Based on what both partners make available, we want our customers to have the ability to transfer data from Comos to Openplant and within six months to send data from Openplant to Comos as well over a bidirectional interface.
Sizing the Rveolution: What the Two Companies Have in the Pipeline
In terms of identified customers, what dimensions are we talking about here?
Gerke: A review of the existing customer base shows that many customers use Comos products alongside of products from Bentley. We are getting very positive feedback from these customers. Interoperability between Comos and Openplant has been broadly welcomed. Admittedly, the numbers involved are hard to quantify. We currently have a handful or two of customers who are pushing us in this direction. Just to reiterate, feedback from our customers tells us that we are on the right track. When the first beacon projects have been completed, we will of course present them to you for validation. One customer has aligned its IT architecture with precisely these portfolio elements, and we are very proud of that.