Nineteen Manufacturing and Industrial Journalists take brief on How to Develop an Ecosystem of World-Class Vendors and Support

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First Friday Editors’ Briefings, the UK’s only regular press briefing for industrial and manufacturing journalists returned to in-person events this month with a special panel discussion hosted at the AVEVA UOC (Unified Operations Centre) Customer Experience Centre in London. The facilitated panel briefing, which centred around developing an ecosystem of world-class vendors and support, brought together thought leaders from AVEVA, Schneider Electric, SolutionsPT and Stratus Technologies to showcase their individual and combined strength in delivering successful digital transformation programmes. 

Speaking on behalf of First Friday Club, Neil Fullbrook said: “We are delighted to get back to our traditional format of in-person media briefings at the fantastic AVEVA HQ and demo facility. Our briefings form an important link between thought leaders and UK industry, and provide a rare opportunity for leading journalists to put questions to industry leaders on behalf of their readers at a time of rapid, and sometimes confusing change for industrial enterprises.”    

Each member of the panel brings to the table their own piece of the digital transformation puzzle, contributing to ecosystems which combine individual expertise to offer transformational improvements for industrial facilities.  

Martin Levionnois, Vice President Northern Europe, AVEVA said: “We really appreciate opportunities like this to speak directly to the most influential publications in the sector, and show what AVEVA can bring to a Digital Transformation ecosystem, in constant evolution. Our portfolio of powerful software, developed to contextualise and transform real-time data into actionable information, enables and fuels an extensive range of analytics, including artificial intelligence (AI). The potential of AVEVA software reaches out to end users, and also to an extended ecosystem of vendors, suppliers and experts, throughout the life cycle of the industry. AVEVA’s technology becomes foundational to Digital Transformation across the Enterprise, enabling a virtuous circle of continuous improvement, from ideation to operations.” 

Mark Yeeles, VP Industrial Automation UK&I, Schneider Electric, said in his opening remarks: “This event couldn’t have come at a better time for Schneider Electric as, internally, our business has gone through its own transformation. Following recent recognition from Gartner and the World Economic Forum on our lighthouse factories around the world, we have transformed how we go to market and, more importantly, how we interact with customers. Consulting around business needs, specific to their process and digital maturity level is an important way of  breaking down the barriers to successful digital transformation and opening up the opportunity for combined ecosystem solutions.” 

Paul Herron, Edge Computing Specialist, UK & Ireland, Stratus Technologies, continued: “Through my 30 years of experience I have seen first-hand every pathway on the digital transformation journey and this panel showcased a gold-standard ecosystem approach that I believe yields the best results. For our part, Stratus brings simple, autonomous, and protected Edge Compute IT platforms that are ideally suited to the AVEVA Edge-to-Enterprise strategy. Similarly,  and f the Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Micro Data Centre with Stratus ftServer, which can be purchased prevalidated and ready for the factory floor, is a great example of how we work closely with our partners to simplify acquisition and implementation of DX-ready Edge Compute platforms for the OT environment. The panel was a great opportunity for us to talk about our products in the context of a joined-up approach to Digital Transformation. 

Sue Roche, General Manager, SolutionsPT, the AVEVA Select partner for UK & Ireland added: “Our role in the ecosystem is to be the digital transformation partners who are capable of helping our customers to create and leverage a bespoke ecosystem that makes the most of the unrivalled AVEVA software portfolio. We aim to remove the roadblocks to digital transformation, which are usually found internally, by bringing every level of the company all the way up to senior leadership into the journey. Successful Digital Transformation should always complement the skills and improve the lives of every member of staff, and it all starts with the company culture. We believe in the potential of Digital Transformation for every enterprise, so reaching the broad professional readerships of so many leading titles in a single session like this is of huge value to us.”  

The facilitated panel discussion was punctuated by a live demonstration of AVEVA Unified Operations Control software and a case study illustrating how SolutionsPT, Stratus, Schneider Electric and AVEVA are working closely together on a major UK infrastructure project set to be announced soon. 

Tom Spencer, Managing Director, Cadence Innovation Marketing, who facilitated the panel summed up the session, “It’s rare for journalists to have the opportunity to hear from, and put questions directly to, a panel that represents so many of the different aspects of Digital Transformation that must be brought together for successful implementation. Digital Transformation cannot be delivered by any single organisation, so the opportunity to consider how different vendors can work together, as well as how to assemble and access the experience and expertise to deliver success is hugely valuable, not just for industrial enterprises individually, but for UK industry as a whole.”  

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