Today more than ever, the world of automation is in a state of transition. Flexible work models along with the steady growth of production efficiency and diversity are forcing manufacturers to rethink their ways of working. How to keep pace with the digitalization of industry? In my new blog post, I explain how an easy-to-use and flexible cloud solution and a demand-driven payment-model can give you a hand.
The way we work is changing. What was still virgin territory for many companies just a few years ago has now become a commonplace work mode in many cases — for example, mobile working independent of location from a home office or in an industrial setting and operations like virtual commissioning and remote maintenance. Industry is facing special challenges and needs unique and creative solutions.
The digital applications that I enjoy as an end user often access cloud platforms in the background to guarantee their optimal and flexible use. Did you know, for example, that successful streaming platforms have frequently shifted much of their capacity to cloud platforms? In my opinion, industry needs to catch up on what’s already happening in the private sector. Cloud solutions are of inestimable value for meeting industry’s challenges — including, for example, in automation.
When IT and automation merge
It’s already apparent that the worlds of automation and IT are increasingly converging. As a result, software business models that are already well-known in IT are gaining ground. In the private sphere, we’ve known about them for years as the cloud-based solutions that store our music and photos. Siemens is now also offering a flexible, cloud-based engineering solution for industrial automation: TIA Portal Cloud
Cloud-based solutions can help companies take an important step forward, especially in cases where the ability to work remotely, and even across national boundaries and time zones, is essential. TIA Portal Cloud offers real added value in this regard and guarantees a fast, straightforward introduction to TIA Portal engineering — regardless of the size of the company. And best of all: Web-based access to TIA Portal engineering in the cloud allows customers to use the solution flexibly from any location! All they need is Internet access, an up-to-date browser, and PC or tablet hardware. Users simply sign in to immediately access TIA Portal from anywhere, with no time or effort spent on installation.
With TIA Portal Cloud, users will automatically get fast access to the latest TIA Portal version (V17) and the previous versions TIA Portal V16 and TIA Portal V15.1, as well as to even older versions. All installable options for the engineering framework are already available in TIA Portal Cloud. In addition, all engineering and simulation scenarios are covered in the cloud and provide users with an easy and high-performance test environment for TIA Portal scenarios. The cloud-based engineering solution not only maximizes flexibility and ease of use, but it also eliminates time-consuming updates and includes cloud-based data storage for TIA Portal projects. Programming work can be stored in a cloud memory that makes it available everywhere and at all times, while users benefit from easier handling thanks to a central data repository.
Flexible license models
The launch of TIA Portal V17 and TIA Portal Cloud is accompanied by a demand-driven payment model that can be flexibly adapted to customers’ objectives and requirements. This makes perfect sense because, if you think about it, similar models are already being used in IT and the consumer sector. For example, a variety of office applications offer different subscriptions that are adapted to the needs of private individuals, companies, students, and families.
Transferring this model to our TIA Portal engineering framework is a decisive step. Customers can access whatever they need for integrated engineering in a targeted manner and use an annual subscription for the local installation of TIA Portal. The subscription model for TIA Portal (on-premise) will be designed for packages tailored to the requirements of a wide range of customer types, from small-scale customers to large companies, from single machines to complex plants, and from simple control tasks to simulations and energy management. A similar option will be offered for TIA Portal Cloud. In this case, the services used will be billable either through a monthly subscription or on a pay-per-use basis — in other words, billed by the hour depending on usage.
Added-value utilization models
The introduction of a variety of flexible license models isn’t simply a trend that industry can’t ignore: I believe that it’s essential to develop these models because they offer companies real added value. Subscription models for TIA Portal and TIA Portal Cloud provide our customers with the huge benefit of a small initial investment. The subscriptions make it possible to turn investment costs for engineering software into lower annual or monthly operating costs — which makes the solution accessible for companies of every size. In addition, the license models are extremely flexible: If a short-term project requires only one specific option, TIA Portal and TIA Portal Cloud subscriptions can be purchased for just one month or one year.
A number of cloud solutions are already making our private lives easier. It’s time to take the same step in industrial automation as well and use digitalization to meet our current and future challenges.
Would you like more insight into how industrial automation exploits the full potential of digitalization with the aid of standardization and the process of continuous Integration? Then I’m pretty you’ll find my other two blog posts very interesting!