“In the past, a lot of innovations were around technology. Today, in this environment, we are now talking about how we are actually centring humans in the middle of all this innovation and technologies that are going on”, said Alex Teo, Siemens’ Vice President & Managing Director for Southeast Asia, in a virtual media briefing with DSA.
Although the pandemic has brought about massive changes, the fact is that we have been facing constant disruption for the last few years. An example was the emergence of the Internet and consequently, the digitalisation of things. For Alex, these disruptions have actually helped customers and manufacturers to rethink their strategy, which cannot always be the same anymore.
“Transformation today is not just an afterthought. They have to think about this because this is an ability. Without transformation, they won't survive, and in every crisis, there is always an opportunity to leverage”, explained Alex.
For example, Alex mentioned that if we look at history, whenever there is a crisis or disaster, there is always competition that breeds innovation. Many big companies were established during the years of economic depressions and recessions. There was also a drive towards innovation in the jet engine, pressurised cabins and radar technology in World War II, which were eventually leveraged in the commercial world, even up until today.
Additionally, Alex brought up the Apollo 13 mission incident, which led NASA to utilise what we call a digital twin. “Today, we don't have to use the exact replica or digital replica anymore. We are using a digital twin to fix manufacturing problems and foresee manufacturing issues”, he added.
The pandemic is also empowering industries to come up with innovations in solving their problems. He mentioned the high bounce-back-ability of Southeast Asia’s manufacturing and the key drivers enabling recovery. According to Alex, the rich demographic within the region is one of its fundamental characteristics in attracting global businesses.
“There's a high proportion of young population in Southeast Asia and they are able to quickly scale up and learn new technology and be part of this digital trend. Another one of the main considerations for many companies to invest in Southeast Asia is actually based on this demographic dividend that we have”, Alex added.
Another trend in the region is that manufacturing is poised to lead the post-pandemic recovery in countries like Singapore, with strong demands driven by semiconductors, pharmaceuticals and medical technology industry.
During the online session, Alex asked one question – what was it that allowed companies to transform so rapidly and effectively? According to him, what they typically have in common, along with other organisations that have been able to adapt during these times, is a digital mindset.
With that, Alex introduced Siemen’s Xcelerator Portfolio, which brings together and integrates the entire Siemens Digital Industries Software portfolio with embedded tools and databases connecting current and future information technology, operational technology and engineering technology environments.
He described the portfolio as the catalyst for the digital enterprise to deliver the next-level digital transformation for customers. “We give them this catalyst and the tools in order for them to implement all these different transformations. They can even unlock much more powerful industry network effects within their digital enterprise”, added Alex.
He concluded that the importance of digital transformation in enabling new business models and meeting rapidly changing technology requirements for organisations in the region and across the globe will only continue to grow. The Xcelerator Portfolio is but one example of personalised and adaptable digital transformation solutions that can help power innovation.