Siemens Xcelerator, a scalable platform designed to speed up digital transformation (DX) initiatives for companies of any size, be they large multinationals or three-person start-ups, was formally launched in Canada last week at Collision 2023 in Toronto.
The introduction, says Faisal Kazi, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Siemens Canada, comes at a time when Canadian companies need to “fast track their digitalization journeys. Reports are suggesting that we are lagging behind our global peers – especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“When you bring the physical and the virtual worlds together, there is a lot of value that can be unlocked. Today, we are writing a new chapter for the company with the launch of the platform.”
According to a Siemens Canada fact sheet released prior to the launch, while “Canada seems to have a hard time reaching its climate targets, the world is moving on to electrification and digitalization – and we should too. What is the one thing that will ensure businesses stay competitive over the next few years and help meet climate goals? Digitalization of businesses will increase performance boost bottom line, decrease costs, lower emissions, improve safety and productivity, and reduce risk and churn.”
Peter Koerte, chief technology officer (CTO) and chief strategy officer (CSO) at Siemens AG, said the Xcelerator platform, “makes it easier for customers to navigate digital transformation, faster and at-scale. Combining the real and digital worlds with a growing network of partners enables cooperation, collaboration, and co-creation – and that’s the spark where new ideas and business models happen.”
In an interview with IT World Canada, Kazi described it as having three main components made up of a digital Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled product portfolio, a growing ecosystem of partners, and a marketplace that allows organizations to explore different product offerings.
A focal area will be the physical commercial building space, and with Xcelerator now a reality in Canada, Siemens announced an expansion of an existing technology agreement with Dexterra Group, an organization that specializes in facilities management and operations.
Dexterra CEO Mark Becker said his company recognizes the “tremendous value that can be unlocked by continuing to invest in forward-looking, scalable technology that helps us find new ways to enhance asset performance and achieve goals we set with our clients.”
Plans call for Dexterra to utilize Siemens’ BuildingX, a cloud-based smart building software suite that contains AI-enabled applications, connectivity, and built-in cybersecurity features.
Siemens said BuildingX, which is available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, on a subscription basis, or as an end-to-end building service offering, takes the “complexity out of digitalization and breaks down data silos across domains such as energy management, security and building maintenance. The platform will enable Dexterra to analyze end-to-end data from across its portfolio of built environments and services to make intelligent decisions about their buildings, assets, and workforce.”
Kazi said digital solutions such as it and others are a “key enabler to countering current challenges like climate change, resource scarcity and rising costs.”
In the case of commercial buildings, he said, “they take up more than 40 per cent of energy consumption and contribute globally to 27 per cent of emissions. We believe that up to 35 per cent of those totals can be reduced through having the right data insights.
“Canadian buildings are becoming smarter. We have air conditioning systems, we have ventilation systems, we have lighting systems, and these are all automated and they are partially IoT-enabled. The problem is that much of this data is siloed.
“What BuildingX does is break the silos with an open API and creates a platform where you can bring this data together, so the occupancy data can be combined with the air conditioning data. This is where the 35 per cent goal can be achieved.”
While the commercial building sector will play a key role in growing the Xcelerator platform in Canada, there are a number of other verticals expected to get involved and mirror what currently exists around the globe. These include healthcare, higher education, energy and utilities, heavy equipment, retail, and aerospace and defence.
Kazi describes the sustainability goals spelled out in The Paris Agreement, a legally binding treaty on climate change, as a “massive undertaking, which is coming at us. We all need to work together if we want to achieve the milestones for ourselves, and more importantly for our future generations. It’s about our existence.”