The Silicon Review
Smart factories are fast growing in numbers as businesses are beginning to see the true potential of IoT. But IoT is somewhat of a future-oriented model, especially if you have been running a factory traditionally for a long time. It can be hard to acquire the technologies and products that are important for a Smart Factory. Swiss-company CyberTech Engineering offers the ultimate IoT platform, HumanOS®, which supports you on the way to modern technologies and future-oriented business models such as Smart Manufacturing, Predictive Maintenance and other applications in the context of Industry 4.0.
But how does HumanOS® help? The IoT platform created at CyberTech’s facility at Bernese Oberland at Strättlighügel 10, Gwatt helps you evaluate the profitability and cost of machines to create more accurate offers for your customers. Since its establishment in 2016, the company has achieved outstanding results that comprise an elite team that counts Matthias Hadorn, Lukas Ruchti, Andreas Fuchs, Mirco Neuenschwander, and Roger Pieren as its valuable members. We interviewed Benjamin Hadorn (Founder and CTO) and Pascal Soltermann (CEO and CSO) to know more about how they have managed to achieve so much in such a short period of time. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Q. How do you understand the needs of the market to make a reality-based solution?
Benjamin: Based on experiences within discussions with our customers and other interested companies, we realized that many companies out there are in search of flexible and adaptive solutions to meet their business requirements. But in most cases, there is another important issue – the solution is payable for large Enterprises as well as for SME’s. To meet these requirements, CyberTech’s answer is our HumanOS® IoT/Automation platform. Our platform delivers features and functions based on the real and important business needs and business challenges for our customers. Therefore, it is a must that HumanOS® can be implemented in the already existing ecosystem for our customers. The customer needs also require that all their hardware – for example, an industrial machine, a virtual server, a firewall or a simple sensor needs to be integrated seamlessly and easily to the ecosystem and managed over a single platform.
Q. It is quite challenging to achieve success in every IT product that is developed. How do you overcome failures?
Pascal: Our mindset is that those who think of failure will fail, but those who think of success will be successful. Customers are our partners, and we work very closely with them, to really understand their needs, requirements, and visions. We do not tell our partners what they will need, because we do not always have such a deep understanding of their business sector. Instead, we actively listen and talk to them to develop in the right and desired direction. Agile development methods such as SCRUM help us to do it the right way. We work smart, not just hard. We see our HumanOS® platform as water that fills the existing gaps in our customers’ ecosystems. We rely on proven and already implemented solutions at our partners’ and just connect those systems together; this way, we are able to minimize failures.
Generally, the work scope that an IT services provider offers seldom covers every single area of technology. How do you ensure that all the necessary areas are covered with your solution?
Pascal: We are convinced that you never should try to cover all needs with just one single solution. Many companies are developing great and proven solutions that a lot of customers are using. Our strategy is, to enter into business partnerships that we like and build on existing solutions to meet the challenges of our common customers. For us, the profit is not in the center but the customer and its enthusiasm is. We just do what we do well and get support for the tasks that are not our core competencies.
Q. How do you deal with the “never-ending change” in digital transformation?
Benjamin: We always stay up-to-date with regards to the digital transformation, and we try to respond with our HumanOS® IoT platform. It is important for us, that our team and we can enjoy the benefits of continuing education. We do internal workshops and work with our partners regarding the further development of HumanOS® based on discussions of the new technology standards.
Furthermore, we are a partner of a research group of the University of Fribourg, where digital transformation is the main topic. Another topic they deal with is Small Data Learning, a new strategy that allows them to learn with less energy and less data overhead.
Q. How do you manage to maintain the quality of the plethora of services that you offer?
Pascal: We define internal standards, test, and release them. That can be a business or an accounting process, a template of a virtual Windows/Linux server, any kind of configurations or unified testing of the HumanOS® functions, features and the core application. The next step is that we automate these tasks to have more free time to take care of our employees, partners, and customers. This turns into higher quality of our plethora of services and customer and partner satisfaction.
Q. There are other major players in the IT segment. How do your services standout from the rest?
Benjamin: We do not look at the competition around the globe. We see that a lot of innovation is possible with business partners through whom we can meet our customers’ visions. Each company can learn from each other. Enthusiastic customers are at the center.
But coming back to the question, our HumanOS® IoT platform is the kind of generic automation construction kit that can be adapted to almost any customer need. That’s why we can respond much faster than other companies to customer needs and implement the optimal solution for them. We just pick out the needed bricks such as Microservices, connectors, plugins etc., connect them with our universal and generic Message Bus, and are able, to map the customer’s vision.
Q. What does the future hold for CyberTech Engineering and its customers?
Benjamin: If we look beyond the machine industry, we see a lot of exciting projects. The schools are undergoing digital transformation, and datacenter automation is also a topic that customer wants to realize. To support the digitalization of our schools, we are developing ctSchool® and for the data center automation we are working on our new product ctDatacenter™. But at the core of all of our products lies HumanOS®.
Last but not least, as mentioned a few questions before, we do research on Small Data Learning as our answer to Big Data Learning/Analysis with its exorbitant energy consumption. The main focus is to reduce the CO2-output significantly and increase sustainability.