An interview with Stefan Olding, Managing Director HARTING Deutschland and Guido Selhorst, Head of Corporate Market Communication, about the MICA.network partner platform.
The ‘industry’ in Integrated Industry is no longer the original automation island – today, it must be embedded within a significantly larger network structure. In future, a single, stand alone solution for automation will be a thing of the past. Instead, “compatibility” and “value creation networks” are the defining keywords. Complex IoT solutions closely aligned with the customer process can no longer be implemented by any one company. In order to provide customers with solutions tailored to their needs within an acceptable timeframe at an acceptable cost, it’s necessary to come up with joint concepts together with strong partners.
What is the MICA.network, and why did HARTING found it?
The MICA.network is composed of various manufacturers and service providers in the fields of IT integration and automation configuration. Both areas complement each other perfectly: automation know-how is combined with IT knowledge.
And we’re active at this “edge” with the HARTING MICA in order to bring these expertises together.
Aren’t the network partners competing with each other?
No, there is not a competing situation. Just the opposite is true: we are creating synergies and using them to share knowledge and expertise in a completely transparent approach. Finally, we work together to create solutions for our customers that we as a single company couldn’t implement alone. The customer is the binding element for the respective partners.
Within the network, HARTING is a reliable, large scale partner in the industrial sector with extensive know-how down to the field level. Leading Cloud providers such as IBM and Microsoft, who work with us, gain access to the worlds of automation through us, all the way down to the shop floor at the field level. We, on the other hand, benefit from their IT expertise in the area of analytics and data processing.
What role does HARTING play within this network?
The metaphor of the conductor of a musical composition is an apt one in this context. HARTING conducts and coordinates the musicians – meaning the partners – and consequently leads each individual one to a smooth, finely tuned overall solution in unison with each other. Customers are the auditorium. The audience’s applause is not the only thing that’s decisive. It’s also necessary to use acceptance – a beat, keeping time, if you will – to ensure that the partners are satisfied as well.
Is the spirit of partnership important for Industrie 4.0?
It’s a clear paradigm shift! The period of I4.0 requires that industrial players act openly and in partnership. We need others, since we can’t realize every process by ourselves. Even just in terms of time, it’s impossible to develop all the expertise and competencies by yourself. We can only solve necessary future requirements in the sense of benefiting our customers by bundling several competence providers within a partnership-based network.