Siemens announced it will transform its entire portfolio of hardware and software to become composable, cloud-connected, and built on standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Xcelerator is central to this transformation and reaffirms the company’s 10% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) targets for digital business.
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Siemens first launched the Xcelerator portfolio in 2019 to integrate its core Digital Industries software offerings with Mendix’s multi-experience application development platform. Since then, the portfolio has expanded significantly in terms of both capability (e.g., Xcelerator-as-a-Service (XaaS)) and customer base, with examples ranging from sustainability-focused startups to establish global automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), such as Hyundai, Kia, and Daimler Truck. Most recently, Siemens announced it will transform its entire portfolio of hardware and software to become module, cloud-connected, and built on standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), so customers can get the same high degree of flexibility, interoperability, and innovation regardless of scale, scope, or engagement model. Xcelerator is central to this transformation and reaffirms the company’s 10% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) targets for digital business.
An Open Digital Business Platform
Siemens Xcelerator consists of a curated portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled hardware, software, and digital services from Siemens and third parties; a growing partner ecosystem; and an evolving marketplace designed to improve collaboration between business partners. Qualities and technical design principles include:
- Interoperability: Ensuring that solutions work seamlessly together along domain-specific digital threads.
- Flexibility: Allowing customers to pick what they need as they scale, leveraging low-code capabilities to easily personalize based on specific customer needs.
- Openness: Using open APIs across all offerings from Siemens and certified partners.
- As-a-Service: Making more solutions available as-a-Service, a key qualifier to being part of the Siemens Xcelerator “X” offering.
The idea is that IoT-enabled hardware can be upgraded over time; software and digital services will be more open and easier to integrate for both Siemens and third-party offerings (including hardware); and that collaboration will flourish with the creation of a marketplace that facilitates interactions between participants and with this generating value for all parties.
Growing the Partner Ecosystem—Starting with NVIDIA
Siemens began its transition to a SaaS-led business and introduced Xcelerator-as-a-Service (XaaS) last year. Now, the main goal is to design and provide solutions that are open, sustainable, and can easily integrate with a range of products, processes, and infrastructures. It also wants to help build innovations that work quickly and are just as easy to find and use. And it wants to do all of this with partners, building on existing strategic partnerships with Accenture, Atos, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Bentley, Microsoft, and SAP, in addition to future small, medium, and large companies.
The first major partnership agreement under the umbrella of Siemens Xcelerator is with NVIDIA, announced at the end of June. The two companies aim to enable the industrial metaverse and increase use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven Digital Twin (DT) technology by connecting Siemens Xcelerator to NVIDIA Omniverse, a platform for Three-Dimensional (3D) design and collaboration. In terms of what this could look like, imagine NVIDIA graphics-enabled 3D simulation and modeling in an immersive and ideally collaborative virtual environment with photorealistic physics-based digital models from Siemens (and potentially others) that could be used to optimize plant simulation and coordinate with suppliers.
One of the main drivers behind Xcelerator and the expansion of moving more Siemens and partner offerings to SaaS is to accommodate Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This means that the same photorealistic, immersive, and collaborative digital twin experiences afforded by a Siemens/NVIDIA partnership would be as available to a smaller company as a large global brand.
Future partnerships could be around design, manufacturing production, quality, supply chain, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), sustainability, or any number of other areas. ABI Research expects that a rapidly growing number of partners will approach Siemens for a chance to be approved and listed on the newly launched Marketplace, which will contain a growing number of partner offerings. While there is nothing stopping other companies from creating Operational Technology (OT) marketplaces of their own—and there will be others—the Siemens advantages are its size, reputation, tenure, and ability to execute.