Wonderware focuses on front-line innovation
Las Vegas – Built around the theme of “enabling innovation for real-time operational excellence,” Wonderware’s 2008 WonderWorld conference, held in Las Vegas, Oct. 6-8, spotlighted the company’s new technologies and a refined approach to positioning and developing its products. Those include human-machine interface (HMI) software, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software, and manufacturing execution system (MES) software.
“Wonderware is focused on enabling the success of a wide range of production workers by delivering access to production data to anyone who needs it,” said Rashesh Mody, vice president of global product management. “Our roadmap is now centered on empowering workers at all levels, by making the technologies they use simpler and developing greater specific industry focus through collaboration with partners and other companies, even those that could be considered competitors.”
Serving as the base for this empowerment of front line workers is Wonderware’s system platform, which is built on the company’s ArchestrA technology. Through the recently introduced Wonderware Developer Network, the company is opening up the Wonderware system platform to partners and customers for the development of new functionality and complementary products.
The Wonderware Developer Network enables collaborative ecosystem innovation, said Mody. “Participants have access to Wonderware and partner news, technical blogs, software downloads, specific topic forums, the TechPedia (an expert knowledge search application), articles and white papers, and specific partner expertise,” he said.
As an example of Wonderware’s partner and end-user collaborative efforts that drive the Wonderware Developer Network, Mody cited an example of how a primary user request to enable timestamp propagation beyond the PLC and into devices, application objects, and clients was recently enacted in the Wonderware system platform as a result of customer and system integrator partner input.
Behind the front-line focus
Wonderware president Sudipta Bhattacharya sees the company’s focus on empowerment of front-line workers as key to maintaining end users’ competitiveness. “My biggest concern moving forward with regard to manufacturing competitiveness is how so many people in operations are not in a position or able to articulate their ideas. Our focus is on getting them to contribute. What they have to say might not be the next big idea, but the many small, incremental ideas they provide can be just as beneficial as one big idea from an articulate visionary,” he said.
“This focus on incremental, innovative improvement reflects an increased awareness of where successful ideas most often originate from,” added Mark Davidson, Wonderware’s vice president of global marketing. Davidson views attendance at this year’s conference (more than 900 registered attendees, representing an increase of more than 100 attendees above last year’s event; 58% of which were first-time WonderWorld attendees) as a positive market response to the company’s refined direction.
Driven by this new approach, Bhattacharya said he expects to continue “out-innovating” its peer group. “Our heritage has been in developing simple solutions that plugged into PLCs,” he said. “Now our technologies have scaled into massive systems that run airports, transportation systems, and huge facilities. But we’ve never given up our core focus on simplifying the interaction between users and technology.”
For more information: www.wonderware.com .
Also see two other related 2008 WonderWorld news items:
– David Greenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering News Desk
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