SPEAKER INTERVIEW: MARIANNA LEVTOV & DANIEL MACGREGOR

Marianna Levtov
Commercial Project Manager

Nexxiot

Session: Customer value, independence, and quality delivered in times of changes

 

Daniel MacGregor
Co-founder

Can you provide an overview of your conference topic/session? Why is this an important topic to discuss?

From its beginnings in 2015, Nexxiot has played a critical role in (re-)imagining the value, ecosystem and mechanisms of a digitized supply chain in times of great change. When the founders and product engineers started to evolve the offering towards a fully integrated, service based, hardware enabled ‘software as a service’ model, it was clear that we were talking about the entire supply chain. Individual supply chain participants, facilitators, carriers and enablers are only going to be able to define meaningful solutions for supply chain resilience if an integrated approach is prioritized.

It was clear that the value is derived from collecting data, processing that data and extracting insights, knowledge and opportunities to automate business processes. The topic of customer value is relevant in that we need to understand who is the customer? Is it the asset owner? So they can optimize operations or is it the cargo owner? So they can profit from supply chain elasticity and control. Obviously, there are many other parties who can benefit from receiving part of the data. It’s really important to understand what transparency does to all these relationships in the ‘global value network’. It is also essential to understand how this transparency impacts expectations around quality levels and what can be achieved and delivered. As an independent enabler, Nexxiot works with the entire ecosystem, to inform, guide and assist, to ensure quality and value is delivered.


How is Nexxiot developing its solutions to stay ahead of the curve in the digital revolution?

Nexxiot has a unique background which puts us in a strong position in terms of innovation and digital leadership. Coming from research in ultra-low power embedded hardware and energy harvesting gave us strong advantages on the hardware side. We also had deep experience in complex systems, big data, machine learning and genetic algorithms. We realise this interdisciplinary thinking makes us quite unusual. As our product evolved around our customers needs, we have been able to add a lot of value through our platform. 

At this point in the digital revolution, experience really counts. It’s clear that Nexxiot has a huge number of hardware devices deployed and the data is mounting up, giving us and our customers insights on how to maximise the next phase of the digital rail revolution. 

We are now leading the way with the ‘digital twin’ (a dynamic, digital replica of a real-world system) and the ‘Digital Agent’ to enable seamless integration and user experience for all stakeholders and supply chain participants. It’s about quality, yes, but much more than that. It’s about differentiation and evolution towards a world which accepts and demands value and transparency as standard.


What practical steps is Nexxiot taking to steer the standards and ensure quality solutions are delivered to the industry? 

The definition of standards is increasingly vital to address the innovation challenges faced by almost every segment of the supply chain. Standards are extremely important because they
provide the technical parameters for solution providers to develop the most suitable products for operators and cargo owners. This then allows them to select the most appropriate services to achieve operational and service level improvements. Standards ensure interoperability and quality of the hardware, software and related sensors and components involved in the digitalisation process. Using its deep expertise, Nexxiot is actively driving this topic in all the major standardisation and regulatory bodies involved. Acting as an independent service provider without specific strategic investment interests, Nexxiot succeeds to keep the right balance between the customers interests and those of solution providers as they seek to satisfy customers demands. Nexxiot stands for open, inclusive standards which will open the door to continuous innovation and guarantee high quality products and services for all stakeholders involved.


Container freight operators want to improve efficiency and extract more value from their fleet. How can Nexxiot help them achieve this?

It’s great that our customers can now collect and leverage data from their containers and other assets to optimise their utilisation, distribution and maintenance schedules. 

Now the race is on to define use cases and new business processes to drive value through to all stakeholders. We are working with Digital Twins and Digital Agents to support productivity improvements across all phases and business units. It’s true that IP will be the battleground for differentiation but now it’s about fast deployment and productive learning cycles to discover the best use cases to begin with, and where to go from there. 

There will be a significant adjustment in marketing messages soon from the early adopters as they turn the pressure up on their competitors by delivering new services. The beauty of working with Digital Twins is that it delivers a sandbox environment for experimentation and play that provides curiosity with a place to flourish.


It is widely known that sensors collect data. However, how does Nexxiot’s sensors help distinguish between big data and smart data that is useful for its customers? 

Sensors collect data but this is only a part of the story. Nexxiot brings unique new asset data to the customer, but it’s the post-processed and enriched data that delivers true value. Effective use of data is about having the volume of data, the quality of data and the capabilities to derive context from this data. This is why Nexxiot is proud to bring together various data pools and techniques to understand the context so that sufficient levels of confidence and trust are guaranteed. 

We are in a unique position in our space because we have tens of thousands of devices already deployed for the last several years. Therefore, we have more experience with the unique needs of each customer. We evolved towards a consultative approach, working in close partnership with each of our customers teams to reduce project risk and maximise their own competitive ambitions. 

The digital revolution is exponential in terms of value derived over time. This means those dragging their feet face a huge challenge to catch up. An integrated, user focused and highly customisable technology suite is really essential now.