by Alex Soto, Editor, SAPinsider
The resilience of asset-intensive industries was challenged in 2020. Geopolitical and economic uncertainties, including trade sanctions, evolving global supply chains, and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affected performance, and an urgency arose to address the aging infrastructures of offshore structures such as oil and gas rigs, and shore-based installations including refineries and chemical plants.
At the same time, customers and investors want to associate themselves with companies that place a high value on sustainable operations, according to Oz Rodriguez, Head of Product GTM Strategy at Lloyd’s Register, a leading engineering and technology professional services provider. This mixed bag of challenges are forcing asset-intense industries to innovate in order to succeed in 2021 and beyond.
Witnessing the sea change, Lloyd’s Register is embarking on a journey to help customers weather the storms of uncertainty and disruption and empower them with modern digital solutions.
The Cloud Is An “Engine” For Transformation
Disruption is not new to Lloyd’s Register. Since the 16th century it has transitioned through the three industrial revolutions – water and steam power for mechanized production, electric power for mass production, and electronics and information technology for automated production.
In the face of today’s rapidly changing business environment and the current digital revolution, Lloyd’s Register is accelerating its digital transformation.
“The company understands the importance of continually transforming its business model and structure and embracing new technology,” Rodriguez says.
Embedded in the company’s 200+ year history is its deep-rooted desire to drive better performance. Core to the organization’s strategy today is developing customer-centric digital applications. “What better way of doing so than utilizing the cloud,” Rodriguez says.
“We found that the cloud is the center – we call it an engine and not a platform,” Rodriguez says. “Every part has a function that allows you to quickly scale without compromising on cost or quality.”
Intelligence At All Levels
Lloyd’s Register is building a software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology engine on Microsoft Azure and SAP Cloud, SAP’s portfolio of cloud solutions, to support services heavily utilized by its customers. By integrating machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing (NPL) to its digital solutions, the company is bolstering its asset and facility performance and risk management offerings with predictive capabilities.
Benefits to customers include minimized business interruptions and prolonged business continuity. For instance, predictive capabilities enable companies to foresee potential problems and failures in critical equipment. Customers can then take corrective actions, such as determining whether a piece of equipment needs to be modernized or replaced.
Bringing intelligence to all levels of the enterprise creates an environment where people just don’t react, according to Rodriguez. It enables customers to manage and maintain their assets more proactively.
Innovation Is An Exercise In Learning
Moving everything for every customer at the same time will not work and there is no one-size methodology for everything, according to Rodriguez.
“Take it in small chunks, use test sites, maybe in locations with more advanced users who will give more feedback. Then, take lessons from it and implement in the next cycle,” he says. Rodriguez adds that it may be necessary to have an on-premise solution and its replacement running concurrently because, as he puts it, “innovation is an exercise in learning.”
Through an agile, user-centric methodology, Lloyd’s Register enables testing of ideas. This approach allows for more informed decision-making, like whether or not to pursue further expansion of an idea and turn it into a solution.
Customer feedback is vital. For example, Lloyd’s Register’s customers pushed for an integrated application that connects to their ecosystem to create a system of record for equipment.
The company is connecting its cloud solution with various ERP systems, including SAP S/4HANA instances, using the SAP Integration Suite (previously called SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite) to synchronize information. The result is enhanced data quality and real-time information for decision-making instead of previous data sharing methods that could take days to weeks.
Predictive solutions also help improve sustainability. For example, Lloyd’s Register’s AllAssets offers predictive maintenance analytics to help customers continuously operate without breaking down. This capability is vital for preventing environmental disasters. It also helps improve customers’ maintenance regimen without requiring them to install anything else, saving costs.
Committed to the Journey Together
Lloyd’s Register is strengthening its digital footprint to bolster its safety, performance, and risk management solutions. It collaborates with technology partners and systems integrators to build an integrated, technology-enabled, and agile innovation portfolio.
Partners’ contributions, customer feedback, SAP’s portfolio of cloud solutions, a mature methodology, and integration of technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and NPL are central to the successes thus far.
In its journey to innovation, Lloyd’s Register is becoming increasingly agile, while reducing operational risk and enhancing business productivity for its customers for years to come.
What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders
• Engage your customers in the innovation process. Always check your assumptions. Gather feedback from people in the field. Bring intelligence into the process to create an environment where you and your customers don’t simply react to uncertainty, but proactively work to address future challenges.
• Make it easy to test ideas. The ability to test quickly determines whether an idea can become an opportunity to solve customers’ most critical problems. This may require adopting a mature agile methodology and running an on-premise solution and its replacement at the same time.
• Recognize that innovation needs an engine to run. With SAP’s portfolio of cloud solutions as the technical foundation, the cloud becomes more than a platform – it becomes an engine for innovation and learning. People drive the engine and apply lessons learned in the next cycles.
Watch a short video to learn how Lloyd’s Register’s cloud strategy empowers its customers to address uncertainty with digital solutions and predictive maintenance analytics and transform ideas into innovative solutions.
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MEET THE EXPERTS
Oswaldo an innovative intrapreneur, having built new business ventures from scratch, bringing together people to create high-performing teams in order to launch and commercialize new software products. Over the last 8 years, with Lloyd’s Register, he’s led the complete lifecycle of new asset performance management products, from ideation, market fit and validation, conceptualization, design thinking, agile product ownership until launching MVPs. As a Head of Product, GTM Strategy he’s now responsible for the successful delivery of Product Marketing across all Digital Products, as well as evangelizing and providing thought leadership to the wider market.