Research and consulting firm teknowlogy | PAC has published its Digital Factory – C&SI Vendor Landscape in Germany 2020. In their InSight Analysis report, the IT market analysts provide an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of consulting and system integration (C&SI) providers with a focus on the German market. For the purpose of this report, teknowlogy | PAC has evaluated 47 C&SI providers with regard to their capabilities related to digital factory use cases. For each of the selected C&SI providers, teknowlogy assessed their capabilities to address 36 use cases for the digital factory, such as predictive maintenance, inventory tracking, predictive quality control, or autonomous transportation systems.

Digital Factory – C&SI Vendor Landscape in Germany 2020
Factory – C&SI Provider Landscape in Germany 2020

New digital technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, robotics, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), cloud computing, wearables, and also new production concepts such as 3D printing technologies are key enablers of the digital factory, a highly efficient and integrated cyber-physical production system. “When it comes to implementing digital factory use cases, we very often see manufacturers facing the challenge of lacking own in-house capabilities and know-how to drive development and implementation on their own. This is particularly true for the usage of new digital technologies such as IoT and AI. This is where the support of external C&SI providers comes into play,” says Stefanie Naujoks, Research Director, Manufacturing at teknowlogy Group.

Relevant C&SI vendors range from global to local players

Basically, C&SI service providers in the vendor landscape range from experts through domain specialists to niche players. teknowlogy | PAC has identified three C&SI providers that are capable of addressing all 36 of our predefined use cases – Accenture, MHP, and Reply. This is a very interesting picture because it contains a representative of the global and multinational C&SI providers (Accenture), the EMEA-focused C&SI providers (Reply), and also a player who does its largest share of business with manufacturers in Germany (MHP).

Players with a strong background in management consulting also play a significant role

With regard to C&SI providers that focus on, and do the largest share of their business with, German manufacturers, an interesting finding is that in the middle range, we mainly see providers with a high level of management consulting capabilities (ROI Management Consulting and Unity). This illustrates well how important management consulting is for manufacturing companies on their way to digital transformation and in their efforts to get ready for the future, which clearly also includes the digital transformation of shop-floor operations.

Specialist C&SI providers play a key role in helping manufacturers

An outstanding role is played by those national C&SI providers that cover only a limited number of digital factory use cases but can support manufacturing companies with specific topics such as MES or SCM (e.g. Abat, Trebing + Himstedt, Salt Solutions, and Software Factory), and/or are very well positioned in the German SME market (e.g. ComputerKomplett) or score particularly high with specialist industry know-how (Sulzer in automotive).

Among manufacturers in Germany in particular, SAP plays a major role on an enterprise application level. Therefore, C&SI providers that have a strong SAP-based solutions background are also very relevant players for digital factory-related topics (e.g. itelligence (NTT DATA), Trebing + Himstedt, IGZ, Salt Solutions, or top flow.)

Maturity and adoption speed of digital factory use cases

Basically, most digital factory use cases are at a less mature stage, meaning that projects are often at PoC stage or even still being evaluated by manufacturers. The number of C&SI providers addressing those use cases often corresponds to the maturity of those use cases and the expected investment trends.

According to our general evaluation of use cases, teknowlogy | PAC expects an increasing investment trend in use cases related to asset and plant performance monitoring, predictive analytics and predictive maintenance, as well as connected worker solutions. Maturity levels currently remain quite low for these use cases, but adoption speed is expected to pick up over the next two years, which makes them interesting topics with attractive market potential for C&SI providers to address. teknowlogy | PAC’s observations from the analysis of the digital factory vendor landscape confirm that a large number of C&SI providers are specifically addressing those use cases.

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For the InSight Analysis report “Digital Factory – C&SI Vendor Landscape in Germany 2020”, teknowlogy | PAC evaluated 47 C&SI providers with regard to their capabilities in implementing digital factory use cases. For each player, the analysts assessed their capability to address 36 use cases for the digital factory in Germany, grouped along the value chain: sourcing, production planning, production, service and support, logistics. For a detailed list, segmentation, and definition of those use cases, please refer to our SITSI® report “Digital Factory: Use Cases and Maturity – InSight Analysis – Worldwide”. The assessment of which C&SI providers cover which use cases is based on telephone and face-to-face briefings, as well as attending analyst events and doing desk research. In order to assess the relevance of a provider for a specific use case, it is also essential that C&SI services are offered around the respective use case, that client references are available from German manufacturers, and/or that partnerships with German IT providers exist in order to jointly address the respective use cases.