Open Is as Open Does

Nov. 18, 2008
Openness As an Opportunity

“I love this industry,” said Michael Ziesemer, chief operating officer of Endress+Hauser in his keynote address to the 2008 Rockwell Automation Process Systems User Group meeting this week in Nashville, Tenn., “because we deal with important subjects—energy, water, food—that are important and growing, despite the economic situation.”

“Openness leads to real customer value.” Endress+Hauser’s Michael Ziesemer explained how suppliers’ open attitudes toward technology, standards and business relationships can improve the ultimate user experience.

He went on to describe Endress+Hauser, a $1.6-billion company, with over 8,500 employees and a 60% equity capital ratio, and mentioned that in 55 years, Endress+Hauser has never had a layoff. “A 60% equity capital ratio means that we do not need to borrow money from the investment banks.” Endress+Hauser is a family-owned company, a “special company,” he said.

“Openness is an opportunity,” he said. In this age when end users can find most of their information online, it is critical that “what we have to offer has to be the best!”

Endress+Hauser, he added, is 100% for process instrumentation. But instrumentation products are not enough. There must be services and solutions as well.

“We work on open standards,” he said. “We apply and promote standards. We have supported iDTM. Open standards enable connectivity. Wireless connectivity is a point of integration. We think,” he went on, “that WirelessHART will be of particular importance.”

Endress+Hauser is open to sharing technology, Ziesemer said. Endress+Hauser’s Memosens solved fundamental problems of pH sensing in a single stroke, Ziesemer pointed out, and then the company shared the technology with others. More than 100,000 sensors using Memosens technology were made this year.

It is not enough to make instruments, Ziesemer added. It is also necessary to have a complete life-cycle management system and services. Endress+Hauser’s W@M web-enabled asset management system, for example, is a life-cycle management portal—an open view to instrumentation.

“Openness is a platform for innovation. Openness leads to customer choices. “Openness leads to partnerships,” he said, “and openness leads to real customer value.”

For all these reasons, Ziesemer said, Endress+Hauser is committed to its partnership with Rockwell Automation. “This is a deep strategic alliance,” he said. “Both companies are dedicated to the customer.”