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21st Century Industrial Automation Services: From Reactive to Proactive Value Add Services

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What additional value can we provide to our customers? Anyone who knows me will tell you that this question is never far from my lips.

I’m responsible for our industrial automation services EMEA. As such, I’m responsible for a large team that stretches from Portugal in the west to the Ukraine in the east, and from Russia in the north to South Africa in the south.

In many ways, it’s a perfect job for an international citizen like me who has lived in multiple countries over the last 20 years. This role also calls upon my experiences across the product and solutions portfolio too, since Industrial Services have evolved to become much more than traditional product support.

In fact, industrial automation services now have a much bigger value-add potential for our customers than the traditional services of field support, spares and repairs.

So, what is ‘now’ for services, and what’s next?

In this blog, the first of a series I will be sharing here, I thought it would be a good start to set a modern definition for what services are in the 21st century.

My colleague Vladimir Obrazcov recently contributed an article to the UK publication Controls, Drives and Automation that explains how he sees services as having come of age in Industry 4.0. It offers a very good explanation of how services can offer the skills and experience required to implement fourth industrial revolution technologies in any industry – a good way to see what is “now for services”.

Vladimir touches on the vital areas where services become a value-add – namely the real-time monitoring and analytics of industrial applications which can show where optimization can be improved to add to the bottom line.

And this is just the beginning – the “what’s next” involves services moving into areas like augmented reality (with remote serviced applications like the digital twin) and artificial intelligence (that relies on remote services and big data for advanced analytics).

These areas of development are fascinating and set to dramatically change how we interact with applications. Our director of advanced technology Dave Vasko explores this potential to transform industry in conversation with Microsoft business strategy leader Neal Meldrum in this edition of our State of the Industry podcast. I highly recommend listening in.

These sorts of uses of services are all the more important when we consider the skills deficit – a global shortage of STEM professionals that will make the outsourcing of many functions, not least those that rely on data management skills, invaluable to industry.

It’s fitting to consider the “what’s next” question in relation to the human element of industry. Services are a core part of how we live our brand promise of “expanding human possibility”.

It also runs through our approach to our own staff and those of our customers. In short, we believe that whatever technology brings, and however automation can help improve industry, the most valuable asset will always be the human one. Which brings me back to where I started, personal development.

With all the staff that work in the EMEA industrial services part of Rockwell Automation, we encourage a career path that is person-focused. We encourage everyone to help us to find the right career trajectory for them, including upskilling and reskilling as they make their way through careers that require almost constant reinvention.

And it is that reinvention that makes working in our sector so exciting. Gone are the “job for life” days, but for citizens of the world like me, they are not missed.

The ever-faster developing world of unlocking the possible makes industry a fantastic career choice, and we’re always on the look-out for new talent. There’s much more information about opportunities with Rockwell Automation all over the world, here, on our global site.

Marc Baret
Marc Baret
Director, EMEA industrial services, Rockwell Automation

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