Julia Kasper

18.11.2020
4 min reading time

Walking the talk: The resilient data management of the tapio ecosystem has arrived in reality


Open digital ecosystems "Made in Europe" are the key to the digital transformation of the industry according to the main message from an articles published by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs

Additionally, the magazine möbelfertigung reports on a meeting of representatives from France, Italy and Germany, who discussed the digital steps necessary to create growth paths for the European industry, which should become reality in 2030.

The report aims at, and strikes, the very core of what we at tapio, are already turning into reality. But what exactly does tapio look like as a digital ecosystem, especially when applying it to the wood industry? What are the advantages for the players in the ecosystem? And what exactly is meant by resilient data management? My blog post tries to find answers to these questions:


What describes an open, digital ecosystem and why is it important?

Germany's economy is often described by the strength of its industry and small and medium-sized businesses, especially in the B2B sector. This strength will only establish itself sustainably in the digital world if general standards and principles are established for data. Only on the basis of these principles can a smooth interaction between of machine data, material data or tool data be guaranteed. On the one hand, interoperability is essential to make the processes along the value chain efficient, and on the other hand, the fair handling of data must be ensured. Only then is it possible to ensure that data is also the basis for new business models.
A digital ecosystem enables exactly that: smooth, fair interaction of digital components in order to control the value chain efficiently and digitally - and clearly beyond national borders.
The be-all and end-all? The exchange of data between the players, such as machines, materials and tools, should be trustworthy, secure and simple. Data security, data ownership and data sovereignty must be defined for this purpose.


What is actually meant by data management and data ownership?

The resilience of our economy are currently undergoing a strength test, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This brings new challenges, but also opportunities. For example through a stronger focus on digitalization, perhaps driven from outside, to create something better and new. A wake-up call to turn on the turbo in the digital transformation. This clearly affects our data economy in the following dimensions:

  • The topic of data security:

In the B2B sector, in addition to personal data, production-relevant data is particularly important, and this data should be able to be exchanged absolutely securely between different players. This requires trusted players with a secure, resilient digital infrastructure. We want our data to be as secure as our money in the bank account. The importance of trust in security should therefore not be underestimated.

  • Topic Data Ownership & Data Sovereignty:

We leave traces everywhere in the digital world, and most people are aware that we often "pay" with our (private) data on the Internet. We should be particularly aware of this data economy in the B2B environment. It should therefore - at best - be organized differently.
tapio stands for fair data handling and offers data sovereignty to every actor in the ecosystem - from small companies to internationally operating machine manufacturers. This means that every master of his own data remains and can decide for himself for which application, which machine and which employee the secure data exchange is enabled and released.

  • Sustainability:

In addition to the ecological aspects of sustainability, openness and accessibility play a decisive role in an ecosystem. Here it is important that fair access to the digital ecosystem is also granted to small companies. Cooperation among companies, including at the global level, is an element that strengthens fair access.


What makes tapio a digital ecosystem for the wood industry and what are the advantages for the players?

What is being discussed at European level is already established and well received in the wood industry: With tapio's open, digital ecosystem, a digital place already exists that enables secure, property-focused data exchange. For this purpose, 41 partners of the wood industry have joined forces.
In addition to the technological basis for the connection of machines, material, tools and service partners, tapio offers the right answers to the questions of data management. Every joiner, furniture manufacturer or kitchen manufacturer decides independently and autonomously with just a few clicks for which application he releases which own data or assigns employees. To do this, they map their production or workshop digitally on tapio. This is A) very secure, because especially the machine data is encrypted over several levels and B) the actor remains the master of his own data. Unlike in the B2C world, no data analyses or data profiles are created based on the production data. Everything that the respective actor creates - or say "produces" - remains his property.
The fact that tapio's approach to the digital, open ecosystem is well received is shown by publications, among others by McKinsey & Company , in which tapio is mentioned as a reference for the neutral ecosystem approach.


My conclusion

Regardless of the consequences of Covid-19, participation in open ecosystems is extremely relevant for the German and European economy. With tapio, we have been able to set a standard for the wood industry, which is widely accepted and is gaining international importance - we are currently active in more than 30 countries.
The growth path for the wood industry inevitably leads to the ecosystem approach to design resource-efficient, adaptable and powerful production processes. An ecosystem thrives on fair competition and the diversity of its players. Only in an open ecosystem can the various companies in the wood industry make the leap into the digital world themselves. In this way, the advantages of digital value-added networks can be leveraged and dominant players, as they have emerged in the B2C world, can be avoided.
The key to this is transparent and fair data management. As described by the representatives at the multilateral, European meeting, tapio is already treading the path to a digital, open ecosystem. Walking the talk! An experience from which other companies can learn and profit in the future, across industries.


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