Tim Kinman on Empowering Companies Through Digital Transformation

Tim Kinman, Vice President of Systems Digitalization at Siemens Digital Industries Software, was interviewed by host Adam Torres on the Mission Matters Innovation Podcast.

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In this recent interview with Adam Torres, Tim Kinman shares how Siemens Digital Industries Software is helping companies of all sizes gain a competitive advantage through digital transformation.

What mission matters to you?

Kinman says there’s a great need for integrated work processes across engineering disciplines, but many companies experience lag in fulfilling product demand. Gaining a competitive advantage through traditional tech-oriented approaches can be a challenge, he says, and explains that the mission at Siemens Digital Industries Software is to help customers through the digital transformation process with smart, connected products. 

How did you get started in the tech industry, and how have you see business models change since then?

After completing business school, Kinman spent the first half of his career in R&D, software development, and delivery. Midway through, he says he grew more focused on helping customers use technology to transform their companies. 

He notes the existence of 50 billion connected devices globally, which is, staggeringly, six times the global population. These devices are connected to 1 trillion network sensors, expected to balloon up to 45 trillion in the next 20 years. This projection, he says, is an example of the incredible pace of connectivity anticipated in the marketplace.

The automotive industry, he points out, is another example of business model disruption. “Ninety percent of new auto innovation is coming from software alone,” he says, and also points to Uber as an example of a brand that brought automobiles and mobility together. As product companies are evolving into software companies and vice versa, he says the explosion in data complexity, the connectivity to the cloud, and cybersecurity are all huge topics today, which wasn’t the case years ago.

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What should companies in transformation focus on in order to grow?

“One of the most challenging parts when you are moving from a traditional product company to a software company is the workforce,” Kinman says. “You need more people in your workforce from software development. Also, you need at least three professionals to focus on cybersecurity. To stay profitable, you need to go through a retooling of your workforce.”

He also suggests starting with a defined set of core competencies and building a digitalization strategy around them.” Think about how you can generate more ideas and opportunities that better fit the market demands,” he advises. “It can help you make decisions earlier, sell faster, and bear lower repair costs.”

What role does Siemens Digital Industries Software play in the process of digital transformation?

The company works on the digitalization journey from its smart, lean digital factory, “connecting to the products that are either being built or designed for the line of production,” Kinman says. “Siemens is accelerating digital twin technology to help customers turn today’s ideas into tomorrow’s products and experience. (We) are driving the transformation across the digital enterprise, from the initial concept, through mechatronics, engineering, manufacturing, and IoT.”

Kinman’s team has worked with companies like Biointech, helping them bring their COVID vaccine production online within five months rather than a full year, as well as Airbus, for whom they created software to control airplanes’ electrical systems. 

“We’re trying to bring some specific changes in the design process, such as capturing product information to represent the system’s definitions of interfaces, applying general technologies, and bringing simulation analysis,” he says. 

Tell us about Siemens Xcelerator?

“With the Siemens Xcelerator, we are turning today’s ideas into products,” Kinman says. He goes on to explain the digital twin, a major component of that process: “Digital twin helps create new insights and allows us to interrogate and evaluate the operation and the physic space simulation in a virtual world… representing all the models in a connected single source of information.” This, he says, provides the ability to personalize solutions and integrate them into connected ecosystems. 

What’s next for you and Siemens Digital Industries?

“We are moving forward with Software as a Service (SaaS),” Kinman says, “and working to make the cloud available to everyone, be it big or small enterprises. We are also exploring how to push it out to edge computing.”
To learn more about Siemens Digital Industries Software, visit www.sw.siemens.com.