Combining Software Expertise With a Passion for Technology
Dr. Tanja Rückert Talks About Her First 100 Days in This Role
In August 2018, Dr. Tanja Rückert took over from Gert van Iperen as head of the Bosch Building Technologies business sector. Before taking up this position at Bosch, she was head of the IoT and Digital Supply Chain business sector at SAP SE. Therefore, Bosch has high expectations of this Doctor of Chemistry. As a proven IoT expert, she is expected to drive, continue to develop and implement Bosch’s networking-focused strategy for products, systems and solutions. Tanja Rückert has international experience as a manager in the software sector which, in a time of increasing digitalisation, is seen as the perfect companion to Bosch’s expertise on the product side.
In the IoT age, data is becoming the core component in industrial value creation, with software representing the nervous system of a highly networked world. “I’m very much looking forward to sharing my experience in both sectors at Bosch,“ said Tanja Rückert when she took up her new position. After 100 days in her new role, Tanja Rückert fielded questions from the press at the head office in Grasbrunn and provided a summary of her first 100 days, and a perspective on the future of Bosch Building Technologies.
Ready to Face the Future
At the beginning of her presentation, Tanja Rückert explained where she gained experience of the software sector over the last twenty years and how she developed her great passion for key future themes – artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, machine learning and IoT. She believes that her move to Bosch was motivated on the one hand by the exciting challenge of using her knowledge for continued digital transformation at Bosch, and on the other by how much the company values its customers, society and its employees. Within the first few months, she has already noticed that the values and openness, which partly stem from the company’s founder Robert Bosch, are being put into practice. “The passion for technical innovation, the continuous search for improvements and engineering DNA are a sound foundation for the company’s digital future“, explained Tanja Rückert, before adding: “Among other things, by 2021 Bosch will have invested over €300 million in innovative artificial intelligence technology and has over 25,000 software developers.
Together with our customer proximity and detailed product knowledge, we are for perfectly equipped for IoT and AI.”
Project Experience Makes It Easier to Understand Growth Markets
Security and building technology markets are rapidly changing due to the Internet of Things and increasing networking. Tanja Rückert used a variety of examples to illustrate how Bosch contributes to implementation of high-quality projects, as a solution provider or partner. The experience gained from the implementation of networked solutions is bearing fruit and the use of artificial intelligence has already produced the first results. With conventional building projects, such as construction of the Nove office complex (see p.24) in Munich, creation of a cross-plant fire and intrusion alarm concept at BMW AG, Shanghai Tower, or construction of the international terminal at Cancun airport, the emphasis is on networking and integration of security systems. We can already speak in terms of artificial intelligence with some projects, for example when video analysis technology is used in factory buildings and for protecting the Eurasia Tunnel. Such solutions improve security or use sensors and data analysis to optimise the energy efficiency of buildings and facilities. In the J-Village, the new home of long-established Italian football club Juventus Turin, an integrated energy solution, including maintenance and monitoring, enables very efficient energy management.
From Products to Data Based Business
During her first 100 days at Bosch, Tanja Rückert has held many meetings with customers and partners, which confirmed that she can rely on the quality and innovation of Bosch products. In her opinion, in recent years a great deal of work has been devoted to product connectivity and the next step – combining product-specific services, such as analytics and process optimisation, in order to create intelligent solutions – is already being implemented. Video-based fire detection using Bosch cameras and the Aviotec system are an example of this. Tanja Rückert believes that the next steps towards data-based business lie in value-added services, such as “Security as a Service“, if products become a service, and ultimately in offering data-based, digital business models, ecosystems and platforms. As part of this process, Bosch places its trust in its strong customer focus, integration of sensors, software and services and use of new technology. This technology does not necessarily have to be developed in the designated department, but can also come from other sectors, such as the Bosch Automotive sector, in which development of networked sensors and IoT applications is very present.
“Our customers trust us and we have the right employees, technologies and team spirit. After 100 days, all I can do is thank everyone for their support and look forward to working together in the future,“ was Tanja Rückert’s personal summation of her first 100 days.
Following the press conference, Dr. Tanja Rückert also found time to speak to GIT SECURITY. We asked her about IoT applications now and in the future – and data protection issues.
GIT SECURITY: Tanja Rückert, after moving from SAP to Bosch, are you now closer or further away from the Internet of Things?
Dr. Tanja Rückert: In the software sector, we might seem, at first glance, to be closer to the Internet and Cloud applications. In this context, IoT is part of the basic vocabulary. But if you look at things more sceptically, you could also speak ironically about the “Internet without Things”. But here at Bosch, I am significantly closer to the “things”, in other words the sensors, devices, actuators and therefore also the data.
Where do we stand when it comes to the IoT in the security sector and what can the IoT do for the sector?
Dr. Tanja Rückert: IoT applications are already part of our everyday lives. With the cloud-based EffiLink platform, for example, we offer remote and online services for security systems. A networked fire detector can tell us, for example, that it has already been in use for 45,556 hours and is now 51.6% contaminated. This type of dialogue is a concrete example of the Internet of Things, which can often seem more abstract. Together with many other examples, the above example of video-based fire detection embedded in a security, alarm and evacuation system shows the power of the IoT. If we manage to integrate more devices – and I am thinking here of devices from other providers – we are well on our way to making our world a safer and more comfortable place, being proactive and making better use of our resources.
You spoke about the open approach. Standards are needed for efficient use of the Internet of Things and manufacturer-independent integration. What expectations does Bosch have for the newly created Open Security & Safety Alliance and what is the role of SAST, the Bosch start-up?
Dr. Tanja Rückert: The new industrial alliance, which we have formed with Hanwha Techwin, Milestone, Pelco and Vivotek, has the objective of developing precisely these standards and specifications in the context of the Internet of Things. It aims to develop standards and specifications for a sector-specific operating system, the necessary IoT infrastructure and common guidelines for data security and protection. Our Bosch-Start-up Security and Safety Things (SAST) is developing a shared IoT platform for this alliance.
So, in a sense, SAST is supposed to provide the operating system?
Dr. Tanja Rückert: Yes, shared applications only work if you agree upon on a common operating system, specifications and standards. With this initiative, we are laying the foundation for development of a secure and reliable ecosystem for the security sector, for a common marketplace. The alliance and SAST therefore bring together hardware manufacturers, software developers, integrators, planners, consultants, users and other parties.
The new business sector is now called Bosch Building Technologies rather than Bosch Security Systems. What is the reason behind this?
Dr. Tanja Rückert: The new name encompasses all the aspects of our business better than the old one. We offer security and communications solutions and, together with the regional building technology sector, provide solutions and services for building security, energy efficiency and building automation in selected countries, which means that we are not limited to security.
In some countries, such as China, AI applications are being tested and developed without major approval processes. In Germany, you sometimes have the impression that data protection is more important than anything else and also prevents useful projects from being developed. Do you see data protection as a barrier to innovation?
Dr. Tanja Rückert: I mainly see data protection requirements, such as the GDPR and IT security requirements, as an opportunity for us, as for years we have been working, for example, on video surveillance for technologically secure systems with multiple protection using encryption and certificates. Bosch has very high ethical standards when it comes to data protection and keeps all data confidential and secure. The principle of first clarifying ethical questions before the technology takes over without regulation is not wrong. But we have to improve how we communicate with the public, so that society thinks first of the benefits and positive effects of things like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence and not about the limitations and risks.