HxGN LIVE 2019: Hexagon challenges companies to place their bets

By Mike Rhodes, Managing Editor

LAS VEGAS—Hexagon's annual cross-industry technology conference, HxGN LIVE, continued this week at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

During a morning keynote session, Mattias Stenberg, President of Hexagon's PPM division, used the Las Vegas connection to encourage every company in industry to "place its bets" on the digital future. A surprising number are betting only on small, incremental change, Stenberg said to a capacity crowd, while others are still backing the status quo.

He put "his cards on the table" to explain the industry-changing wagers Hexagon is making and why. At stake is an industrial landscape filled with complexity, risk, tectonic shifts, new competitors and volatility. Stenberg said that Hexagon is countering with a portfolio of smart bets that will drive simplicity, safety, efficiency and increasingly autonomous operations throughout the lifecycle of an industrial ecosystem.

"We are seeing big bets in digital transformation," he said. "We see billions (and even trillions) being invested. With big bets, of course, comes big risk. How do we ensure a good return for us, and for the industry?"

"We clearly do not bet on hype or buzz," he continued. "There's plenty of that going around in this industry. If you listen to the buzzwords and the latest reports, you are told to throw everything into digital transformation, IoT or artificial intelligence. Are these things important? Of course, but they are not the only bets to make. I believe in digital transformation, but sometimes I ask people what they mean by 'digital transformation'; I don't think that anyone really understands what that means."

"I don't bet on hype or even technology," Stenberg said. "I bet on outcomes, such as efficiency, productivity, quality and, ultimately, better outcomes."

Stenberg touted the company's 50 years of experience; its technology portfolio, which "covers workflow from A to Z" in an integrated way; innovation, with more than 2,000 developers working to improve the solutions for this industry; the deep pool of technology among the company's divisions; and, most importantly, its customers, partners and relationships with the most innovative companies in the industry.

"This gives us a lot of information, and a lot of input to our strategy when we make decisions," he said. "We have a pretty good hand, and this gives us a good platform when making strategic bets."

Additional keynotes. A Thursday morning session featured Chuck Gill, VP of Go-to-Market and Field Development at Hexagon PPM. Gill discussed how mega-industrial and building construction projects are becoming increasingly complex and competitive, and how the company's PPM division is helping customers "stack the deck" in their favor with a robust portfolio of digital solutions.

"Projects are absolutely becoming more complex and sophisticated, and more of a concern. Nine out of 10 mega-projects go over budget," Gill said. "That's a pretty staggering statistic. When you start digging into the 'why,' one thing that keeps coming back over and over is that traditional tools and processes are just not cutting it anymore. We must find new solutions, tools and technologies, and change the way we think about solving these problems."

He discussed how autonomous, connected ecosystems are taking the complication out of complex projects and empowering an autonomous future that leverages and connects data across the project ecosystem, optimizing resources while increasing productivity and safety.

Also on Thursday, Jaclyn Arnold, Hexagon's VP of Owner Operator Business for the PPM division, explored industry trends in operations and maintenance and how digitalization fits and provides increased safety, breaking down communication barriers and reducing opportunities for human error throughout an operations and maintenance ecosystem.

Technical sessions. At HxGN LIVE, sessions are available that specifically target multiple interests and are pre-filtered by track:

  • PPM track: The future of digital transformation for industrial assets
  • Safety and infrastructure track: Taking advantage of digital solutions to help companies thrive safely
  • Manufacturing intelligence track: Discovering where smart quality is hiding in plain sight for manufacturing operations
  • Geospatial track: Bridging the divide between geospatial and operational worlds
  • Geosystems track: Going "beyond reality" and exploring never-before-seen possibilities in reality capture
  • Mining track: Digging deeper by increasing safety, removing administrative burdens and reducing complexities.

In addition to hundreds of technology sessions by industry experts, HxGN LIVE also includes The Zone, Hexagon's technology showcase. Organized into six ecosystems—Smart Industrial Facilities, Smart buildings and infrastructure, Smart Cities and Nations, Smart Autonomous Mobility, Smart Factories and Smart Mines—the exhibits display Hexagon's core capabilities in sensor, software and autonomous solutions to boost efficiency, productivity and quality for its customers.

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