Game Changers

Game Changer Profile

Otto Schell, Member of the Board of Directors, DSAG

Otto Schell, Member of the Board of Directors at DSAG Read insights

Otto Schell is helping to redefine the true meaning of agility and speed for executives, based on his observation that “the world is no longer a globe; it is flat – with IoT you can see everyone, everywhere. Information is everywhere – agility is our new challenge.” Arguing that there will often be too little time even for data analysis and innovation measurement, the German thought leader advocates for “real-time, all the time” business agility – and that, increasingly, companies need to attack markets.

Schell is a Member of the Board of Directors of the German speaking SAP user group (DSAG), specializing in business processes and digital transformation. Beside this, he also runs the bi-yearly Globalization Symposium for international user communities. The leading advocacy group for optimized SAP solutions globally, DSAG represents more than 3,000 large and mid-size companies, and 55,000 individuals. Schell is also chair of international relations for the UN-accredited Diplomatic Council, where he helps define the meaning of technological and market changes from a cultural perspective, between states and nations.

In a major recent presentation on “The skillset of tomorrow,” he plots the business value path on X and Y-axes defined by Agility and Relevance. Schell states that merely ‘in time’ will need to become ‘real-time’, and that business agility will require ‘on demand’ models. Centrally, he challenges fears of change – and points out that any early fears of reliability behind services like Amazon and Uber were quickly extinguished. He states that “Digital transformation and IoT acceleration require speed while retaining trust.”

Schell describes the benefits of “Automation through sensoric networks – and digitalization of business models,” but warns that it is a “one-time opportunity for all of us; if you try to measure, you are too late!” Pointing out that the current generation of business readers represent the “roll-out model” of the new digital economy, this keynote thinker is helping companies understand the fundamentally different expectations held by Generation Y, and of Millennials – where even a desire to own products cannot be assumed.

His team is unearthing the ongoing value of whole species of underused physical assets, by revealing how smart and integrated sensors can be harnessed to optimize their use, maintenance and performance. Above all, Schell argues for the leveraging of new technologies to adopt new business models – typically, away from the sale of products and toward real-time services, noting that “Different players or a disruptive play is the task I’m giving (executives) to think about.”

In an interview with BPI, he cited the TotalCare business model innovation at power systems company Rolls Royce as a prime example of the needed change – where that company no longer sells engines and, later, spare parts, but rather provides customers with power by the hour, enabled by sensoric maintenance.

“Does Rolls Royce sell their turbines or do they sell the service of the turbines? They sell the service. They no longer go to an aircraft maker and say, here’s a turbine. They say – we will monitor our turbines 24/7, and intervene before something happens. It’s a complete different business model, which would not have been possible without the new technology.

“There is a general pattern toward service which companies need to think about. There is an Italian railway company which repairs its equipment on the fly – no longer does the train need to go to the station every 2 months and sit for three weeks. The idea is optimal asset life cycle usage – and that has urgent implications for business models.”

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