Schindler Board Member Joins IOTA; Advisor #20 For 2018

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It appears as though the IOTA Foundation’s web of industry contacts has grown more resourceful once more. This time it’s by way of Michael Nilles (Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Schindler Group and CEO of Schindler Digital Business AG), who – per his LinkedIn profile – has served as an Advisory Board Member of the IOTA Foundation since this past March.

March Madness

Notably, March 20 was the date of Schindler Holding Limited’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Shareholders. Here, Nilles was successfully elected as a new member of the Board of Directors; something which had been proposed by the Board back in January of last year. Concurrently, Nilles became a member of the Board’s Supervisory and Strategy Committee.

This recent election has now made Nilles an influential voice regarding how Schindler opts to strategically navigate this disruptive era of technological innovation. Indeed, per the (previously linked) January press release:

Michael Nilles will drive Schindler’s digital strategy at Group level and have functional oversight over all IoT-activities.”

Who Is The Schindler Group?

Headquartered in Ebikon, Switzerland, the Schindler Group is a multinational corporation that manufactures, installs, services, and modernizes elevators, escalators and moving walks. Their products are found in virtually every type of building (e.g., residential, commercial, high-rise).

Founded in 1874, Schindler now operates over a thousand branch offices in more than a hundred countries. Additionally, they have production sites and research and development (R&D) facilities in the United States, Brazil, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, China, and India. Underpinning this global juggernaut is a staff base that totals 61,019 employees.

Per page 22 of their Full year results presentation 2017, Schindler reported a net profit of 884 million Swiss francs (~US$961.7 million) for the 2017 calendar year, along with 10,179 million Swiss francs (~$11.07 billion) in total revenue.

IOTA’s Tangle To Escalate Schindler?

Given the nature of their respective areas of expertise, one cannot help but speculate over the possibility of Nilles arranging a future collaboration between the IOTA Foundation and the Schindler Group.

Indeed, per page 62 of the Schindler Group Review 2017, the multinational “is investing in state-of-the-art technologies to pioneer digitization in the elevator and escalator market;” a strategic effort they have dubbed the ‘Internet of Elevators and Escalators’ (IoEE).

The first product associated with the IoEE – ‘Schindler Ahead’ – was launched at the 2017 Hannover Fair; the very exhibition where IOTA featured heavily in just two weeks ago.

Beyond connecting Schindler’s already-installed units to the cloud, ‘Schindler Ahead’ marks the world’s first fully digital closed-loop maintenance, emergency, and information ecosystem for elevators and escalators.

Sliding Doors Moment

As if the feasibility of Schindler soon integrating with IOTA’s Tangle technology wasn’t already enough to contemplate, then taking a look at some of their recent partnership announcements ought to do it.

In July 2016, Schindler entered into a strategic partnership with GE Digital, whose proprietary software platform for developing industrial IoT (IIoT) applications – Predix – was able to be leveraged by the one-hundred-and-forty-four-year-old Swiss manufacturer.

Then, in September 2016, Schindler signed a global agreement on cooperation for IoT connectivity with Huawei – the leading global information and communications technology solutions provider.

Indeed, there is seemingly no limit to the amount of use cases that IOTA’s cryptographic protocol could offer GE Digital, Huawei, and other Industry 4.0 pioneers. Interestingly, IOTA Co-Founder Dominik Schiener spoke at the Huawei Channel Partner Conference on April 18.

Conjecture aside, with Nilles now (unofficially) advising IOTA, he – along with the nineteen others who’ve joined thus far in 2018 – certainly seems capable of helping the Foundation establish itself in the burgeoning IoT space.   

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