Advantech in Europe
by Alicja Strzemieczna
Regional Sales Manager CEE Industrial IoT at Advantech

In Europe, Advantech’s is divided into seven regions and each one has a dedicated Key Account Manager for transportation sector. What we have created is like virtual focus team – to gain more business opportunities. Sales from specific regions are able to share experience with other team members. This way, we can improve our knowledge all over continent. Copy good benchmarks and grow equally.

Transportation team is supported by dedicated application engineers and product managers who help to develop rolling stock, busses and roads, in general Smart City projects. Work of the whole team is coordinated by transportation sector leader who driving and coordinating virtual team members inside the transport sector. This involves daily communication with team members about global and local projects and accounts with main objective to duplicate them in European countries.

Over the past few years, Advantech has adopted a sector-based approach to industrial business focusing on 4 sectors: iFactory,, Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, Energy & Environment and Transport. ITS sector in Advantech is focusing mainly on rolling stock manufactures, rail signalling system Integrators and road monitoring solution providers. Next to this, Advantech is co-creating solution ready packages driven together with our Partners. We realised the importance of focusing its sales people on sectors to gain expertise in specific domains and applications.

For train manufacturers like Stadler, Bombardier, Alstom or Pesa, standardisation and reducing the number of vendors they work with is very important. But for the railway business in general it is very difficult to produce standardised, repeatable solutions – around 80% of production for each project needs to be customised. This is why Advantech focuses investments into growth of R&D teams, supported by product management team and last but not least field sales.

From hardware to software, solutions, and the private Cloud

Hardware is still the biggest and core part of Advantech’s sale, representing around 90% of its revenue. In parallel we are starting to sell software and solutions, as a new businesses model which represent disruptive growth opportunities for the coming future. In the past, Advantech supported customers with a single product – dedicated to one element of the system, like switch, DMI, server or controller. Now we are able to discuss about solution selling, build from many Advantech products and 3rd party or our own software. But to install, implement whole solution and provide maintenance service we need to work with local System Integrators.

In Europe Advantech working closely with software partners and SI’s to develop our Solution Ready Packages [SRP]. Solutions need to be created locally and when ready can be all over the world. As an example one of our co-creation partners is a Software provider for connectivity solutions, communication and business platform for transport operators.

Company is located in Central Eastern Europe. Together we are able to provide a variety of ready and modular solutions with services for the transportation industry where functionalities of multiple devices included in one box. Our offer include customised hardware, Wi-Fi design, infotainment and passenger information systems and multimedia platforms. Also the innovative technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), big data analysis and visualisation, integration, connection and fleet management. Solutions are versatile can be implemented in any type of carriage like bus, train, boats, planes or cars (taxis) and in every country.

Global, regional, local

The European transport sector has a far more complex culture than in the US and Asia because of 50 countries with 23 main languages.

For Advantech, this complexity puts company in a unique position worldwide. We are a local multinational community with a global approach, yet understanding the complexity of the industrial markets in Europe, we have established regional management and virtual teams, together with local partnerships. At the same time, we can share our experience coming from Asia, Japan and China. By doing so we are fostering innovation transfer.

Despite its global presence, Advantech is still not so famous in Europe and well knows as other European brands and perceived as Taiwanese company. Which is good because we see many unique innovations coming from Japan, Taiwan, and Asia in general. But boosting our brand recognition is consequently one of our ongoing goals.

People recognise our products for being high quality and reliable, but we also want them to know that Advantech has a strong local presence, with local team in every region in Europe, ready to meet and discuss with customers, support them and provide with solutions that meet their business needs.

Rail market watch by Advantech

- the railways in Europe are generally more technically advanced, especially in countries like France, Germany, and Italy, than in other markets, like the US. US market is more concentrated on bus and road solutions, Europe more on rail.

- Few types of customer in Europe: public and private transport operators, system integrators (SIs), OEM and manufacturers of transportation vehicles, Smart City focused transportation authorities.

- SIs are key to cooperate with Advantech because either train producers or operators need solutions - not single products only. This is natural trend to increase the solutions advantages while lowering the number of contractors and projects extension. This way – one supplier (SI) is giving solution covering few areas.

- Italy has always been the biggest region for Advantech’s rail business in Europe, followed by France, Germany and CEE region.

- European train and tram builders are looking to increase capacity, to fit more passengers into the same space. This explains the rise in demand for several features, like e-ticketing, real time passenger information, CCTV, embedded in a single system. This kind of integration only concerns non-safety-critical functions.

- In Europe we work with train producers and OEMs, local railway operators , System Integrators in each country.

“We’re looking forward to talk with you about your needs.”

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