NMW 2018

The Future of Network- and Platform Providers

Oct 23, 2018

How does one use open transport platforms, the digitalisation of the freight forwarding business and an integration of on-demand services into mass-transit solutions in order to make logistics data work for consumers and businesses?
The answers are manifold, with a host of companies attacking the problems from different angles.


Uli Muench, the Global VP of Automotive at SAP, provided insight into how SAP is involved in this. As the company touches 77% of the world’s global transaction revenue, he cited the example of the city of Nanjing, where SAP Leonardo helps to centralise and analyse all traffic data and provide smart traffic solutions. Here, IoT technology improves the perception of every sensor throughout the whole city.

Also, regarding MaaS, SAP is moving beyond the linear value chain that involves suppliers sending things to automotive OEMs, who then send it on to dealers who provide to consumers. Instead, the consumer becomes a prosumer (see slide below) at the centre of a circular value chain.

E-mobility fleets
E-mobility fleets


Viktor Hatwagner of Kapsch focused on new and automated ways for information-booking-payment services in the mobility sector, starting off with the incredible amount of data that is needed as each service provider want to know everything about the client to ensure customer ownership. But as there are millions of people registered for millions of services that all collect variations of the same data, it is a tedious experience both for private users and businesses. In the transportation sector, information is needed in areas such as fuelling, tolling, parking, maintenance, e-wallets, platooning, insurances, route and cost optimisation, and digtial freight document workflows. But with the OEM industry undergoing dramatic changes and many companies lurching forward in competition with one another, the result is a somewhat chaotic sprint. 

Registering for every service individually is not an option anymore, and opens the doors for IoT, connected vehicles, blockchain and trusted mobility hubs. Also, as the automotive industry works with longer life cycles and needs the legal frameworks to adapt as well to new technologies, Hatwagner is betting on automation becoming a must in business processes and mobility hubs becoming key to enabling service deployment. 


Daimler’s Björn Sack (Head of connectivity and digital services) analysed how connectivity is changing the future of urban logistics, as having too many operational processes in fleet cause inefficiency. Therefore, digital services facilitate crucial business processes, as business owners no longer need to do it manually and check their cars or be phoned by drivers when stuck in traffic. These services enable a simplified fleet management, optimised assistance, improved navigation and digital records, saving on time and efficiency. Ultimately, fully integrated route planning saves time and money. 


Dr Lasse Landt of Pamyra looked at how the digitisation of freight forwarding will affect businesses, as 85% of freight forwarders don’t have an automated quote request system, 45% of a sales executive’s day is spent on pricing, and 55% of requests go unanswered by senders. As various value sources are set to be disrupted, ranging from more market transparency to leveraging information and data, as well as tailoring solutions or automating the physical transport from A to B more effectively and impacting its cost. Landt summarised the impact on freight forwarders as being a change in customer requirements, loosening customer-supplier relationships, startups coming in more and more, and an increasing pressure to specialise since new business models are emerging all of the time. 

Smart City Lab (T Mobile)

Joachim Schonowski of T Mobile presented ideas on how to rethink mobility by avoiding, reducing and reusing. Cities currently have no consistent strategy to adapt to changing needs to their inhabitants. A different view of infrastructure and its integration in society is needed. Essentially, the whole city of the future has to be redesigned. It has to be a continuously evolving organism. In this integrated holistic system, the “system of systems” has to interoperable and provider-independent,  with smart cities developing towards a digital society. For this, the generation and usage of data become imperative, as the cities’ data usage should support the concept of circularity. 

To aid with this development, Telekom has started the Smart City Lab, which integrates all necessary considerations and aspects and takes up this approach so as to design the ecosystem for a community of tomorrow with parallel activities that are linked together.

Smart City
Smart City