Digitalization has become a vital element in business, providing great opportunities and potentials by improving the operations of businesses in line with the market’s volatile needs in the 4.0 era. Vietnam is facing a great opportunity to develop and enhance its national position.

Speaking at the 30th anniversary of FPT’s establishment on September 13, 2018, Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung asked: “What will FPT do for the next 10 years to serve the country for the national prosperity?” In response to this call and from its aspiration, FPT was determined to “reborn” to fulfill that mission in the next 10 years.

That is the new mission: Empower digital transformation in Vietnam on the basis of an open ecosystem.

In order to fulfill that mission, technology strategy FPT IS aims to innovate and modernize/digitize businesses in all areas, greatly affecting socio-economy such as logistics, energy quality, transportation, tourism… FPT IS will focus on providing digitalized solutions for enterprises applying technology platforms: Mobility, Big Data/Analytics, Cloud, IoT/IIoT, Blockchain, AI, Next Generation Security.

The convergence of IT and OT

The IoT platform is used to connect with endpoints in a broad sense such as physical assets and consumer goods. This platform allows monitoring, management, service provision and security for these things. IoT platform also connects things systems (things belonging to customers, partners, businesses…) to IT and OT systems to provide previously unrecordable values. From the data collected, analyzing via IoT Analytic system will provide information for stakeholders or other platforms. The convergence and integration of IT and OT become necessary, for businesses in the era of industrial revolution 4.0.

Source: Gartner.

For decades, the industrial sector has shifted from analog control systems to digitalization including PLC, DSC, ICS, and SCADA. Operational technology – OT provides production management with a growing amount of data to monitor, optimize and control industrial processes. But this data is often not used outside the OT area, while information is becoming an increasingly valuable source of capital. Companies often maintain separate IT and OT areas because of their distinct characteristics from technology, objects, culture, people, and standards… Today, businesses are looking at IT convergence and OT is not only a great opportunity but also an indispensable strategy for businesses to remain competitive and participate in the value chain and new ecosystems.

The convergence and integration of IT/OT allow an overall, unified view and management of enterprise-wide processes (internal and extensive), ensuring each individual receives the right information, the right format at the right time. The convergence nature of IT/OT is to integrate IT systems with OT systems in the production field, thereby enabling IT/OT integration throughout the enterprise, enabling enterprises to build one platform connecting with the ecosystem in the industrial revolution 4.0 as mentioned above.

The benefits of convergence and integration of IT/OT include process optimization, information enhancement, cost reduction, risk reduction, and time reduction. This convergence allows for many priorities in implementing IoT for businesses as Gartner’s later survey in 2016:

Source: Gartner.

This convergence creates a premise for deploying IoT and will affect many traditional enterprise applications and systems as the following Gartner’s survey in 2017:

Source: Gartner.

However, the big obstacle is the coordination between IT and OT departments. In OT, thanks to the application of new technologies of automation, many previously complex and inefficient systems have been converged together in a unified operating platform (converging in OT). The convergence of OT and IT will help control, manage better and meet the long-term strategy of businesses.

Look ahead

The convergence of IT and OT became realistic and inevitable when it was initiated by IT and OT departments in some businesses orientated to create a premise for digital transformation. Some recommendations to facilitate, encourage IT/OT convergence:

  • Prepare from senior leaders including Chief Information Officer (CIO) to departments for the process, technology, data integration between IT and OT throughout the enterprise. Business units must be supporters then this can be done, IT can only make awareness.
  • Shape the integrated and synchronous approach of IT and OT that your business will follow. This depends on how much IT is responsible for OT computing infrastructure and the level of information sharing required by OT computing infrastructure.
  • The IT department needs to adapt to the most appropriate IT/OT synchronization model to ensure its information sharing, connectivity, and business requirements.

Grasping challenges and opportunities of enterprises in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in general, in IT and OT convergence in particular, FPT IS has been pioneering in:

  • Establish strategic partnerships with leading industrial corporations in OT and take the lead in industry digital transformation such as GE, Siemens, Airbus, Boeing, Toshiba…
  • Build a team to approach IIoT, converging IT/OT with the strength of young people, the ability to absorb new technologies quickly to be able to implement the digital transformation projects in industry, converging IT/OT at the market of developed countries. Thereby learning more experience, improving reputation, partner level and position in the value chain in this new field.
  • Expanding from the area of traditional IT systems for domestic enterprises such as EPR, HRM… to solve digital transformation problems, modernize production, converge IT/OT with solutions and PLM, MES/MOM, IIoT, Advanced Automation technologies, combine with AI, BigData/Analytics, Cloud, Mobility technologies… for a unified technology platform of enterprises.
  • Determine the pioneering role in implementing new technologies and solutions for the OT region.

Application expansion and performance of ERP with IoT/IIoT

Automated-digitized control technologies are increasingly equipped and widely applied in businesses to increase production. As more modern equipment and technologies are more equipped, connections create more data that makes monitoring and coordination of business operations more efficient, better responsive, faster with the change of business activity.

In the 4.0 era, ERP and IoT systems are more closely correlated than ever. ERP acts as a key component to unlock data values provided by IoT and vice versa. IoT provides the most important fuel which is the real data of manufacturing operations for ERP systems. ERP allows businesses to plan for what will happen under the factory, while the IoT provides the ability to observe, understand and respond quickly to what’s happening in the factory. The result of coordination between ERP and IoT is the improvement of productivity, reducing downtime and meeting the needs of the entire enterprise.

The implementation of modernization, towards industry 4.0 in Vietnamese enterprises is still limited, especially for small and medium enterprises. High technology costs, lack of appropriate investment strategies, limitations in resources, experience and infrastructure are the main obstacles.

Recognizing the difficulties and needs of small and medium enterprises in Vietnam in IR 4.0, FPT IS aims to build and provide platform technologies and services to connect and exploit production information effectively from the factory to production and business resource management systems in enterprises. A typical example is the “F.DI Visualize” product package of FPT IS which provides connection and data collection services operating at the factory based on IIoT technology platform. “F.DI Migrating” package helps customers digitize automated or semi-automatic production systems and connect with monitoring-control infrastructure through IIoT technology at a reasonable cost. Meanwhile, “F.DI Tracking” package is also based on IoT technology platform to help customers digitize and monitor online resources, tools and production resources …

These products and services of FPT IS are key components to create a foundation to apply and effectively exploit IoT technology in production monitoring and management. The smart products that connect people, processes, data and everything provided by FPT IS will help the plant to exploit a lot of customer-oriented information flows, increasing operational efficiency.

Along with IoT, the technologies that FPT IS focuses on research and application to increase efficiency for ERP include Cloud/Edge Computing, AI, Big Data/Analytics, Blockchain … All these systems not only increase the ability to manage, operate, make decisions in the IT sector but also across the IT/OT area of the enterprise (including people and entire assets), partners, customers, and communities.

Accompanying with small and medium enterprises in Digital Transformation (SMB)

During the past 25 years, FPT IS has focused heavily on major national and industry problems. Since then, FPT IS has accumulated many valuable experiences, developed an ecosystem of leading partners in the world, built up resources and capabilities to expand the market to the SMB business sector as well as vertical majors.

In the context of Industry 4.0, FPT IS realized that there are 3 digital transformations taking place simultaneously in Vietnam:

  • Digital government to E-Government for a digital society, a digital economy.
  • The connective city to Smart City.
  • Industry to Smart Industry, also known as Industry 4.0 as Germany calls it.

All three of these major transformation have taken businesses (including SMB enterprises) as centers to provide new solutions in digitizing.

Understanding this trend, from 2019, FPT IS aims to research, develop and provide suitable services, platforms, and products with not only thousands of FPT IS customers serving but also hundreds of thousands of SMB businesses in Vietnam, not let any business be left behind in this great transformation.

FPT IS’s traditional products such as General Hospital Management FPT.eHospital, FPT.iHotel Hotel Management, Human Resource Management – FPT.iHRP,… will be packaged into software packages, on the Cloud-based services, Mobility support, network security… so SMB businesses can easily invest and operate by.

New products for the manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, and operation areas that FPT IS is developing and introducing to the market will be built right from the beginning of the models, optionally aimed at SMB businesses.

ERP 4.0 is the key industry for the digital transformation of the Group

In the comprehensive digital transformation picture, the role of large corporations and multidisciplinary corporations including state-owned enterprises and private enterprises is extremely important to create breakthrough developments affecting the economy as well as leading innovation in key sectors. FPT IS with the tradition of providing core solutions for enterprise management (ERP systems and related specialized systems) is capable of covering and integrating different operations for this transition of businesses and organizations.

FPT IS has demonstrated its high experience, capability and commitment in implementing large-scale projects such as the Financial Management system for the entire financial sector with about 1,500 deployment sites and 3,000 users; TABMIS system manages state budget revenues and expenditures with about 1,500 deployment points, 18,000 users; deploying wide range of Oracle ERP corporate solutions that after 10 years foreign contractors have not completed in EVN…

As the leading partner of the largest corporations, FPT IS is at the forefront of digital enterprise management solutions including core ERP integration of 4.0 technologies: Blockchain, Big Data Analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things… which can be flexibly deployed on Cloud or in its own infrastructure, combining application-layer solutions developed by FPT IS called ERP 4.0. FPT IS provides ERP 4.0 for customers as an important platform for transforming multidisciplinary enterprises with interactive experiences covering front-office, mid-office, back-office, and the operational technology area.

Do Bang
Published on ERP & Enterprise 2019

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