How omlox Enables Service-Oriented Business Models

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In the last few years, it has become apparent that platforms serve as mediators between consumers and producers – either in people’s day-to-day lives or in the B2B world. Many of these platforms heavily rely on location data as a fundamental pillar of their business models. Examples of this include delivery platforms for food or groceries, private home rentals, care or bike sharing, freight forwarding, construction machine rentals, etc. It is location that matches supply to demand, defines service costs and quality, and is a basic input variable for efficient operations.

In industry, a shift has occurred from ownership-driven to a service-oriented business model. This is particularly true today, where business demands are volatile and supply chains have been shaken and disrupted. To cope with changes and to ensure they have adequate financial liquidity to react to sudden incidents, operating managers are transitioning their spending policies from CAPEX to OPEX.

However, due to a lack of seamless and precise location data, service-oriented business models in industry have historically been limited to either stationary indoor equipment or mobile outdoor equipment scenarios. With omlox, the world’s first open locating standard in industry, new service-oriented business models are now possible.

The omlox standard enables seamless access to location data. It defines a lightweight locating middleware (omlox hub) that aggregates location data from all locating technologies and vendors, and allows for interoperable real-time locating with Ultra-WideBand (omlox core zone).

The standardized APIs and flexible operation models of omlox facilitate a level of transparency on shopfloors and in warehouses that has yet to be seen until now. It allows for the tracking of any object along production and logistics processes, whether it is a machine tool, mobile machine, or transportation equipment.

Mobile machine builders are able to build new service-oriented business models for their machines. Also, higher aggregated service models, such as “transportation as a service”, “storage as a service” or “worker safety as a service” are realistic and feasible. A first example was recently published by members of the omlox community, where omlox enabled automated guided vehicle (AGV) rental services in production sites by reducing setup times for AGVs within an omlox-compliant infrastructure.

We are only beginning to explore the capability of omlox to create new service-oriented business models. Currently, omlox is participating in a joint research project – called xForge- led by TRUMPF and Fraunhofer IPA, that aims to build up a complete factory as a service. We are all excited to see how these new service models will shape industry in the years to come.

Dr. Matthias Jöst
Committee Leader