Las Vegas (NV) / Friedrichshafen (Germany). Big Data is fast becoming the new currency of global business. Harnessing the power of data into tangible products and services that provide value to both the market sellers and end consumers, along with other entities such as governments, educators and service providers, has enormous potential and holds great promise to make future mobility more efficient, safe and convenient for all.
ZF has proven data-based businesses in the areas of Truck & Trailer Telematics and Wind Energy. Data that are already driving the mobility of the future and ZF is ready to meet the challenges of the further development and deployment of data businesses with its new Data Venture Accelerator. The Data Venture Accelerator is a global venture hub within ZF’s Innovation & Technology organization. It is being established to expand products that have successfully shown value and technology feasibility – from Innovative Proof of Concepts, to Mature Data Products. Turning such promising ventures into mature Data Businesses is the goal of the Data Venture Accelerator.
“ZF has had great success innovating valuable digital & data initiatives, and we now want to expand these approaches into scalable business offerings,” said Dr. Dirk Walliser, Senior Vice President Corporate R&D, Innovation and Technology. “With the Data Venture Accelerator we have developed an operational model which will allow such initiatives to more quickly and effectively translate into product offerings that will meet the needs of our customers and society.”
There are three major elements to the Data Venture Accelerator:
Venture “Speedboats” – Independent, autonomous, multi-disciplinary teams established solely to accelerate incubated data business to the market. Ventures are run like start-up companies and managed with Venture Capital-like governance.
Data Business Centers of Excellence (CoE) – Expert resources to ensure consistent application of processes, methods, and tools to each of the Venture “Speedboats”.
Joint Market Team – A paired team of ZF product-facing and dedicated Data business market experts, which will collaboratively work to address the needs of both existing and new customers.
Dr. Dirk Walliser sees the Data Venture Accelerator as a key contributor to ZF’s future: “ZF is able to generate added value and revenue for its customers with digital end-to-end data solutions and they will see more data product & service offerings from ZF resulting from the Data Venture Accelerator. As we develop greater Data Business proficiency, ZF will have expertise which will more effectively address customer and industry data needs.”
Using Existing Data Intelligently
As more and more components in vehicles are equipped with sensors and become “smart” components, vehicles themselves become an enormous data source – because sensors collect data by design. This data can help to make mobility safer, more efficient and more convenient. And this also gives rise to new business models: Making data economically viable for customers is one of ZF's goals. Value is no longer only created by developing, selling and manufacturing a product, but can be monetized throughout its life cycle separately from hardware. By monetizing data, customers can increase their earnings and strengthen their position in an increasingly competitive market.
ZF, as a system supplier with software and data competence, has already created an innovative ecosystem for this purpose – and the Data Venture Accelerator will help to put data business squarely on the fast track.