Bosch is bringing together its global IoT activities at a new hub in the German capital. In the presence of Berlin’s mayor Michael Müller, the Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner inaugurated the company’s new IoT campus at the Tempelhofer Hafen in the creative Ullsteinhaus district. Ber-lin is a hotspot for many important players working on and with connected solu-tions. They include software and hardware providers, technology partners, and start-ups. “With our new premises, we are building bridges between our own IoT experts and others in Berlin’s creative and digital scenes,” Denner said. “The inauguration of the Bosch IoT campus is another important building block for Berlin as a digital capital,” Müller said, speaking before guests from politics, business, and the media. “We believe in openness for the internet of things – open ecosystems and open collaboration and partnership. This idea is also re-flected in the campus concept,” Denner added.
More than 250 Bosch associates are working at the new campus. Over the next few years, the number of associates is expected to rise to around 400. They come from a range of different domains within the company. The IoT experts will advise and support customers during the development and implementation of projects for connected solutions. These encompass, for instance, solutions for Industry 4.0, connected mobility, smart cities, and smart homes. The new location is also the headquarters of Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, which was previously located at Berlin’s Schöneberger Ufer. This Bosch subsidiary has been playing an active role in shaping the internet of things for around ten years. IoT consultants, software developers, project managers, trainers, and other specialists have now realized more than 250 international IoT projects. Michael Hahn, a member of the executive management of Bosch Software Innovations, emphasized the significance of the new IoT campus: “With its cloud-based Bosch IoT Suite software platform, Bosch is a leader in technology. We are now combining this expertise with our broad knowledge of IoT consulting and applications at our new Berlin location. Our customers and partners will benefit from having their companies, some of which are still analog, seamlessly transported into the age of connectivity.”
Campus combines laboratory character with IoT vibe
Visitors to the Bosch IoT campus immediately notice that the open-plan, three-story ensemble offers an unconventional working environment. Instead of desks, a caravan, workshops, and forest-themed workspaces catch the eye. “Associates helped to develop this creative environment. They have everything they need to create new IoT solutions either by themselves in quiet work zones, in agile teams, or together with customers and partners,” Hahn said. In total, Bosch has invested some 3 million euros in the location and its unusual workspaces. The workshops are there to help associates build prototypes quickly and easily, for example. In contrast, the caravan is all about user experience: together with customers and users, it is a place where prototypes can be tested in the very early phases of a project. All of this is based on the design thinking method of innovation, which is widespread in the software development world. “We want to understand customer needs in creative and structured processes, generate a lot of ideas quickly, and test them directly with future users,” Hahn said.
From prototypes to productive solutions
In order for customers and associates to get an even better idea of how a prototype becomes a productive solution, the campus itself functions as a kind of living IoT lab. The caravan has been converted into a Bosch smart home, and the office kitchens are equipped with connected home appliances. Associates are also encouraged to integrate new applications into their everyday work on an ongoing basis. One very recent example is an app that uses geodata to guide associates to the next free meeting room of the required size. “The internet of things only works when people connect with each other, which is why we are creating a lot of space for encounters and inviting the IoT community to come here to the campus,” Hahn said.
Bosch versatile in terms of IoT
Bosch’s strategic aim is to offer solutions for connected mobility and connected manufacturing, as well as for connected energy systems and connected buildings. The company is tapping new, promising markets such as, most recently, smart homes. At the same time, Bosch is harnessing every opportunity being provided by connectivity in traditional markets as well, such as in the field of connected mobility. The company focuses on the “3S’s” in its connectivity business: sensors, software, and services. In developing and implementing services and solutions for the connected world, Bosch benefits from its expertise in software and sensor technology as well as, in particular, its broad business portfolio.