INTERVIEWS

3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH

3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH
Roland Wagner
Head of Product Marketing
" Automation technology improves work and product quality by transferring manually performed repetitive activities to machines or plants. Ultimately, this means that automation technology improves the quality of life of many people. "

1. What excites you most in automation market being in marketing function and as the Head of Product Marketing for CODESYS?

Automation technology improves work and product quality by transferring manually performed repetitive activities to machines or plants.

Ultimately, this means that automation technology improves the quality of life of many people.

What makes me really enthusiastic is the wide variety of functions and application areas of CODESYS as well as the great number of different clients and users of the system.

Indeed, CODESYS has established itself as the standard on the market - and there are lots of CODESYS fans in the whole world!

And there are good reasons for that: We regularly release new product features and developments of CODESYS - so we really mean it when we tell our customers that CODESYS is the best tool on the market. I think I do not exaggerate when I say that the whole staff is very proud of CODESYS.

2. What are the technological and marketing plans for CODESYS in the future?

Along with the technical innovation we always try to keep an eye on our users. Our goal is to give them a tool that allows them to handle their automation tasks faster and easier - and thus ensure they have a real competitive edge.

To reach that goal, we work on additional integrated add-on tools such as the CODESYS Profiler for runtime analysis of IEC 61131-3 applications or new integrated fieldbus stacks like PROFInet.

Of course, our marketing efforts focus on new products like these.

At the same time, we make a point of bringing forward the CODESYS community. Consequently, we started the CODESYS Store, a kind of "App Shop" platform for our tool.

The sample projects and additional tools available in this store further help CODESYS users by making engineering easier.

3. We understand marketing and networking are the critical points in a B2B industry for a company to stand on top. What innovative ways did CODESYS adapt in the recent years in these areas?

Indeed, marketing is crucial for being successful in the B2B business. Our marketing approach not only focuses on pointing out the quality of our products. We are convinced that, beyond that, technology marketing is most effective when realized in a joint effort with our clients. Thus, we have presented CODESYS on a joint booth with our clients and partners on various fairs and exhibitions for many years which proved to be an effective marketing model for all three parties involved: the manufacturers of CODESYS compatible devices, the CODESYS users and 3S-Smart Software Solutions.

A real marketing innovation is the CODESYS Store, a kind of “App Store” where users can purchase or download libraries, free of charge sample projects, device description files or helpful plug-ins for CODESYS. This marketing platform is the first of its kind in the automation business.

Generally, a major factor for our success is the close and intensive communication with our clients and CODESYS users. We value personal contact, but we also offer the “CODESYS Forum”, a moderated internet platform for topics around CODESYS which currently has much more than 10,000 registered users. To make a long story short: We believe that in order to develop the right products for a market, we have to listen very carefully to our customers. So we make sure not to miss a good opportunity for that.

4. CODESYS went to the extent of making and becoming Partner and has already established its mark across the globe through this method. Is training the only way to transfer knowledge and expertise you follow? Please brief on this and explain if the Company is following any other methods.

Training courses are a very intensive form of knowledge transfer, and it is very popular. Our trainers are regularly booked out.

Another training offer we make are the so-called CODESYS Users’ Conferences. They cover a broader range of topics than the training courses, although not in as much depth. Over the past years, several thousand participants worldwide have attended these conferences.

5. Any targets (business or technological) set by 3S-Smart Software Solutions to achieve in the next couple of years?

One target is certainly to promote the CODESYS Application Composer, to point out its benefits and thus to raise its market acceptance. As you may know, the CODESYS Application Composer is a development tool for the efficient creation of application variants consisting of recurring function blocks. This means that you "compose" your machine application based on modules and their parameterization. CODESYS will then automatically generate your complete PLC program. Pilot customers have already reported that the CODESYS Application Composer helped them considerably to automate their plants faster, safer and much more effective than before.

Moreover, we will of course further develop the CODESYS Application Composer.

6. In this ever changing technological era, what trends do you see that the plant automation Industry will need to respond to?

Automation industry will continue to make use of existing technologies.

After adapting Ethernet technology for fieldbuses and standard operating systems – especially Linux – for controllers, many systems are currently being redeveloped based on HTML5 and JavaScript. This will allow using up-to-date technology from the smartphone and tableting market.

Another recent development is the interconnection via internet technologies many automation engineers are currently working on – referred to as “IoT” or “Industry 4.0”. It may sound like a cliché, but the openness to extensions from third parties is often claimed but very rarely put into practice on the market. We think that it’s precisely this openness which is crucial for the future success of automation systems.

7. Any new areas CODESYS wants to explore and enter? Please explain.

By supporting the communication standards of the IEC 61850 for the automation of energy systems and integrating BACnet for building automation directly in CODESYS, we could open up new markets in these industry sectors.

8. CODESYS presence is there across the globe. Any new plans to increase the intensity of market reach in the coming years?

We will continue to follow our proven path: Based on intensive and broad marketing activities in our core areas Germany and Europe, we count on good sales partners worldwide who offer CODESYS along with their devices and solutions on their automation markets.

Other Interviews