Thomas Hepp, Managing Director of Mirasoft explains to us why they work with FLECS, why he expects new customers from it and why the solution makes his work easier.
Why is our FLECS so interesting for you as an app manufacturer?
Your solution allows us to get into these systems much more easily. The problem is that this cloud adapter has to be installed somewhere. Automation engineers are experts and specialists for quite a few things, but they are often not IT specialists and therefore it is very, very important that it is made as easy as possible for automation engineers to bring their plants into the cloud. And that’s where a concept like FLECS is incredibly helpful, when you only need a few clicks to install an app like the AnyViz Cloud Adapter from us.
And your customers – don’t they want system solutions?
We have many monolithic systems from large manufacturers. That is, of course, the alternative to FLECS – that you decide on one hardware house or one solution provider and then try to map everything via this one. Of course, this is a bit out of date. There are a wide variety of hardware components where you sometimes want to change from project to project, or now, of course, due to the procurement crisis, you also have to change hardware quickly. And of course it is practical to have a platform that also runs on other components that can be procured at the moment, or that runs much better for a current project. Then you don’t have to completely re-familiarize yourself and you don’t have to change the entire infrastructure, but you simply say: Okay, I know my way around FLECS and I already have my hodgepodge and I can simply install it on another app or on another piece of hardware.
Are we also a distribution channel for you?
For us, [FLECS] is also a marketplace, and we have to make sure that we get our products to the customer, and a marketplace like this – you know, like the Apple Store or the Google Play Store – naturally also gives you the opportunity to attract the attention of customers, and customers who perhaps didn’t even know that we existed before or that it’s very, very easy to monitor machines with AnyViz could then come across us and try out our product with just one click.
How easy or difficult was it to offer your app and what benefits do you anticipate?
It is based on Docker in the background – to get technical for a moment. We had already offered something for Docker. Now, of course, FLECS also has a concept behind it for exchanging data. But there is a very, very convenient and well-documented library or SDK. And we connected that very, very quickly – that was fun – and was then also available very, very quickly. Of course, we expect it to be a bit easier for our customers – that’s the most important thing. Another advantage we have, of course, is that in the medium term, in the long term, we no longer have to maintain so many different hardware or ecosystems. Currently, we ship our cloud adapter in almost 30 variations, and it would be quite nice if in the medium to long term we don’t have to ship quite so many variations anymore. It definitely makes development easier for us.