Points of View

HFS Highlight: Atos brings US-based AI and data science capability into its Industry 4.0 toolbox by acquiring Miner & Kasch

May 11, 2020 Josh Matthews

Industry 4.0 means a lot of things to a lot of different people. The most consistent and cohesive narrative from our conversations with providers and their industrial clients is that Industry 4.0 is a strategy, roadmap, and mindset; it can encompass many, all, or just a select few emerging technologies, depending on the enterprise’s needs and goals. In parallel to the rampant acquisitions made by Accenture’s Industry X.0 practice, and Capgemini’s big cheque for Altran, Atos is adding artificial intelligence (AI) and data science capability through the acquisition of Miner & Kasch. While US-headquartered Miner & Kasch work across verticals including healthcare and financial services, their industrial expertise in energy, manufacturing, construction, and engineering, will help Atos build on their existing strength in the Industry 4.0 space, and do so in the US – adding to Atos’ client base of European industrial giants. Given the variation across enterprises’ Industry 4.0 strategies, providers need to be armed with the broadest range technology expertise, while maintaining the depth required to address the consulting, implementation, and management of the roadmap.

 

Miner & Kasch adds clients, technology, and domain expertise – and critically does so in the US – as Atos expands beyond its powerhouse European base

 

Atos acquired big data platform solutions provider, zData, in 2017, which forms a cornerstone of its data science-as-a-service and general smart platform capability. The April 2020 acquisition of Miner & Kasch adds more than 100 AI and data science consultants to all of this, alongside improved edge and internet of things (IoT) platform capacity. Miner & Kasch brings experience with both Fortune500 and startup clients throughout the industrial sector (manufacturing, engineering, construction, and energy) as well as financial services and healthcare; healthcare operations and supply chains being one more avenue to deploy Industry 4.0-based solutions.

 

Atos already has a strong Industry 4.0 ecosystem made up of both big-name clients and partnership initiatives with leading institutions like the Fraunhofer (Germany), Horizon 2020 (EU-wide), and an Industry 4.0 digital pilot factory at the Vienna University of Technology. One thing these initiatives have in common with each other and with Atos’ historic strength, is that they are European; many key Atos clients are leading European (albeit global) industrial firms like Siemens, BMW, Airbus, and others. Based in the US state of Maryland, Miner & Kasch adds to Atos’ global scale. Their powerhouse European clients are already global – and now they have a new opportunity to bring their Industry 4.0 toolbox to the world.

 

Industry 4.0 hinges on strategy and roadmapping towards firms’ individual visions of embracing technology and competing in changing markets; providers with the widest range of tools and skills are essential for those journeys

 

Atos has long been prominent in the industrial sector, as detailed above, and has performed well with its innovation and emerging technology capability in HFS’ research – both of which are key tenets for Industry 4.0 success. Atos has also built up a portfolio of industrially-applicable intellectual property (IP) in data analytics, augmented reality (AR), digital twins, and additive manufacturing. Miner & Kasch is a boost to Atos’ emerging technology capability and potential to expand that IP into AI, edge, IoT, and beyond.

 

The acquisition will further increase Atos' data analytics capability along with the Atos Codex portfolio. Since analytics and AI are integral to making the best use of vast IoT data pools and improving decision-making, the combination of Atos Codex, Miner & Kasch, and zData will be a strong force in the market for end-to-end IoT and Industry 4.0 projects. The availability of experienced data science professionals remains lacking, particularly in the industrial sector market – 100 new AI and data science professionals is a big asset for Atos.

 

Accenture for some time has added wherever they can to their Industry X.0 practice with many smaller acquisitions to bring in technology expertise, complementing its existing global scale; Atos (much like Capgemini we mentioned at the start of this piece) is looking towards bigger acquisitions and bolder moves in boosting its Industry 4.0 capacity, capability, and global reach – as its way of competing in such a diverse and evolving landscape.

 

The Bottom Line: If you thought of Atos as a Europe-only player when it came to Industry 4.0, then your provider shortlists need a revamp

 

As Atos adds new AI and data science expertise alongside a US base and set of industrial clients, industrial sectors worldwide are likely to see much more of Atos in the years to come – beyond their major, global European customers.

 

Atos needs to take care of this acquisition by simultaneously embedding Miner & Kasch’s capability in its Industry 4.0 offerings while scaling its dedicated AI and data science skills base – building on its previous acquisition of zData.