At the beginning of February, Ivan Blažek and Mike Geurtz, representatives of Foxconn Global Services Division (FGSD) business development team joined one of the most prestigious professional technology fairs in Europe – Integrated Systems Europe 2017. The fair, which took place on February 7-10, brought to Amsterdam more than 1 100 exhibitors and drew attention to a few major trends shaping the world of technology today. Mike Geurtz, EMEA Program manager for Circular Economy Services talks about the most important tendencies noticed during ISE 2017 and their business potential for FGSD.
Mike, what were the most important trends you observed during ISE 2017?
The part that interested us the most was educational services from a solution hardware point of view. We also considered the idea of an extended work environment at home on all kinds of devices and IT platforms – home appliances, automated home systems and so on. These were the major areas that were relevant for us from a business development point of view at ISE 2017.
What else caught your eye during ISE 2017?
It is also important to mention that the Foxconn Group was present at ISE 2017 through three key industry players: InFocus with their mondopads and display systems for education; Sharp, with their professional display and educational solutions; and Smart Technologies, another major player in the educational technology area, who was purchased by the Foxconn Technology Group last year. We had meetings with marketing and sales leadership of these companies, European and worldwide. Our conversations were very inspiring and eye-opening for both parts. Through visiting this kind of fairs FGSD stays aligned with the market of producers and consumers, and with the novelties they bring. This way we are able to decide on the future of aftermarket service strategies for FGSD. By meeting important brands we built up an enormous network of potential customers in all categories and during all phases of their lifecycle.
What were the key interests of the participants at ISE 2017?
The main focus was obviously the education technology and smart buildings. These were the main focus of attention for pretty much everyone, for example through exploring the business and technological potential of major outdoor displays such as transparent OLED technology and so on.
The benefit lies in the area of providing aftersales service implementation – roll-out and complex aftersales services – to companies operating in these new areas of focus: education and smart building. These companies tend to have only business-to-business relationships with integrated companies in an extended work environment and they have issues in the area of aftersales. The volumes they process are high, but compared to consumer goods are still very low. That’s why building an aftersales model for such companies can be challenging.
How can FGSD create value for such companies?
We can certainly help. We can advise them on how to build their aftersales business model, we can find suppliers for them and we can assist them in managing their aftersales ecosystem. For example, our FGSD Control Tower solution brings together all third-parties that can be hooked into one clear, functional and transparent system. We could also talk about the environmental compliance for these companies, because legal compliance is a key point on the agenda of numerous companies nowadays. To be successful, you always need to understand the legal environment in which you operate and if you’re subject to some legal restrictions or not. From this point of view there were some eye openers during the fair for everyone. Basically, the area of aftersales services, hand in hand with our Control Tower solution, was happily received by everyone we talked to.
What should FGSD do to take advantage of these new business opportunities and be successful in the new environment?
I think it’s our Control Tower or one-stop shop function that we need to sell and show our partners the advantages of it. We can benefit from offering a complex of repair, reuse, compliance and recycling processes to our new business partners. We can also handle the down-stream – the disposal of such systems because numerous companies don’t have a solution for it. Our Control Tower, when introduced together with the new Circular Economy services, environmental compliance and recycling – these are very important topics for companies today, because very few of them have ever considered them before. I believe that, if we manage to sell our competitive way of thinking and our existing Control Tower, solutions, there is no way we cannot be successful in the future.
Author: Cristina Muntean, Integrated Communications Manager, FGSD