In this Digital CxO Leadership Insights video, Amanda Razani speaks with David Trice, general manager and chief product officer for Honeywell Connected Enterprise about the Honeywell Forge announcement and digital transformation initiatives.
Amanda Razani: Hello. Welcome to Digital CxO. I’m Amanda Razani, and I’m here today with David Trice. He is the general manager and chief product officer for Honeywell Connected Enterprise. How are you doing today?
David Trice: Great, Amanda. Thanks for having me.
Amanda Razani: Glad to have you on the show. Can you share a little bit about Honeywell? And what is the company known for?
David Trice: You bet. Well, first of all, Honeywell proper is a large industrial conglomerate. We are a control systems based company. And we serve the in markets of buildings, supply chain, performance materials, and aerospace. We’ve been delivering goods and services and control systems into those those end markets for over 100 years. Honeywell Connected Enterprise, which I’m a part of is the software arm of Honeywell. And we’re building new solutions to take to our customers in our install base in each of those end markets.
Amanda Razani: Okay, so in November, you had a big announcement regarding – there are a few announcements. But, regarding Honeywell Forge, specifically, can you share your big announcements?
David Trice: Yeah, indeed. Well, very big announcements for us. We had taken the last year to really pull together a new product strategy, and had been working on a number of products. We released 15 new products and 22 total major enhancements across three categories of capability. Honeywell Forge Performance Plus is really emphasizing delivering intelligent operations to our manufacturing and supply chain customers focused on assets and workers and operations, whereby we’re tying those things together to create more efficient outcomes for our customers. And then we also announced Honeywell Forge Sustainability Plus. We’re doing some really exciting things in providing our manufacturing customers with new tools to actually monitor emissions in real time, and be able to then use that data to drive improvements, as well as to report with all of the regulatory requirements that are coming along, as well. And then lastly, Honeywell Forge’s Cybersecurity Plus, with all of the new endpoints that are emerging in the industrial world by connected assets and workers, there’s an increasingly high demand for ensuring that an organization’s infrastructure is secure. And if they’re protected from bad actors and things of that nature. We’ve got a really nice business in cybersecurity today. And we announced a number of different products that are continuing to take that business forward.
Amanda Razani: And I noticed at the event where you made all these announcements, many of the companies there were in the middle of big digital transformation initiatives. Can you tell me a little bit. What does digital transformation mean to you? And then some use case scenarios for these different areas – cybersecurity, etc?
David Trice: Yeah, you bet. Well, so I come from enterprise software. And for me, digital transformation is always viewed as trying to understand the business process that an organization uses to accomplish a given task. Generally speaking, when you’re engaged in a digital transformation activity, that task, in the early state, is a manual task. And what I’m trying to do is eliminate the friction and the inefficiency of those manual tasks through automation. And so that’s what – all of our customers are exactly as you described – involved in that set of activities in a variety of different ways. Digital transformation in the industrial space is also met with a move to the cloud. And I think a move to the cloud varies by the end markets that we’re in. In the connected building space, smart buildings have been around for quite some time, and that market, and those customers are quite comfortable moving to the cloud and doing things in the cloud accordingly. And so when we’re looking at transforming that business, it’s really about how can I manage buildings remotely, whereas in the past, it’s been done on site. In the warehouse space, it’s a little bit different. You know, they’re actually looking for ways to create more capacity that don’t require going and building a warehouse, right? Because that’s not sustainable and an unsustainable thing to do. And so in order to do that, I’ve got to think about my network of my supply chain and look at ways to optimize the network across lots of different warehouses to create more capacity. Thereby transforming the way I do things. I don’t build warehouses anymore. I actually create capacity with increased throughput and yield and things of that nature. And they’re becoming very comfortable with it because of that network reality that I have to use cloud based technologies in order to really drive that level of efficiency. On the industrial side of things, there is even a number of sub markets inside of industrials, whether it’s mining or oil and gas, or chemicals, they all have different needs as it relates to digital transformation. And in moving to the cloud, I would say that the biggest item of transformation in the industrials world today is actually sustainability. Companies are starting to realize that I can’t monitor and maintain and improve my sustainability of my business without digital technologies to help give me the visibility and the capability for reporting that I need. So I think it varies across the markets that we’re going after – one of the reasons we have our focus in the three areas of performance, sustainability and cybersecurity really reflects the way our customers are looking to embrace the different transformations.
Amanda Razani: So for companies just now really delving into their digital transformation needs, what is your advice? Where should they look, first? How do they begin? It’s a big deal.
David Trice: It is a huge deal. Well, you know, the good news is, and maybe it’s not easy, but the good news is, it’s a pretty commonplace and understandable place to start. It really starts with the data. Right? If I’m going to go from manual to efficient, well, I have to do that by making better decisions and doing things faster. And I can’t do that without the right data at the right time to drive the right insight. And so my recommendation would be for anybody that’s going on any kind of digital transformation initiative, is to really get focused on the area of the problem you’re trying to solve, and understand the data that’s required to help you become more efficient. Once you understand the data that’s required, then you can start looking at where does the data come from, and then you can find ways to drive new analytics and things of that nature out of it. It’s, it’s an easy thing to say. But when you’re a large organization, billions of dollars in revenue and facilities all over the world, it can become quite complicated.
Amanda Razani: Absolutely. And with more and more companies, you know, workers are remote, working hybridly or remote, spread out all over the world. So finding ways for automation, collection of the data, just really digitally transforming is important for all companies moving forward, because I don’t think we’re gonna see anyone going back – I think that remote and hybrid work is definitely here to stay.
David Trice: Yeah, well, I mean, I’ll add to that, as we talked about it at the Honeywell Connected launch. There’s a new breed of workers that are coming as well that expect that, right? And so if we, as industrial employers, are going to get the next generation of industrial worker, we have to provide them with those kinds of tools that enable them to do their job, the way they use their devices and their technology today, and that’s kind of anywhere at any point in time. You’ve heard, just as much as I have, the amount of time people are spending on their phones today. Is is real, and it’s not going away. And we have to provide the tools that fit into that lifestyle going forward.
Amanda Razani: That’s an interesting point you bring up. Yes, I mean, more and more people are working from their phones on the fly. So you know, it’s no longer sitting at the desk on a desktop computer. You really have to think out of the box. What are people using now: Tablets, phones. They need to know they can work on a plane traveling.
David Trice: Yeah, no. And look in the industrial world, you know, there’s realities of shortages of people in the way that organizations are dealing with that. Honeywell included. You’re asking people to cover multiple locations. And that means I’ve got to be able to satisfy the needs of each location regardless of where I am. And so it’s a very real reality that we’ve got to provide the tools for those kinds of individuals to do a job on Site B, when they’re actually visiting Site A, because that’s the way the labor framework and shift allocation is occurring these days – where I’ve got multiple responsibilities.
Amanda Razani: Absolutely. Well, David, I want to thank you so much for coming on our podcast show today and giving your insights about digital transformation. And I want to congratulate you on this big announcement, and I know you’re gonna make more waves. I can’t wait to attend your next event.
David Trice: Well, fantastic, Amanda. Thanks again for having me. And thanks for joining us a couple of weeks ago and in taking some time to cover our launch. It’s a first of many and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Amanda Razani: Thanks David.