Eurostep: Fostering Secure Collaboration Across Value Chains: Fostering Secure Collaboration Across Value Chains
Take the manufacturing industry, for instance. The fluctuating consumer behavior and the disrupted supply chain networks in the wake of COVID-19 have been causing a bullwhip effect across the domain. Even small changes in demand from end customers are leading to substantial variation and uncertainty in the overall supply and lead-time along the value chain, resulting in unpredictable and unstable manufacturing environments. The businesses, as a result, are fortifying their supply chain by building a digital collaboration bridge—from tier 1 and tier 2 down to the nth tier—to better control their data.
The situation is not so different in other associated industries like AEC either. Thanks to the accelerated digital transformation initiatives, businesses are increasingly looking to facilitate collaborative digital environments in their extended enterprise, which can best support their digital data around design, construction, and maintenance.
Yes, the context seems simple—bridging those collaboration gaps that exist within and between engineering domains and enterprises. However, to fill in those voids and enable easy collaboration at the product data level, enterprises have to find a way to work around their disparate and proprietary internal systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and product lifecycle management (PLM). Adding to it is the surging amount of digital data and the corresponding IP risks, making collaboration across enterprises a herculean task. But what if one can cut this Gordian knot? Enter Eurostep, a pioneer in implementing standards-based product data collaboration.
Eurostep’s flexible yet secure suite of solutions offers an effortless way to share and exchange data within and between enterprises. The company’s software suite—ShareAspace— provides collaboration hubs, software, and tools on that front with a core focus on product information management.
What makes ShareAspace unique is indeed its open product data standards-based data model. Leaning on it, ShareAspace allows businesses to share data, irrespective of their existing systems and processes. “Different organizations have disparate well-established internal systems and processes, which are there for a reason,” says Hakan Karden, co-founder and marketing director at Eurostep. “With ShareAspace, they can keep those internal systems intact and still share their pivotal data, changing the dynamics of their collaboration across company borders,” he adds.
This laser focus on data standards (like PLCS, AP 242, MoSSEC, and IFC) also allows ShareAspace to deliver smart data management with features like digital twins. Besides, it also helps break down data silos by establishing a communication framework that connects these digital twins in a digital thread.
Such competencies of ShareAspace have made Eurostep a long-term Microsoft Gold Partner, earning the highest level of benefits and collaborative relationship with Microsoft. Eurostep has also earned the co-sell ready status through the Microsoft Partner Program, enabling its clients to leverage leading-edge technologies and services from Azure Stack Hub.
Thanks to Prepackaging, Easier to Setup and Use, and Availability in Microsoft Azure Shareaspace has been Garnering Interest from Many Mid-Sized Businesses in Recent Years
“We are piggybacking on all the advancements and capabilities of Microsoft, like translating their artificial intelligence (AI) or business intelligence (BI) capabilities for our clients. At the same time, our major focus is on bringing in various types of data, consolidating it, and establishing a standards-based secure collaboration,” asserts Mattias Johansson, CEO of Eurostep Group.
Under the Hood of the Game-Changing Collaboration Suite
ShareAspace software suite puts forth three products for collaboration—ShareAspace Design to Manufacturing (D2M), ShareAspace Server, and ShareAspace Export Control. Another packaged product, ShareAspace for AEC and Plant industries, was released in October 2021. While ShareAspace D2M offers complete visibility and control over the supply chain data, ShareAspace Server acts as a secure PLM backbone for managing data inside an enterprise as well as across an extended enterprise. At the same time, ShareAspace Export Control is a secure data-sharing tool for export and import compliance, especially for industries like defense. Integrating the capabilities of these three immensely potent products, Eurostep has developed customized pre-packaged offerings for enterprises in the manufacturing, defense, and AEC and plant industries.
ShareAspace D2M is designed with supply chain collaboration processes in mind, ShareAspace D2M offers enterprises a secure hub to create and share data (which includes product data, bill of materials, design specification, 3D models, drawings, change notices, purchase orders, and much more) with their partners and suppliers. It aids in streamlining the process of data sharing as well, determining “who sees what.” ShareAspace Server offers a backbone for PLM collaboration for the firms that stretch across the existing heterogeneous systems of partners and suppliers, like ERP, PLM, product data management (PDM), and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) systems. Thus, ShareAspace helps the companies form a strong, resilient value chain and control product data during contract manufacturing processes.
ShareAspace Server offers a hub for collaboration throughout the entire product lifecycle, from early requirements gathering of the project through design and manufacturing to operational use and decommissioning of the project. As the data sharing is independent of—and not encumbered by—the business processes or systems used by the partners, companies can consolidate and map data from any internal system to ShareAspace Server, making it easily available to authorized external partners. Besides, with ShareAspace Server, companies can implement different levels of change management, ranging from a simple, informal approach to a more formal comprehensive process. ShareAspace Server provides a data trail that is accessible at any time.
Ensuring Future-Proof Collaboration
Then comes ShareAspace Export Control. While ShareAspace D2M and ShareAspace Server both ensure secure collaboration, Eurostep has added an extra layer of security for collaborations in the defense sector with ShareAspace Export Control. It fosters the best practices in data management sharing licensed information.
While facilitating such expansive collaborations, instead of establishing direct links between different IT systems, ShareAspace acts as a neutral data-sharing collaboration hub. It is what makes it easy to add and remove systems and partners on the suite, significantly contributing to a client’s business agility. “A company cannot hardwire a process that would apply for, say, 100 partners in the next 30 years. So, it has to be an event-driven and agile paradigm that is the goal,” states Johansson.
ShareAspace also has integration components and service packages on that front, which would easily enable connection with the growing variety of internal systems and processes. It subsequently allows to set up a collaboration hub for organizations from the get-go. Eurostep also provides service level agreement-based ongoing support to ascertain that the hub is always up and running.
The Tangible Proof of Success
Recently, a multinational defense company witnessed this collaboration efficiency of ShareAspace first-hand.
The company was undertaking a major shipbuilding project in the UK. As large projects consist of many subsystems that have to be integrated and consolidated for the final delivery, the company onboarded ShareAspace for data management. Firstly, ShareAspace enabled effortless collaboration between all the stakeholders.
"Eurostep’s Flexible Yet Secure Suite of Solutions Offers an Effortless Way to Share and Exchange Product Data Within and Between Enterprises"
“In other projects, delivered to clients in automotive, manufacturing and construction business, users can play around with this available data and do a lot of analytics, modeling, and simulation in the digital world,” comments Karden. Being able to provide such a future-proof, resilient and secure platform cost-effectively is what sets Eurostep apart in this domain.
Owing to such extensive competencies, Eurostep has already carved a niche for itself as an ideal collaboration solution for large enterprises. However, ShareAspace has been garnering interest from many mid-sized businesses in recent years with more pre-packaging, easier to set up and use, and availability in Microsoft Azure. Consequently, the company has introduced product offerings to cater to that mid-market segment today.
As its data standards-based collaboration model can be embraced across a wide range of sectors, Eurostep is venturing into other industry verticals as well but still with a focus on defense, manufacturing, and AEC/Plant. “Moreover, with the hastened digital transformation, we are witnessing our products being embedded increasingly into the clients’ core offerings. Now, since more companies are expected to jump on this bandwagon of digital transformation, ShareAspace will become the go-to ‘space’ for collaboration across a wide range of sectors in the coming years,” concludes Karden.