TowerXchange Europe: After 2 Years, Vendors and Customers Meet Face to Face- Part 1
Our Top Takeaways
After 2 years of events limited by COVID restrictions, the international tower community met face to face at TowerXchange Europe, one of the industry’s most prestigious events. As a gold sponsor, vHive hosted a steady stream of customers and partners in the exhibit hall and participated in thought leadership panels on Digital Twins and Digitization and Automation. (Panel “Are digital twins set to become the norm in tower management?” Data focus group, “The digitalization and automation efforts delivering tangible results.”). Here are our answers to the questions we heard most.
Digital Twins and Digitization: Education and Clarification
Digital Twins and Digitization are hot topics and were repeating themes at TowerXchange. While the industry ecosystems and digital solutions have matured in recent years, the panels and feedback brought home the need for further education about these concepts, neither of which can be performed by a single technology. “Digital Twin” is not just a buzz word, but a significant new digitization tool which is here to stay. The industry is at a substantial turning point in digitizing their assets and going through their digital transformation journey.
The Many Types of Digital Twin Solution Providers: Who Does What?
There were many companies exhibiting and presenting Digital Twins solutions, but most represent only one aspect of the ecosystem. From the questions we received throughout the show, it’s clear that customers are confused about the differences between the solution providers. Here’s our view of the Digital Twin ecosystem:
- Drone Services Providers: There are many companies focused on data capture: the drone operations required to gather the aerial data used to generate digital twins. These drone services companies are operating in new ways, offering an “Uber of drones” model. These companies take care of all the flying aspects of drones, from finding the right pilot for the job and getting all of the appropriate flight permits to collection and delivery of the drone data.
- Sensor and Camera Focus: Another variation of a data capture focus, some companies add value with a drone sensor for high-resolution imagery collection. These enable the creation of digital twins, but don’t provide a platform to help customers ensure consistency of data capture and optimize the resulting insights.
- Engineering Solutions: Providers that come from the engineering domain provide CAD/BIM models from aerial data. Their main focus is on what happens after data capture. They provide an impactful CAD model that supports a single use case, but don’t offer a data capture solution and they don’t support additional use cases.
- Data Processing: Some vendors provide the processing to convert aerial images into Digital Twins. These companies that focus on the data processing: some are expanding their offering to additional capabilities in the eco-system.
There are many “Digital Twin” solutions out there, but most providers are focusing on one or more parts of the eco-system – Hardware, Data Capture, Data Processing, AI Analytics, and Insights.
At vHive, we provide a comprehensive solution for our customers. Our vision of a Digital Twin offering is a turnkey solution that provides a platform for consistent data capture, operations services, data processing and AI-powered insights. The vHive solution supports multiple use cases and provides value throughout an organization.