The automotive industry is no exception in the rising tide of digitalization, steadily intensifying and evolving into “electric, connected, autonomous and shared” automobiles. In the meantime, the industry is also driven by advanced technologies to go global, such as networking, data storage and cloud computing.
Autoneum, headquartered in Switzerland, is a globally-leading company specializing and pioneering in acoustic and thermal management of vehicles. Thanks to the partnership with China Entercom, its management system has been smoothly implemented and business development is flourishing in China, which set a successful example of globalization and digitalization for automotive enterprises. To look into the new trends and demands for digitalization in both the global and Chinese automotive industry, Yuanhua Xu (IT Operation and Maintenance Manager, Autoneum Asia), Henry Ko (General Manager, China Entercom) and Yi Lin (Regional Sales Manager, China Entercom) have discussed in an interview lately based on their collaboration.
Strategically, China is a crucial market for multinational automotive companies as it has become a major producer and consumer of vehicles with the fast-growing economy, and ranked among the top in the world in terms of production and car parc. To expand their market, the overseas companies have been improving the data centers with key technology to realize digitalization, which cannot be done without ICT service providers.
With his experience with China Entercom, Xu believed that an ideal partner of automotive enterprises is able to offer secure and quality services with high qualification and creditability, and China Entercom has exactly what Autoneum needs.
In terms of security, Xu pointed out that China Entercom is more assuring given that it has accumulated extensive experience in the market and cooperated with many technology partners. As for services, customers can enjoy 7x24 support, which guarantees engineers respond to queries and tackle problems in less than two hours. China Entercom is also second to none regarding qualification and creditability, as it can deploy remote servers and disaster tolerance backups perfectly. When a city’s system is suspended, it is able to activate the backup facility and the switchover is tested to be done within one hour, and no data will be lost.
Ko continued speaking about China Entercom’s implementation of digitalization, as a service provider. It has engaged in networks and other IT services for more than 20 years and formulated mature products and services with operating licenses in multiple areas such as data centers, cloud computing, networks and security. In the case of working with Autoneum, China Entercom combined several products and services into one integrated solution to construct a comprehensive framework. In the meantime, it established a separated channel and a dedicated team for 7x24 support and quick responses in the course of serving Autoneum. Once there is an emergency, their team consisting managers of after-sales and services, and experts in cloud computing, networks and security can handle the problems promptly depending on the situation.
The collaboration between China Entercom and Autoneum is a miniature of the digitalization of automobiles in China and globalization of the automotive industry. Professional ICT service providers like China Entercom is a must for automotive enterprises. China Entercom drives the globalization and digitalization forward by providing long-term and professional services and quality products. It can expand the resource pool and adjust their services according to clients’ development needs and increase in data volume as well.
As the world is calling for energy saving and carbon emissions reduction, the development of alternative fuel vehicles is thriving across the globe, especially in China. To demonstrate, the production and sales volume of alternative fuel vehicles in China reached 13,000 units in 2012, and 10 years later, they are growing at a compound annual growth rate of 86%. Since 2022, the production and sales volume has soared and car parc has amounted to more than 10 million (units). All of these figures signify that the industry and the market are expanding, and constructing green digitalization also deserves significant attention.
When Autoneum entered the Chinese market, it was absolutely aware of the vigorous effort China has put into alternative fuel vehicles, compared with other countries. Xu indicated that the whole industry chain is supported by multiple preferential policies to promote reduction in carbon emissions. Seemingly, China is expected to overtake the corner as its development of alternative fuel vehicles is flourishing.
Known for noise insulation and environmentally-friendly components, Autoneum has been in pursuit of saving energy and reducing carbon emissions, and has strictly followed the corresponding standards in the course of R&D and manufacturing to meet the requirements of alternative fuel vehicles. To help realizing the carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals, Autoneum will go further to satisfy the requirements of alternative fuel vehicles in China and launch more green products.
When Autoneum was deploying digitalization, China Entercom played an important role in green development, which Autoneum takes very seriously. According to Ko, their services promote energy saving and carbon emissions reduction in order to support China’s carbon neutrality policy. Besides, China Entercom is particularly selective when it comes to green data centers, considering that it is crucial to realize green development for customers. By leveraging AI technology and AR glasses, its AI-AR Remote Hand service elevates the efficiency of saving energy, facilitating remote office and management in operation and maintenance during the pandemic, as well as diminishing carbon emissions in traffic and other aspects.
Lin added that the cloud service offered by China Entercom to Autoneum operates on a certified green data center. For example, the data center in Baoshan, Shanghai, uses water-cooling technology with higher cooling efficiency, as well as natural water to save energy when temperatures are lower from November to March. Enabled by VMware Vituralization, the cloud service can be integrated with China Entercom’s pre-existing network and security management solutions, while Autoneum has full control over resources to raise efficiency and is able to flexibly and timely allocate them to each department when needed.
As above mentioned, the life-cycle carbon emissions of vehicles can be entirely diminished with higher proportion of alternative energy, widespread use of environmentally friendly materials to promote green digitalization. Going green is undoubtedly the future direction of the automotive industry, as well as the focus that automotive enterprises and ICT service providers must not overlook.
The landing in China is the crux of Autoneum’s globalization strategy, given that the automotive industry is growing globally at an accelerating pace.
In China, car exports are experiencing a rapid upswing according to the Ministry of Commerce, and have reached 1.6 million units from January to July this year, hitting a record high for the same period with an increase of 44.5%. It seems that some automotive companies in China have attempted to blaze a new path to the global market through technology and management. To exploit overseas opportunities, networks, data centers and cloud computing are indispensable in this digital era. The larger the scope of expansion, the higher the demand for digitalization.
In light of the shift to overseas automobile market, China Entercom, together with the parent company CITIC Telecom CPC and CITIC Group, have completed deployments along the “Belt and Road” and in RCEP member countries where automotive enterprises can take advantage of, said Ko. They are able to build cabinets and set up cloud computing platforms based on local resources, for instance, China Entercom can activate corresponding services once clients have the need to enhance data storage and management in Germany and other foreign cities, catering all of their globalization needs.
With backbone network, China Entercom’s data centers are all connected, explained Lin. In the future, clients can enjoy the interconnected cloud services across the globe by integrating the global resources of China Entercom, CITIC Telecom CPC and CITIC Group, as well as the connectivity of their data centers.
To continue the success story of landing in China, Autoneum and China Entercom will step into more profound collaboration on a global scale in order to push their globalization forward. China Entercom will help Autoneum to link the distributed offices and factories together with its extensive resources to ensure local compliance, said Xu.
While digitalization drives enterprises to expand globally, globalization asks for a higher degree of digital deployments to refine and accelerate digital transformation. It is clear that digitalization and globalization are promoting each other.
On the other hand, data security is another focus of automotive enterprises and ICT service providers while carrying out digitalization, and Ko highlighted the importance of data security standards. Automotive manufacturer will formulate corresponding standards for each segment of car production and utilization, which are also the criteria to select the service providers to ensure the data security.
Lin agreed that certifications and standards are pivotal to secure data in the policy perspective. In the meantime, China Entercom can support enterprises with certifications. In terms of application, he mentioned the firewall is necessary to safeguard data transfer and application, while China Entercom can even offer a comprehensive security system.
As data security involved in entire life cycle of automobiles, it cannot be guaranteed by a single vendor only, said Xu. A unified data management that can inspect the whole production chains including physical and software security is what they seek. It requires cooperation from various stakeholders, such as a quality service provider like China Entercom to reinforce data security without compromising relevant regulations.
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