Secure and trusted data exchange: German Edge Cloud’s ONCITE is IDS-ready

In his Blog post, Bernd Fon­der­mann, Pro­duct Owner Trus­ted Sup­plier Con­nec­tor – Ger­man Edge Cloud, dis­cus­ses why com­pa­nies are reluc­tant to share their data. And he illus­tra­tes that exch­an­ging and sharing data across the ent­i­re sup­ply chain is a cru­cial requi­re­ment for doing busi­ness suc­cess­ful­ly.

Data, which today is often deno­ted as “the new gold”, is key when it comes to pro­cess opti­miz­a­ti­on and deve­lo­ping new, digi­tal busi­ness models. To explo­it the full value crea­ting poten­ti­al of data, com­pa­nies must be able to cap­tu­re, store, pro­cess and eva­lua­te data effi­ci­ent­ly and intel­li­gent­ly. This is all the more important as com­pa­nies today often need to exchan­ge data with part­ners across the ent­i­re sup­ply chain. The ques­ti­on is: How can com­pa­nies do so easi­ly, fast, secu­re­ly, and without losing sov­er­eig­n­ty over their data?

Many com­pa­nies are still reluc­tant when it comes to sharing and exch­an­ging data with others. Espe­cial­ly in the auto­mo­ti­ve indus­try, howe­ver, cross-com­pa­ny data sharing and exchan­ge is a cru­cial requi­re­ment for doing busi­ness suc­cess­ful­ly. The idea behind it is very simp­le: Exch­an­ging and sharing data across the ent­i­re sup­ply chain incre­a­ses both pro­cess trans­pa­ren­cy and ope­ra­tio­nal effi­ci­en­cy. This is par­ti­cu­lar­ly bene­fi­cial for manu­fac­tu­ring com­pa­nies – they are the ones who defi­ne the requi­re­ments to be met by their sup­pliers, and who deci­de which digi­tal plat­forms are to be used. Sup­pliers then face the chal­len­ge of mee­ting manu­fac­tu­rers’ requi­re­ments and aligning their busi­ness pro­ces­ses accord­in­gly. Qui­te under­stand­a­b­ly, they don’t like to sub­mit them­sel­ves to such rigid regimes, and they cer­tain­ly do not feel at ease with losing sov­er­eig­n­ty over sen­si­ti­ve data.

Trust is key in data sup­ply chains

With ONCITE, Ger­man Edge Cloud now pres­ents a solu­ti­on to this pro­blem. ONCITE is a plug & pro­du­ce solu­ti­on in the form of a com­pact com­pu­ting cen­ter that is based on high­ly avail­ab­le and scala­b­le edge cloud tech­no­lo­gy. ONCITE is offe­red as a 24/7 mana­ged IT ser­vice, inclu­ding a scala­b­le edge cloud IT infrastruc­ture (IaaS), com­pre­hen­si­ve IIoT ser­vices (PaaS), and busi­ness capa­ble soft­ware app­li­ca­ti­ons (SaaS). The solu­ti­on allows sup­pliers and manu­fac­tu­rers to make their data avail­ab­le for being used in digi­tal pro­ces­ses (e.g. indus­tri­al AI or indus­tri­al track & trace) in real time and at the hig­hest pos­si­ble level of secu­ri­ty. With ONCITE, com­pa­nies can pro­cess and store data on site, befo­re they exchan­ge it over a public cloud – with data sov­er­eig­n­ty being ensu­red for each data owner/supplier across the ent­i­re pro­cess.

Image Source: German Edge Cloud

IDS Con­nec­tor ensu­res data sov­er­eig­n­ty for each data owner/supplier

The IDS Con­nec­tor is a user inter­face deve­lo­ped by Ger­man Edge Cloud to moni­tor and con­trol any exchan­ge of data bet­ween two part­ners. Using a spe­cial, IDS cer­ti­fied Trus­ted Sup­plier Con­nec­tor, the part­ners can request infor­ma­ti­on on the inter­faces and data for­mats spe­ci­fied for an upco­m­ing data exchan­ge tran­sac­tion. After the tran­sac­tion, they can use the Trus­ted Exe­cu­ti­on Envi­ron­ment for data eva­lua­ti­on and to make the data rea­dy for being used by their own or by OEMs’ sys­tems. Using audita­ble, secu­re chan­nels pro­vi­ded by the Trus­ted Sup­plier Con­nec­tor, the results can then be trans­mit­ted to third par­ties also, such as OEMs or pro­duct manu­fac­tu­rers. An Inte­gra­ti­on Ser­vice allows easy onboar­ding of sup­pliers to OEMs’ and other manu­fac­tu­rers’ indus­tri­al clouds.

Each IDS par­ti­ci­pant deci­des for its­elf who is allo­wed to view its data, who is allo­wed to use it, how it may be used, and what it cos­ts to do so. Fol­lowing the examp­le of T‑Systems, Ger­man Edge Cloud has been one of the first com­pa­nies to launch an IDS-rea­dy pro­duct so far.