TechMahindra’s Connected Engineering solutions: Combining engineering services with IoT

German engineers are expensive. This has increased market potential for engineering service providers that have engineering resources in low-cost offshore regions. In this context, Indian engineering service providers such as Wipro, TCS, HCL and TechMahindra in particular distinguish themselves, as the Indians’ level of engineering competencies is increasingly comparable to German engineers’, but at far lower cost of course.

PAC took the opportunity to attend TechMahindra’s Engineering Analyst & Advisor Day on December 3rd in Frankfurt, where TechMahindra presented its Connected Engineering solutions portfolio.

TechMahindra is among the well established Indian providers of engineering services to the German manufacturing segment, with customers such as BMW, BASF, VW, Audi or Continental and over 10,000 engineers worldwide. I had the opportunity to speak to two customers of TechMahindra’s engineering business, namely SAAB and ZF. It was interesting to hear that TechMahindra has for both of them evolved from a pure “commodity” engineering services provider to a valuable engineering partner.

But TechMahindra not only relies on its business around engineering mechanical core products. It is aware that in the long run, sales of physical products will become less important, gradually being replaced by selling products more and more “as a service”. This makes embedded software development even more important, thus also pushing digital engineering platforms that connect products to each other and to the cloud to make them available “as a service”.

This is where TechMahindra’s “Connected Engineering” solutions come into play, reflecting TechMahindra’s approach of combining the engineering services part of products with the connection of physical products to the cloud, which is what the Internet of Things is about. However, TechMahindra believes that building a business case for connecting products would be based on the ability to support decision-making based on data and analytics. Hence engineering analytics is an integral part of TechMahindra’s connected engineering solutions.

In this context, TechMahindra also shared some interesting IoT use cases:

  • In the field of “connected car”: Remote Battery Monitoring (a pilot project exists with an OEM)
  • Solutions for tracking and tracing tools (joint project with Cisco, Bosch Software Innovations and TechMahindra). Implemented e.g. at a European Aerospace OEM

TechMahindra has ambitious growth plans for its Connected Engineering solutions business ($250 million of revenues by 2019) and will pursue these organically and inorganically by adding specific platforms and technologies to its Connected Engineering solutions portfolio.

PAC sees that TechMahindra is also well aware of the fact that simply offering Connected Engineering solutions does not help manufacturers. Instead, it is important to advise manufacturers on how to monetize possible combinations of IT and engineering competencies that are already available today. An important step here is to help manufacturers define their existing business problems first in order to be able to plan and implement concrete measures.