#digitalinnovation #ITJobs #scrum #createthefuture #startupfeeling - focused on the future: Markus Lipinsky, who has headed the new “Telematics & Digital Solutions” division since the end of last year, discusses the topics that will drive the transport industry tomorrow and thereafter, and explains how MAN can unlock new areas of business with new digital products and connectivity systems for commercial vehicles.
Mr Lipinsky, could you explain exactly what your task at MAN is?
We develop new digital business models that enable our customers to do their jobs better or at lower cost, and then seek to monetarise these models. And we also help to support existing structures by supplying data and digital innovations.
You used to work for an IT company. What made you change to a vehicle manufacturer with a supposed conservative image?
Many of my friends also wondered why I wanted to leave the modern, cutting-edge software sector and go back to the old-school automotive industry. I always replied that I was staying in the same industry, just changing to a different software company. I firmly believe that the automotive sector will face dramatic changes in the future, so as far as I’m concerned it really isn’t a change of industry.
What concrete impact will digitalisation have for MAN’s people?
A new area of business is currently emerging, and is forecast to reach around eight billion euros by 2020 for our sector. That’s what digitalisation is triggering in the outside world; but it’s also resulting in changes within the world of MAN. Processes are changing in sales, after sales and development all the time. Let’s take virtual reality glasses – a great invention – as an example. Imagine I’m a customer and I put on the glasses. They flash a vehicle configurator up before my eyes while the sales representative explains the product to me in a virtual reality environment – preferably using vehicle usage data from the past two years to illustrate the product. That’s a huge change in sales methods. And repair shop processes are going the same way. When I bring my car in, the master mechanic will already be waiting for me, will greet me by name and already have everything ready to run a maintenance check straight away. These digital changes will enable us to interact with our customers in a whole new way. In the first step we’ll focus on external digital services, such as improving ServiceCare and setting up a high-performance telematics system. But the second aspect of MAN’s internal processes is naturally equally important. The Executive Board has slated action in this area for 2016.
The Telematics On-Board Module (TBM) has been announced as an initial innovation. But what exactly is the TBM?
The TBM serves as our basis for digital innovations. Every day our vehicles generate data, and we aim to edit and process this data for our customers in a way which delivers added value. Like a “data sucker”, the TBM collects up the data and provides it as and when needed for all further applications. We’ll be debuting the TBM at the IAA and launching it on the market in 2017, as a central platform on which we can then develop a string of software products.
And what about the personal side of Mr Lipinsky? Do you also live a totally networked life?
The personal and professional are increasingly merging. The transparency created by networking naturally blurs the boundaries between our work and our private lives. Today’s up-and-coming talents are growing up in this world and are completely at home there; as a result, these digital natives are starting to challenge our established working structures.
Markus Lipinsky has headed MAN’s newly created Telematics and Digital Solutions division since the end of 2015. In this function, he reports directly to the CEO of MAN Truck & Bus AG, Joachim Drees. Lipinsky was previously CEO of the software company and cloud specialist Actano GmbH, which sells portfolio and project management solutions primarily aimed at the automotive and aviation industry. After holding various positions at Daimler, Lipinsky became CEO of Daimler FleetBoard GmbH from 2009 to 2012, with responsibility for development and sales of telematics solutions for fleets of commercial vehicles. He received the Frost & Sullivan Growth, Innovation & Leadership Award in 2012 for his successful implementation of the company’s global growth strategy. Born in 1973, Markus Lipinsky is married with three children. He graduated in Industrial Engineering from TU Berlin and completed a master’s degree in Information Systems & Manufacturing Management at Linköping University in Sweden.