A pinch of technology and a hefty amount of the right people, the right culture, and the right mind set is a recipe for a successful digital transformation at Wärtsilä

What does it take to be a smart technology company?

A pinch of technology, a hefty number of right people, culture, and mindset is the recipe for a successful digital transformation at Wärtsilä. Its recent event in Trieste called Invent (Y)our Future is a case in point.

Text: Mikaela Terhi Photo: Wärtsilä

Let’s face it. Digital transformation isn’t just about technology; it’s actually about people and their mindset. Wärtsilä is investing in its people, the engine of its transformation, to build new digital competencies, and reinvent itself to continuously respond to future customer needs.

Leap, Wärtsilä’s recently launched internal culture transformation initiative, drives and supports employees in their personal transformation journey. Wärtsilians take a cultural leap together in various forms, such as the local Invent (Y)our Future events at key Wärtsilä locations as well as the exceptional WeLeap transformation app.

This May, the Invent (Y)our future event arrived in Trieste, Italy, gathering enthusiastic colleagues together to reinvent Wärtsilä and spark their own digital transformation journey. The two-day agenda was filled with topical presentations about ongoing digital projects and product development, inspirational workshops around innovation, and Smart Marine Vision. On top of this, there were stands promoting different initiatives like Leap, Online Services, Virtual Service Engineer, and Remote Connection, all steps on the company’s digital transformation journey.

For participants, it was a heavy dose of everything digital and an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues and increase awareness of digital transformation to work smarter. They also got a taste of the new WeLeap app containing different learning paths on digital topics like data-driven decision-making or as-a-service solution with practical Wärtsilä business cases as examples. This state-of-the-art app has been developed by Wärtsilä, for Wärtsilä, using gamification and micro-learning. All Wärtsilians will get their hands on it in June.

   

“Digital is a path we must follow”

Twentyfour7. met a few Wärtsilians who participated in the Invent (Y)our Future event to understand how they perceive digital transformation, how their own work has changed over time, and what possibilities lie ahead in becoming a Smart Technology Company.

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“Things are changing rapidly; for example, we have less paper, more data is in the cloud and our services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for us employees but also for our customers. The customer needs have changed,” said Massimo Zorzin, Local Application Expert, Area South Europe and Africa.

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“I see that data is becoming more available and with technology, tools and digital capabilities, we can use it in smarter ways and more efficiently. The competency of our people still remains at the heart of valuable services,” said Emanuela Rusconi, Manager, SEAF Contract Centre. Rusconi is already at the centre of digital transformation since digitalisation is an integral part of her work at the Contract Centre in Trieste, which is connected with Wärtsilä installations all around South East and Africa.

“We provide our customers with remote technical support and troubleshooting based on the data received from the installations,” she said.



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Enrico Clemente, Product Lifecycle Engineer, Product Management, Large Bore, chimes in.

“I also see possibilities in a more direct communication with customers regarding vessel or engine performance data to increase our competencies and improve our products. We need to have a new way of thinking and be open-minded about the possibilities of digitalisation.”

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Marco Michelizza, Development Manager, Business Development, is already walking the talk.

“The main opportunity I see is that we can develop and test faster than in the past. Digitalisation and new technologies bring ideas for new business models and help us innovate our current processes,” he explained. “I have automated some repetitive tasks by creating Robotic Process Automation and using our enterprise solutions in smarter ways.”

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Newcomers like Pierpaolo Regnante, Trainee, Digital Marine Solutions, had an excellent chance to jump right in too.

“This event was a real opportunity to know more about the path Wärtsilä is taking to become an as-a-service company,” he noted. “Invent (Y)our Future clearly showed the commitment of the people involved in this transformation. Wärtsilä is a company with almost 200 years of history in the maritime and energy markets and it has been able to reinvent itself, time after time.”

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Senior Product Engineer W26/W38 Daniele Vatta took part in the interactive and engaging Towards Clean Marine Industry Innovation workshop.

“After a brief overview on trends and new technologies impacting our business, we quickly created four ideas to accelerate business opportunities to face the environmental challenges and legislation related to them. Digitalisation and new technologies bring new possibilities.”

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Another colleague taking part in the workshop was Camilla De Rosa, Product Lifecycle Specialist, Product Management, Large Bore. She called the workshop agile, challenging and stimulating.

“In a short period of time, we defined the problem, brainstormed possible solutions and shaped a Minimal Viable Product together. For me, this was a new, interesting approach.”

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Coming up with a smart marine ecosystem was the topic for another workshop gathering colleagues like Matteo Bologna, Certification Engineer, from various parts of the organisation around the same table. For Bologna, the future will exist only with progress, innovation and new ideas.

“Bringing together different colleagues gave us multiple viewpoints for solving the problem. It was challenging to collaborate and create a process or project by using a new method in such a short time, but we made it,” he said.

As the event goes to show, Wärtsilä is on its way to become a digitally-enabled organisation and set a whole new way of thinking in motion.

  

Designing an ecosystem

Clearly, digital transformation is neither just a buzzword nor a digital paintjob at Wärtsilä. From being committed to a comprehensive business transformation, the course is set to become a Smart Technology Company and be more data-enabled, insight-led, and focused on customer value through interconnected portfolios of solutions in a wide ecosystem.
This transformation, enabled by smart technology and a strong digital culture, does not happen by itself; it requires everyone in the company to take an active role. Wärtsilä, together with its employees, is currently under an extreme makeover touching also the company culture, people, offices, and ways of working.

 

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