Kenneth Ragnvaldsen – Enabling a Digital future with Data Respons
Kenneth Ragnvaldsen, CEO at Data Respons, had a chat with AKKA Technologies on how Data Respons is Enabling a Digital Future. As everything around us is getting more and more connected and gathers more and more data, we are constantly enabling digital products, processes and business models. Together, we develop smarter products and systems. As a consequence, we create a more efficient, productive, and sustainable world.
Published: 16. March 2021
Could you please introduce yourself and describe your role at Data Respons?
My name is Kenneth Ragnvaldsen, I’m a 53-year-old family man and sports lover from Norway. I’ve been working with tech, software and digitalization since I graduated many years ago.
When it comes to Data Respons, I have been the CEO for the last 18 years. Together with fantastic people we have transformed the company from a small national player to one of the fastest growing digital companies in Europe, with 20% growth annually for the last 20 years. Data Respons has been working with IoT – internet of things – long before this was even a name. Internally we call ourselves “the change agents” assisting our customers in their digital transformation.
What does “Enabling a digital future” mean for you?
For me, it means that we are supporting the evolution where everything is getting automated, connected, smarter and digitalized. As everything around us is going to be more and more focused on data we are enabling new products, processes and business models that are truly digital.
By connecting everything and using data more intelligently (IoT), building smarter products and systems, we can create a more efficient, productive, and sustainable world. For instance, in the future, we will most likely not own our own car, but we will share it and we will use our phone just to pick it up and then go wherever we want. Sharing platforms in an interconnected world is going to be the future everywhere around us.
In addition to connectivity I believe processes is another key topic within digitalization. Most processes can be automated and be done smarter. Digitalizing whatever we’re doing manually in each factory, or in the office, or even in the car. We have the technology to automate and digitalize almost everything. But to create real value, digitalization of processes requires substantial investments, new ways of working and a set of new internal processes that ensures that your new digital process is up to date and in sync with a dynamic world.
Finally, every product and service we have around us needs to be data driven. From every product there is a lot data generated and until recently the world has been more focused on gathering all this data, and not enough on understanding and using it.
Big data has been a buzzword for years, but I believe that it’s the years ahead that will demonstrate what big data entails. As companies better understand the potential and value their data stream can provide, things will change. And they must. As consumers we are increasingly expecting that we get tailored made offers and experiences because we know it’s possible through the technology and data that’s available today.
Could you give us a few examples of some of the most successful digital projects that Data Respons has worked on?
Data Respons is involved in all the mega trends that are really changing the play of every industry you can imagine. Making data driven products and services means you need to have expertise and experience from the sensor level to the final app on your mobile. There are lots of examples to draw upon, but let’s talk about a few big industries that are embarking on huge digital transformations.
A good example is the future of the car. Most cars are stationary 90% of the time, which is not very sustainable and owning a car is becoming increasingly difficult in big cities. Last, but not least the next generation of urban young people will not want to own a car, they just want the flexibility and the freedom of being able to use a car, whenever they need it. For this purpose, we have built an e-mobility solution for one of our biggest clients. We developed a new cloud-based car-sharing platform where the user can locate an available electric car on their phone, drive it wherever they want and when they are done, leave it for the next user. The platform impresses with its rapid, automated registration process, app-driven locking and unlocking of vehicles and automated billing of parking fees without any user effort.
When talking about mobility we have a long track record in/of digitalizing the transportation industry – the future goal is of course to make transportation more like a service. Together with our client, we have built a complete digital fleet management system. Today between 30 and 50% of the capacity of trucks is empty. If that number can be reduced, it will generate enormous efficiency gains and enable more sustainability, and you can achieve that with intelligent systems interacting. The platform allows real-time re-routing of trucks and more efficient use of the entire fleet, thus saving cost, protecting investments, and extending the life cycle of hardware components with connectivity and software updates.
Last, but not least we have an example on how software and digitalization is making a difference. In Germany we are working on an online energy trading platform for renewable energy. On this platform anyone can sell their own renewable energy from a min. quantitiy of 3000 MWh, like solar, wind, water or biogas. As an energy supplier you can thus be sure that your offer is taken to market in the best possible way, and that you will get the correct market price, without any delay. This platform also indirectly incentivizes more people to invest in small scale renewable energy by making it possible and easy to sell their excess energy to the market.
I could give a thousand more examples!
In what way(s) is Data Respons supporting AKKA in driving the digital transformation of its clients?
Externally I strongly believe that with Data Respons as a part of AKKA, the Group has become a leading player in industrial digitalization. Hardware and software specialists across industries can support each other and help our customers gain the competitive edge they need in a digitalized world.
Internally we are sharing our 30 years of thinking and working on digitalization. Also, as Data Respons has grown we have become quite skilled at building agile digital companies, and we are sharing those experiences with the rest of the Group. Sharing best practices on a culture that embraces digital opportunities is valuable for everyone. To succeed in becoming a trusted digital specialist you need to be the best at what you do, by having a lot of high-level skilled experts. By offering our culture, and know-how we are contributing to making AKKA a digital powerhouse across every industry.
How do you see AKKA and Data Respons evolving over the next few years?
Our goal, for AKKA and Data Respons, is to be a global and leading player within industrial digitalization.
To achieve that goal, it’s not enough to have only the digital expertise, nor to have only product engineering know-how. Combining these two skillsets in every dimension is where we’re going. We are strengthening our role as the best partner for our customers and bring real value add to their digital transformation.