Evolution of the Chinese Smart Water market – Feedback of Qingdao International Water Conference 2018

On June 28, the China Europe Water Platform (CEWP) invited Siveco China's Operation Director Guillaume Gimonet to give a presentation on "Smart water: market trends regarding tenders and design of solutions" at the Qingdao International Water Conference, a major conference organized by the Desalination Branch of the China Water Enterprises Confederation (DBCWEC). Siveco China's Vice General Manager Paul Wang also attended the event. For more information about this event, please see the original announcement.
Over 2,000 industry specialists joined the conference. The CEWP session in particular was attended by Chinese and European officials, scholars and industrial experts from various horizons. After being introduced by the distinguished economist Pr. Soumodip Sarkar, one of Europe's leading researchers in entrepreneurship and innovation, Guillaume presented a condensed summary of Siveco's experience serving water markets with cutting-edge technology and innovative management models.
The presentation outlined how the perception and usage of technology was evolving in the Chinese water market, with especially rapid changes in the past few years that might surprise European observers and challenge their legacy approach. Thanks to the "China dream" and related policies, well-financed local players benefit from shorter decision processes and the opportunity to leapfrog into world-class operating models. Technology is seen as a catalyst for modern operating practices and to tackle the specific challenges of the Chinese market including the rapidly evolving regulatory environment, fierce competition, atomized and growing multi-sites operations, and PPPs or JVs with diverse background, cultures and attitudes towards industrial risk and asset management. These challenges, often more salient because of the fast paced growth induced by the on-going consolidation of the sector, have not spared the multinationals operating in the Chinese water market, which are now leveraging their Chinese experience to develop a competitive advantage in other Asian markets. For European technology providers that have traditionally focused on serving their multinational clients, there is a clear shift towards targeting Chinese clients.
In this context, Guillaume highlighted the need to move beyond traditional (western) logics. To illustrate, Guillaume took Siveco client Capital Water as an example where the traditional view of "organize before you computerize" has been superseded by the usage of technology as a catalyst for organizational change at large scale (200 sites). Suez NWS was a second point in case, demonstrating how sustainable performance can be achieved fast by putting a strong emphasis on mobility instead of considering it as a mere extension of existing information systems. In a separate session at the conference, Suez NWS presented its experience with Smart Water solutions in Europe and in China, including the Smart O&M solutions deployed by Siveco.
Guillaume concluded on the need for aligning smart water projects with business needs, at all stages of a project, from tendering to transfer or exit. Several examples have been provided, some taken for Belt & Road projects, on how the outcome of Chinese successes can be put to good use in other markets, stressing the benefits from constant experimentation and approaching water industry challenges as a partner-in-progress. Other customers stories were presented, including Siveco's experience in Algerian desalination projects.
The presentation was followed by Q&A and received excellent feedback from the audience. The Siveco Smart Water team was subsequently invited by several Qingdao utilities to visit and give specific presentations. We thank the CEWP for its invitation and will continue to openly share our experience of the Chinese market as part of this Sino-European cooperation program.
About Siveco China
Siveco China (www.sivecochina.com), founded in 2004, is a pioneer in the development of Smart Technologies for the Operation & Maintenance of infrastructures and industrial plants, with a focus on mobile solutions "for the worker of tomorrow".
Long before the terms "smart" and "4.0" were coined, Siveco has been helping clients optimize the lifecycle of their assets and ensure regulatory compliance using IT. Based on a long experience of "maintenance with Chinese characteristics", the company has developed a unique approach combining expert maintenance consulting and innovative solutions designed in its Shanghai-based R&D center.
Siveco China has over 850 customer sites all over Greater China and on the Belt & Road, including ABB, Baosteel Metal, Beijing Environment, Capital Water, Carrefour China, CEPSA, CNEEC, CNOOC, COSCO, Fushun Mining, Engie, Everbright, GE, New World Development, Saint-Gobain, Shell, Suez NWS, etc. The company boasts a growing export business, working alongside Asian EPC companies and with international clients in Southeast Asia, the Middle-East and Africa.
Siveco China has won numerous awards, most recently the prestigious Top Ten Enterprise for Asset Informatization Service by the China Association of Machinery Equipment Maintenance and Renovation (CAMER) and Best Industrial Software 2017 by Control Engineering China. Previous awards include Plant Engineering Product of the Year 2012, CHaINA Supply Chain Excellence Award 2013 and Engineers' Choice Awards by Plant360 in three categories in 2015.
Siveco is ISO 9001-certified by Bureau Veritas for its entire scope of business. The company is headquartered in Shanghai, where it also operates its R&D center, and has offices in Hong Kong. Siveco China is a subsidiary of Siveco Group, a European pioneer in computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS).
Siveco China publishes the monthly "Smart Operation & Maintenance – for the worker of tomorrow" email newsletter (newsletter.sivecochina.com), bilingual English and Chinese, available to subscribers and online.
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