IAA Voices: Interview Capgemini

Ralf Blessmann has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive and IT industry and had global responsibility for premium OEMs at Capgemini for a long time. The business information scientist most recently addressed the importance of sustainable action in the automotive sector in his keynote speech at the IAA Mobility 2021. Since 2021, he has been in charge of the automotive sector in Germany. The company has a total of more than 350,000 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of 18 billion euros at last count.

Ralf Blessmann, Capgemini

What does Capgemini stand for and what should every IAA visitor know about the company?

Capgemini is one of the world's leading partners for companies in managing and transforming through the use of technology. The consulting and IT services company is active in over 50 countries and is listed on the stock exchange.

For automotive clients, Capgemini sees itself as a consulting, software and engineering partner. Implementation competence has long since been added to pure consulting: In the meantime, the company has established the Capgemini Engineering unit with 52,000 engineers and scientists, which builds on the integration of Altran. Capgemini Engineering comprises a portfolio around engineering services and research & development (R&D) services, with more than 15 years of experience in the electrification of commercial and special vehicles.

What is/will be the company's most important project for 2022/23?

At the moment, these are clearly the topics of car, or rather vehicle software transformation and sustainability. These are also the focus of our newly founded Commercial Vehicles Accelleration Hub (VAH), which bundles our activities in the commercial vehicle industry and the extended ecosystem. Here, the support of new business models through the networking of the industry and the electrification of the powertrain are further specific focal points.

The newly designed IAA TRANSPORTATION is a platform and meeting place for transport, logistics and tech companies from all over the world. What makes the fair so appealing to you?

On the one hand, it's the physical trade fair - on the other hand, the concept of a pure transport and logistics trade fair in which the entire ecosystem participates alongside manufacturers and partners, from technology to suppliers to start-ups. On the other hand, the timing this year is of course ideal to launch VAH as the first global IT and engineering service provider with a commercial vehicle-specific offering. I am very much looking forward to the exchange with old acquaintances and new faces.

The coming years will be marked by transformation for transport and logistics companies. What contribution can Capgemini make to ensure that the transformation towards more sustainability and connected driving succeeds?

A key element for the transformation is the management of complex data ecosystems. As an association member of Catena-X, we are closely involved in current developments in the automotive industry and actively shape them. Sustainability along the supply chains is a focus here. Only an intelligent interaction of all actors can achieve the desired effect of decarbonisation. This knowledge and experience will also be of great value to transport and logistics companies, as many problems can be directly transferred or integration is already possible today.

In addition to the increasingly dramatic shortage of personnel, the direct connection with the topic of sustainability in particular will give connected driving further tailwind.

Today, mobility is already closely linked to IT in many respects. In your view, in which areas is the most untapped potential?

Networked and autonomous vehicles will fundamentally change the transport sector in particular. Completely new business models will develop here, in which new players will establish themselves. Vehicle manufacturers, logistics companies, energy producers, technology companies and start-ups will work together on the basis of digital platforms and available data.  Car software transformation, the use of data and the development of new platforms such as Catena X are where I see the most potential. But beyond that, many of our customers still have a lot of catching up to do in the digital transformation of their core processes such as production, energy management and repair or maintenance optimisation. You are welcome to read more in my colleague Markus Scherbaum's blog for this year's IAA here.

Finally, we would like to venture an outlook with you: Where will the transport and logistics industry be in 2030 - and what milestones will you have achieved by then?

Above all, the industry will be much more efficient, modular and sustainable. We will see a multitude of electrified, connected and already also partially autonomous vehicles on the roads. Transport-as-a-service will have established itself as a business model in practice and new players will massively influence the market in many places based on technical innovations.

The strong trend towards a circular economy will have a lasting impact and generate new business models. Technologies such as Digital Twin, Autonomous Driving, Software Defined Vehicle and Life Cycle Assessment will support this.