August 20, 2020

Secure and trusted data exchange: German Edge Cloud’s ONCITE is IDS-ready

In his Blog post, Bernd Fondermann, Product Owner Trusted Supplier Connector - German Edge Cloud, discusses why companies are reluctant to share their data. And he illustrates that exchanging and sharing data across the entire supply chain is a crucial requirement for doing business successfully.
Bernd Fondermann

Data, which today is often denoted as “the new gold”, is key when it comes to process optimization and developing new, digital business models. To exploit the full value creating potential of data, companies must be able to capture, store, process and evaluate data efficiently and intelligently. This is all the more important as companies today often need to exchange data with partners across the entire supply chain. The question is: How can companies do so easily, fast, securely, and without losing sovereignty over their data?

Many companies are still reluctant when it comes to sharing and exchanging data with others. Especially in the automotive industry, however, cross-company data sharing and exchange is a crucial requirement for doing business successfully. The idea behind it is very simple: Exchanging and sharing data across the entire supply chain increases both process transparency and operational efficiency. This is particularly beneficial for manufacturing companies – they are the ones who define the requirements to be met by their suppliers, and who decide which digital platforms are to be used. Suppliers then face the challenge of meeting manufacturers’ requirements and aligning their business processes accordingly. Quite understandably, they don’t like to submit themselves to such rigid regimes, and they certainly do not feel at ease with losing sovereignty over sensitive data.

Trust is key in data supply chains

With ONCITE, German Edge Cloud now presents a solution to this problem. ONCITE is a plug & produce solution in the form of a compact computing center that is based on highly available and scalable edge cloud technology. ONCITE is offered as a 24/7 managed IT service, including a scalable edge cloud IT infrastruc­ture (IaaS), comprehensive IIoT services (PaaS), and business capable software applications (SaaS). The solution allows suppliers and manufacturers to make their data available for being used in digital processes (e.g. industrial AI or industrial track & trace) in real time and at the highest possible level of security. With ONCITE, companies can process and store data on site, before they exchange it over a public cloud – with data sovereignty being ensured for each data owner/supplier across the entire process.

Image Source: German Edge Cloud

IDS Connector ensures data sovereignty for each data owner/supplier

The IDS Connector is a user interface developed by German Edge Cloud to monitor and control any exchange of data between two partners. Using a special, IDS certified Trusted Supplier Connector, the partners can request information on the interfaces and data formats specified for an upcoming data exchange transaction. After the transaction, they can use the Trusted Execution Environment for data evaluation and to make the data ready for being used by their own or by OEMs’ systems. Using auditable, secure channels provided by the Trusted Supplier Connector, the results can then be transmitted to third parties also, such as OEMs or product manufacturers. An Integration Service allows easy onboarding of suppliers to OEMs’ and other manufacturers’ industrial clouds.

Each IDS participant decides for itself who is allowed to view its data, who is allowed to use it, how it may be used, and what it costs to do so. Following the example of T-Systems, German Edge Cloud has been one of the first companies to launch an IDS-ready product so far.

Author: Bernd Fondermann
Bernd Fondermann is Product Owner Trusted Supplier Connector at German Edge Cloud.

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