Blockchain technology has found recognition across several industries, and the supply chain industry is one of those industries that have benefitted a lot from it. Several major industry giants have turned towards blockchain, and the latest news comes from the maker of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler.
As per a Thursday announcement, the automobile giant has now completed a proof-of-concept with Ocean protocol, a blockchain-based data-sharing platform, to enable Daimler to monetize data streams within the company and across its supply chain.
The collaboration allowed the Mercedes maker to explore the decentralized sharing of internal sales and financial data in between the company’s production hubs, and externally between some of its supply chain procurement partners.
The system enables comfortable data sharing and extracting insights from hitherto undiscovered datasets – while keeping track on who’s looking at what. Daimler technology VP Hartmut Mueller said in a statement:
“We believe in the power of blockchain to unlock the value of data in a decentralized way. On our journey towards a data-driven company, this collaboration with Ocean protocol enables us to build a secure enterprise B2B data marketplace to monetize and put data to work.”
In recent times, giant enterprises have realized the value of data as a naturally occurring resource. Major automotive giants like General Motors and BMW have been ahead of the competition when it comes to leveraging blockchain tech to explore everything from vehicle identity to managing the data of autonomous vehicles.
According to Bruce Pon, a former employee at Daimler’s IT department and now the founder of Ocean Protocol, a company as big as Daimler can spend close to $300 million to harmonize company data, something which a completely transparent system of data sharing and reconciliation could slash.
“We have proved that internal and external data sharing works. Daimler’s IT departments can handle it and the business wants it. Blockchain can turn the company’s IT system from a cost center into a profit center.”
The types of data that could be optimized using Ocean blockchain includes sales and finance data, which could greatly vary during times of crisis such as COVID-19, said Pon. The PoC looked at the procurement of parts and equipment across various jurisdictions, in terms of external data, he said.
Alongside the enhanced transparency and a seamless data reconciliation system across multiple systems, Ocean’s privacy-preserving system works with the help of “federated machine learning.” This system doesn’t require direct access to training data; hence the data stays at its original location, such as under the security a company’s firewall.
According to Frank Schur, a technology manager at Daimler’s Singapore subsidiary:
“The Decentralized data marketplace is an interesting proposition and gives us an exciting opportunity for aggregation of data with a clear compensation approach. Using Ocean Protocol, we want to implement this in a secure and transparent way.”
Pon added that the first data-market-based subsidies could be implemented on trucking companies or delivery service vehicles.
“There are ways to securitize a whole data stream going forward, like all the DHL drivers in the city of Los Angeles, for instance. It’s a technology that can put the automaker on an even footing with the Googles and Bloombergs of the world,” said Pon.