Advantech offers its clients differentiated IT solutions, spanning sustainable industrialisation, green transportation and renewable energy. It is a global leader in Internet of Things (IoT) intelligent systems and embedded platforms.
Advantech’s Industrial IoT (IIoT) business benefits from a strong position in the industrial PC market. It develops technologies that improve efficiency in industrial plants by facilitating enhanced data management and communication. In doing so, Advantech is, among other things, establishing traceability along supply chains, predictive maintenance and automation as well as achieving workforce safety. For example, it helped Taipower to build a smart-grid intelligence facility and Beijing International Airport to adopt system management measures for energy conservation and environmental protection, thereby increasing their efficiency and helping them become more sustainable. These examples serve to demonstrate that IIoT is a key enabler of sustainable industrialisation and innovation (that is, SDG 9) – and for Advantech, IIoT accounts for about a third of its sales.
One of the IIoT vertical industries the company targets is energy and environment – and this includes renewable energy (thereby serving SDG 7). For example, Advantech offers technology solutions to manage solar power plants, which in turn improve their operational efficiency through data accuracy and optimise the management of the assets. It also plans to devolve resources to develop more software and artificial intelligence (AI) products for the solar and wind sector in recognition of the fact that the global appetite for a greener economic system presents new opportunities for its business.
Within Advantech’s Service IoT business, a number of vertical markets also contribute to the attainment of the SDGs – and, in our view, we believe this segment has strong potential to grow (it currently accounts for approximately 8% of the group’s revenues). Its intelligent transportation systems unit sells products and solutions for railway transportation, traffic management and road/railway safety. In doing so, it serves SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) because railway transportation can play a key role in sustainable mobility as the electrification of transportation reduces the consumption of carbon and increases safety. What’s more, traffic management reduces congestion, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Advantech is also a leading player in the global healthcare market. It’s iHealthcare Service IoT division assists hospitals with advancing patient-centred healthcare. By connecting various departments and exchanging data on integrated platforms, Advantech provides monitoring solutions, information centres and other products that help create ‘smart’ hospitals.
Connecting our way to a sustainable future
Many of Advantech’s technologies are cloud enabled, which means they do not require clients to have in-house server rooms or data centres. Indeed, outsourcing data centres to specialists has many benefits: it allows for better capacity utilisation, fewer idle resources, more efficient cooling systems and increased energy savings, which in turn translate to more environmentally-friendly business practices.
Advantech’s vision is to enable ‘an intelligent planet’ – and by offering IoT architecture to various sectors, it assists its clients in connecting their value chains. In turn, this enables them to communicate, run smoothly and improve results. The company has also added energy star labels, the US government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, to many of its products – a strategy that can help its clients become more sustainable.
This case study will feature in the Global Emerging Markets: ESG Materiality, Q4 2020 newsletter which will be published in the coming weeks.