Do YOU know where to tap?

My Father used to work for a swiss company called Sulzer. Sulzer used to make the best giant ship diesel engines in the World. They were produced in the casting house in Oberwinterthur. That time Sulzer employed over 20’000 people only in Winterthur and was therefore one of the largest employers in the area. Sulzer is also the company where I started my professional career. Working for the same company as my father gave me the opportunity to pay him a visit at his workplace in the casting house. I was amazed by the sheer size of the parts that were cast there. And seeing such an engine in action was incredible. They had a test engine, where they tested their latest inventions to improve reliability, consumption and environmental pollution of the engine.

As Sulzer was so big in Winterthur it is no surprise, that many of my friends were also working there. Quite some became engineers. One of my friends was studying at the Zurich university ETH. He developed a software, where they could predict engine failure in a very early stage based on data they collected from a couple of sensors placed in and around the engine.

This was a completely new approach and he went off to test his mathematical model  on the test engine. After the guys have fired up the engine data showed pretty fast a possible issue with an engine part.

The old established engineer did not believe the data and told my friend that his software is rubbish.

After they have disassembled the machine, they saw, that the software was not rubbish at all and a failure of an engine part would have occured rather sooner than later.

I could think of many more such stories that remind me of what is currently going on in the information technology industry.

When we approached companies in Switzerland with cloud topics five years ago, many still looked at us with disbelieving eyes.

Even discussing cloud with IT Admins, Managers, CIOs led often to discussion of principles and led to mistrust. Five years later the picture has changed. The cost pressure and the pressure from the business can often only be met with cloud solutions. It is now time to rethink and, above all, to relearn. What you’ve always done before suddenly doesn’t really work anymore. What worked yesterday works differently or no longer works today.

The new currency in the IT Industry is «API». The new cool stuff are things like Zapier, Integromat, Power Automate and probabely many others with wich you can orchestrate your cloud services using «no code» or «low code».

Here at ViNET2 Services AG we use such cool solutions to orchestrate and automate various business services. We use APIs to manage and monitor the network environment of our Cisco Meraki customers for instance which is illustrated in the picture below.

Once you understand the new cloud world and you understand how to put the puzzle pieces together so the form a whole picture, you’re ready to hit the nail with the hammer. This lets me come back to the ship engine and the following anecdote:

A giant ship engine failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.

Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away.

The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!” So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”

The man sent a bill that read:

Tapping with a hammer…………………..  $ 2.00

Knowing where to tap…………………….. $ 9,998.00»

On behalf of ViNET2 Services AG

Bojan