Spreading the digital culture in Italy

Global scenario


The future prospects generated by fibre optics and the new installation technologies, impacting all sectors of the economy, were discussed at a conference organised by Prysmian and IATT.

The universe of services and applications that will be developed over the next few years within the digital transformation that Italy needs is so vast as to make their impact difficult to predict. It is for this reason that the broadband network must be designed and deployed so that it is solid and capable of supporting future innovations. This was the central theme, outlined by several top industry and academy speakers, being debated at the conference ‘Kairos: digital culture through fibre optics and new installation technologies’, organised in Rome by Prysmian Group and IATT, the Italian Association for Trenchless Technology.

The goal of the event was to analyse the opportunities and future prospects generated by fi bre optics and the new installation technologies, emphasising the importance of a real digital culture involving all sectors of the Italian economy, from manufacturing to health, moving through the Internet of Things to communications and entertainment. The industry’s main players gave their contribution: Italtel, Sirti, Infratel Italia and the Department of Management and Technology of Milan’s Bocconi University. Carlo Scarlata, CCO at Prysmian Italia, stated that the innovation that can be brought into the fi bre optic fi eld and in which Prysmian Group continues to invest is crucial, just as trenchless technologies are essential for ensuring high standards of quality, eco-sustainability and cost eff ectiveness. Paolo Trombetti, Chairman at IATT, predicted that over the next few years, the investments by the Government and private operators will enable our local communities to engage in a major infrastructure scheme that will have a signifi cant impact on the daily lives of millions of people.

The use of trenchless solutions puts Italy ahead of other European countries in terms of care for the environment and social costs in the telecommunications sector, while the dissemination of optical fi bres is opening-up the era of the Gigabit Internet right at the start of the greatest infrastructure race in the history of mankind, summarised Professor Francesco Sacco, Bocconi University’s Department of Management and Technology.

The economy of reputation

Biblioteca Bilancio Sociale, Italy’s most important social reporting organisation, has recognised Prysmian with an award for its reputational value as an expression of sustainable governance within the company’s core business. The award was assigned at a ceremony at the Milan Stock Exchange. According to BBS, sustainable thinking has a predisposition to become pandemic if well structured. Two kinds of companies were allowed to take part in this competition: big companies, like Prysmian Group, and companies with up to 500 employees. Among the other winners, Costa Cruises and Kellogg, as well as EcoPneus, a small business committed to the recycling of worn-out tyres.

Fully exploiting the digital trasformation

From augmented reality to digital holograms: Prysmian is exploring all the possible applications of the new innovative tools and implementing them.

Over the years, Prysmian Group has developed major projects on themes such as ERP and business intelligence, using typical waterfall methodologies. As the results of this strategy are now consolidated, the company is focusing on more agile approaches, with a number of pilot projects in the CRM field. “We have applied scrum methodologies in the CRM area and limited the technical documentation as much as possible, seeking to be leaner than usual although still a long way from an agile approach as such,” explained Stefano Brandinali, Prysmian Group CIO. Thanks to this approach, Prysmian can also rethink the design of its digital touchpoints, and is in fact finalising a project involving 29 websites revamped using a glocal philosophy.

In this way, a project is considered successful the more it deviates from the initial forecasts, which is exactly the opposite of traditional methodologies. Given the company’s manufacturing purpose, Prysmian is deepening its digital focus primarily on two significant areas: Digital for Operations, which is part of Industry 4.0, and the world of Smart Office and Smart Working. “In the Digital for Operations area, we are assessing the use of drones for automating warehouse inventories. There are still no industrialised solutions. We are interfacing with a startup to develop a pilot project,” explained Brandinali. At the same time, Prysmian is evaluating the proposals of a number of potential partners on the themes of augmented reality for plant training and remote assistance processes.

At the centre of the Industry 4.0 concept is innovation. And that has led to many interesting possibilities. One consists of digital holograms, that can play an important role in the training of line personnel: Prysmian Innovation Lab is currently approaching this pioneering theme. Other possible applications include 3D printers, to be used in design activities or for moulding line components, or Chatbots that enable specific customer segments to be reached in a targeted manner, exploiting the potential of artificial intelligence and cognitive computing.

Compliant to Internet of Things
Prysmian has recently finished moving the entire HQ workforce to a new building, built with the most advanced eco-sustainable technologies and based on the critical importance of the human factor and the pillars of digital transformation: paperless, collaboration, digitalisation of working spaces and tools. 2017 will see Prysmian focusing on developing the new Manufacturing Execution System, that will be innately ‘Internet of Things-compliant’, with the long-term objective of being able to sensorise the various production lines so that valuable on-site information can be obtained through access to the big data world.