A German wants to challenge Amazon and Microsoft


Dusseldorf, Berlin Friedhelm Loh likes to be part of the game when it comes to the future: the future of his company, the Friedhelm Loh Group, but also the future of German SMEs. So he rose early at the Augsburg robot manufacturer kuka one. Loh wanted to understand how the industry would evolve.

The forward-looking family business also plays a key role in the largest underground data center in Western Europe, Lefdal Mine in Norway. This data center is powered by green energy and cooled with seawater.

On Thursday he will lead another step ahead, as the Handelsblatt has learned in advance. A subsidiary of the Friedhelm Loh Group, German Edge Cloud, is working together with a daughter of BoschGroup and start-up Iotos to introduce a mini data center for Industry 4.0.

This system, called Oncite, is designed to enable factories to network without loss of control: companies should be able to decide for themselves where their data will stay. The consortium of the three companies focuses primarily on automotive suppliers.

Thus, the participants may contribute to the digital sovereignty of Germany: Loh positions the new product as part of the digital infrastructure Gaia -X, with the German Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) the dependence of the German economy of cloud providers from the US such as Amazon and Microsoft wants to reduce. The medium-sized company challenges the companies, at least with a product.

Friedhelm Loh

The entrepreneur likes to move forward.

(Photo: FLG)

“Already at the beginning of 2018, we had intensive discussions with the Federal Government about the digitization of small and medium-sized enterprises,” Loh told Handelsblatt. It is about competitiveness in international competition.

In the dialogue it became clear: “The solution, which needs the middle class for the digitization, does not exist yet.” Thus the development of Gaia-X got going. Before Altmaier officially introduces the project at the Digital Summit at the end of October, Loh will start marketing it.

Data processing next to the production line

Oncite is a system that processes production data directly in the factory – possibly just a few meters from the production line. On the one hand, it is about optimizing production or improving quality, for example with intelligent analyzes. On the other hand, the system should connect to other platforms. Suppliers, for example, can network with industrial groups in this way. This approach is commonplace in the automotive industry.

The principle is not new. The digitization of production has been calling the industry for years under the heading of Industry 4.0. However, companies often use cloud services to store, share and analyze data. In other words, they use IT resources from the data center of a service provider that may be hundreds of miles away.

Volkswagen works with, for example Amazon Web Services (AWS) together, Microsoft has a partnership with BMW, In the market for infrastructure and platform solutions from the data cloud dominate the two US providers, followed by Google. IBM and Alibaba, With billions in investment, these companies have built platforms that are far ahead of the competition in terms of functionality. Therefore, European providers have a hard time on the market.

Today's cloud solutions have a “major disadvantage,” Loh argues: “The company can not freely decide who has what data. That is, there is no data sovereignty. “Many decision makers, for example, have concerns about the so-called Cloud Act, which has allowed US authorities since 2018 to access data stored by US IT providers overseas.

This is where Oncite comes in: The system first stores the data locally in a small data center. The companies decide where their data stays.


Boris Otto, Managing Director of the Fraunhofer Institute ISST, also sees success factors for the digitization of German industry in cloud and data sovereignty. It must be ensured that the exchange, use and storage of the data are secure. Oncite, in conjunction with the secure data space “Industrial Data Space”, which his organization develops, addresses the “core requirements of German industry”.

. (tags) Cloud Computing (t) Edge Computing (t) Small Business (t) Startup (t) Germany (t) Amazon (t) Microsoft (t) Volkswagen (t) BMW (t) Siemens (t) Friedhelm Loh Group (t) Gaia-X (t) German Edge Cloud (t) Oncite (t) Altmaier (t) Federal Ministry of Economics (t) KI (t) Google (t) IBM (t) Alibaba (t) China (t) USA ( t) Digitalisation (t) Information Management (t) Artificial Intelligence AI (t) Internet (t) Economic Policy (t) Internet of Things (t) VW (t) Friedhelm Loh Group (t) Bosch (t) Kuka (t) AWS ( t) Ministry of Economics (t) SAP (t) IDC (t) Rittal (t) Festo (t) Friedhelm Loh (t) Peter Altmaier (t) Axel Oppermann (t) Computer services and data processing services


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