Passengers expect a wide range of entertainment offers when they visit airports. “Shopping miles” and restaurant and visitor platforms are already common. Airports are on the verge of becoming adventure worlds for passengers. The German newspaper Wirtschaftswoche examined the country’s 10 biggest airports and how the offers fit into the self-image of airports. The airports in Frankfurt, Munich and Hanover were listed at the top of the ranking, while the capital’s airport, Berlin-Tegel, failed in the categories comfort, processes and flight offerings and was listed in the bottom position.
Experts have little doubt that additional offerings that improve customers’ comfort, such as shopping and restaurants, are the future of aviation. Aurelia Bettati, partner at Arthur D. Little, highlights that some airports earn more than 50% of their revenues from retail. This development is forecast to increase within the next years. Modernizations and new concepts are meant to make the customer experience more pleasant. Airports will also focus more on business people. Lounges, conference rooms and office services are among the services of the future.
Matthias von Bechtolsheim, partner in Arthur D. Little’s energy and utilities practice, was interviewed about the French energy turnaround. The French government recently passed a law to increase the usage of renewable energies, and nuclear energy is planned to be reduced from 75% to 50%. von Bechtolsheim highlights that Germany’s measures, taken in 2011, could be a role model for other countries in Europe.
However, the French actions go far beyond the German plans in some areas. France will expand the usage of electronic cars significantly. To support that process, the government has implemented monetary incentives to raise demand, and is planning to invest in development of an infrastructure. von Bechtolsheim points out that the French plans may be a first step towards a European energy union, which is a long-term goal for Europe. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go to realize a union. Among the obstacles are the heterogeneous market concepts within the different countries and the legal requirements for energy efficiency.
Thomas Becker, Associate Director for Automotive and Mobility at Arthur D. Little, has little doubt that electric vehicles will form the future of mobility. Nevertheless, he is pessimistic about the governmental goal of 1 million electric cars on German roads by 2020. Currently Germany is far behind its own ambitions. Becker points out that other nations such as Norway, the Netherlands and China have experienced a national e-mobility boom due to lavish public subsidies and incentives. German customers are restricted by the high costs of electric cars. Lack of infrastructure and low coverage also prevent a breakthrough.
Nevertheless, Becker is optimistic that the advantages of electric cars will soon lead to an increase in urban areas. Lately private investors have started to expand the infrastructure. Even though this might also be a good marketing strategy for discounters such as Aldi, Becker still believes in their function as role models. A better public infrastructure is the key to greener mobility. Furthermore, Becker is confident that new technologies are going to improve the opportunities for electronic cars. Recently several fuel cell cars were launched that may offer advantages over longer distances because of their higher range.
This article about the strong influence of the Nordic region on the development of the Internet of Things and Industrial Internet of Things draws heavily from Arthur D. Little’s “Connected Things” report, published jointly with TeliaSonera. The report puts the region in a top position to take advantage of opportunities generated by the IoT, citing the Nordics’ high Internet penetration, stable regulatory environment, vibrant user community, and four-to-one ratio of connected things per person compared with the rest of the world. The fastest-growing segments of the IoT in the Nordics are connected people, connected things, and connected buildings.
This article about the potential of the Gulf region to adopt solar energy is based on Arthur D. Little’s report, “GCC Solar Energy: Turning Plans into Reality.” The region has the means, particularly all-day sunshine, to harness solar energy, but it has a long way to go, according to the article. Countries across the Gulf region, particularly Saudi Arabia, have announced big plans to tap solar energy, but few of these plans have come to fruition. The report authors say the region needs government backing, clear roles between players, well-defined policy initiatives, and strong R&D efforts to move the plans into reality.
In this article about telecoms companies moving to updating their network technology to meet the demand for super-fast broadband, Arthur D. Little’s joint report with Bell Labs, “Reshaping the Future with NFV and SDN” is quoted. The report predicts that demand for super-fast broadband will drive telecoms revenues, but that telecoms companies need to invest in those networks. This is particularly important when moving from switch-based networks to IP networks. Modernizing networks could save European telecoms companies €14bn per year, as well as €25bn per year in cutting operating costs, according to the report. Jesus Portal, partner at ADL, is quoted confirming this – it will not be easy for the European telecoms industry to bring networking into the cloud era, but the rewards will be significant.
Arthur D. Little partner Matthias von Bechtolsheim is quoted in this article about the German government’s plans to abandon a levy on coal-fired power plants but reduce brown-coal power production. von Bechtolsheim says that power stations are important for ensuring power supply in winter, and that some plants may have been closed up for good with Germany’s movement toward increased renewable energy. According to the article, many experts, such as those at ADL, believe that levying coal plants may push energy production into other European countries.
The German “Energiewende” is a signature project of the German federal government. It includes not only the reduction of CO2 emissions, but also a nuclear phase-out. Furthermore, Germany will no longer rely on coal-fired power. Heating, electric power and mobility are the three backbones of the Energiewende. Matthias von Bechtolsheim, Partner at Arthur D. Little’s Energy & Utilities Practice in Frankfurt, gave insight into the future of the German energy market regarding the challenges of the Energiewende. He also classifies the EU CO2 policy and the German dependency on Russian natural gas as prevailing future market trends. Bechtolsheim points out that the success of the Energiewende project relies on the right political measures and incentives.
The German national conference for e-mobility underlined once more the national goal of having 1 million electric cars on Germany’s roads by 2020. The German government has suggested purchase incentives that could initiate the breakthrough of the new technology. The speakers admitted that the goal of 1 million cars was ambitious. Nevertheless, they maintain that objective. Thomas Becker, an automobile expert at Arthur D. Little, points out that the German market is extremely price sensitive. German car buyers calculate the price-performance ratio very carefully. Electric cars are still more expensive than those with combustion engines.
Becker believes that it will take more than an ecological idea to convince German buyers. Nevertheless, he points out that infrastructure and technology have improved a lot within recent years. Still, a bigger number of electric cars will be required to spread the e-mobility infrastructure. Becker believes that monetary incentives will help the new technology to escape from that vicious circle. Company cars may be a particular key for achieving a sustainable breakthrough for e-mobility.
In this feature article about whether telcos should hire a chief data officer (CDO) to manage their Big Data strategies, Arthur D. Little manager Vikram Gupta is quoted on his views that organizations should embrace this new job description. He says that a CDO dedicated to mining, analyzing and management of data, as well as coordinating its use across the organization, is important for tapping the power of Big Data. ADL principal Shinichi Akayama is also quoted, stating how a lot of unrealistic hype has been created around Big Data and its monetary value to telcos, as payoffs from exploiting Big Data do not come easy. He warns that organizations will need to expect a lot of work once a Big Data platform has been introduced. However, he believes embracing Big Data as a strategy will help the operations of the organization considerably.