Chances are you’ve been hearing the term blockchain quite a bit over the past year or so. In a recent Automation World article exploring ways to strengthen supply chain operations, senior editor Stephanie Neil explained blockchain technology as being “an unalterable peer-to-peer recordkeeping system that enables communities to securely record and share information. Blockchain is best known as the core component of the digital currency Bitcoin. Each validated Bitcoin transaction creates a block, which attaches to the chain of blocks before it, thereby creating an easy-to-follow trail.”
With Bitcoin at its root, there is certain to be no small amount of trepidation around blockchain’s use in industry. The significant upside the technology presents, however, certainly bears out further investigation. And that’s why Wipro, a global information technology, consulting and business process services company, has developed nine blockchain-based offerings, four of which are directly targeted at manufacturing. Wipro says these new offerings have been “defined, designed and co-developed with clients in Wipro’s Blockchain Innovation Lab” to demonstrate what blockchain can accomplish for global enterprises.
Considering Wipro’s preference for referring to its blockchain offerings as solutions, I asked Sanjeev Ramakrishnan, general manager and business unit leader at Wipro, to clarify whether these blockchain “solutions” are products, services or a combination of the two. He said, “all of Wipro’s blockchain solutions include: blueprints for domain-specific use case; the solution architecture; the code base, which can be customized and integrated; and full solution documentation” in addition to access to Wipro’s cloud-based lab and in-house experts.
The four offerings targeted at manufacturing address anti-counterfeiting, airworthiness certificate tracking, supply chain visibility and additive manufacturing/3D printing. According to Ramakrishnan, “the benefits of these solutions include improved process efficiency, optimized costs and the ability to foster innovative business models.”