As one of the secret ingredients behind some of Hexagon’s most recent innovations, Xalt is enabling Hexagon’s solutions to work seamlessly together to deliver intelligence at scale. In this episode of HxGN Radio, we sat down with Johannes Maunz, Xalt’s program director, to discuss Xalt’s creation, where they are today and what we can expect from Xalt in the future.
BK: Welcome to HxGN Radio. My name is Brian. And in today’s episode, we’re discussing what could be called the secret ingredient behind some of Hexagon’s most recent innovations, and that is Xalt, a technology platform that enables Hexagon solutions to work seamlessly together to deliver intelligence at scale.
Joining me today as Johannes Maunz, who is the programme director for Xalt. Johannes, thanks for joining me. Appreciate your time.
JM: Thank you, Brian. Thanks for having me today as well. It’s very nice being here and talking about Xalt.
BK: Yeah. I’m excited.
JM: Yes, I’m looking forward to this conversation.
BK: Absolutely. Okay. Well, first of all, tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do, and also, what you’re currently nerding out on and excited about right now.
JM: Absolutely. I had the pleasure starting in the Hexagon group in Geosystems in 2007 already. It’s been around 10 years in Geosystems in various roles around R&D and product management, and then got to work on what was announced in 2018 as Xalt. And now I’m responsible for the Xalt product management, and we run projects across the entire Hexagon group, making sure that we deliver intelligence at scale.
BK: Very nice. So, how did Xalt get started, by the way? What prompted the motivation for this? What was the problem it was solving?
JM: Xalt was announced in 2018, four years ago, with capabilities that were addressing the needs that companies had in the course of digital transformation to harness data and extract its full value. Ever since its inception and the announcement, we’ve been working with Hexagon teams across all served industries in order to unite, solve, and accelerate those solutions; get a quicker time to market; create new use cases across solutions from Hexagon; many, many success stories.
BK: Yeah, share some of these successes. I’m curious.
JM: Yes. Success, for us, is really, from the Xalt side, is if the solution that is underpinned by Xalt gets into customers’ hands and increases their quality, efficiency, productivity; or helps them reduce waste, time, digital waste, material waste. The most recent one that you could see at the HxGN LIVE Global 2022 conference in Burkhard’s keynote was the empowerment of our BLK autonomous series, where we enabled them to transfer point clouds into Hexagon’s digital reality platform at the push of a button, seamlessly connected. So, the autonomous fleet connected out in the field, capturing the reality, transporting it into HxDR, enabling then users to collaborate, share, and work on top of the data that they have in there.
BK: Very nice. Tell me what it was doing before that. I mean, what was the process before this simple solution that you have now?
JM: Before that it was many solutions that we have for particular industries that served in the reality capture space, which are still there and still have their good spaces. With launching HxDR, it is just a new way that we have a centralised platform for digital reality combined with a lot of AI and machine learning. And one of the key things and ingredients that was required was really seamless work with the autonomous fleet in order to be able to get the data into HxDR, and then the journey starts in collaborating and producing new ways of using the super-mesh, using point cloud data, sharing, collaborate on days.
BK: That’s good, good. Yeah. So, it’s clearly saving time and it’s obviously significantly simpler.
JM: Correct, yes. Yes.
BK: Saving costs, all kinds of stuff. Yeah. That’s great. That’s great.
All right. Well, talk about some of the refinements that have been made over the past year. I know you’re continuing to optimise continuously, which is great.
JM: We’ve learnt a lot in the past year, specifically in the recent two… In the past years, specifically in the recent two years, for most of it, how the pandemic, for instance, changed enterprises in the need to go digital, certainly being more collaborative, working from home, and the increased need actually for autonomous solutions.
With Xalt, the technology platform, we actually strive and aim to actually enable those solutions to work seamlessly together, cutting through complexity, and really with low footprint getting a good impact across those. There are several of those examples, which you will see coming in the second half of 2022, on the technology spotlight. Our mission continues to do that, of course. We’ve refined our focus areas, however, on now the enterprise applications and apps solution integrations, AI, and IOT use cases. Needless to say, focusing on those required us as well, bundling few core competencies in spaces, such as cloud native technologies, AI engineering, user experience techniques, just to name a few. And that’s what we’ve been working on.
BK: Excellent. That’s great.
Well, Hexagon’s goal is to empower an autonomous sustainable future, and Smart Digital Reality, obviously, plays a role in this objective. So how is Xalt driving this across the organisation?
JM: It really goes down to three things. It’s unite, solve, and accelerate across Hexagon and its solutions. We have the luxury position to be the connective grid that runs between those transformative solutions, which are obviously very industry specific. And even within industries, being the grid that runs between those solutions, there is added value just right around the corner, and we can help Hexagon’s customers to just gain more and more insight into their data so that they’ll be able to harness it and close the so-called data leverage gap.
The lines of communication that we enable runs between data teams and technologies so that we could deliver really actionable data in the right context to drive autonomy, collaboration, and efficiency, of course. It is really for us, the goal powering smart, scalable solutions, really fusing data across physical and digital worlds, namely in the autonomous fleet, bringing it… Making the physical assets available via scans, bringing it into a digital platform, making data available from several different disparate data sources, such as on the Hexagon-owned solar plant in Archidona in Spain, which is run and operated by R-evolution, providing all the insights there. And by empowering those solutions, really it is helping Hexagon to do more. We help future proving really our customers’ technologies. Accelerating Hexagon’s mission is ultimately to empower an autonomous sustainable future underpinned by Xalt.
BK: Excellent. That’s great.
All right. Well, what’s coming? What’s next for Xalt?
JM: Yeah. There’s many, many exciting and transformative solutions that we are working on to this date, only so much so that I can state, we’re continuing. We have a very high focus, a very skilled team, also work very nicely within the individual groups in Hexagon. Stay tuned and stay connected.
BK: Love it.
All right. Well, how can we get more information?
JM: Go to visit the Hexagon website, hexagon.com. And then check out, search for Xalt, either under the R&D section, go to hexagonxalt.com, visit solutions from all the groups, AI to whatever we have.
JM: And you can see Xalt in many, many places.
BK: Excellent. Keep up to date with all the new things coming.
JM: Exactly, yes. Perfect.
BK: That’s great. Awesome.
Johannes, thank you so much. Appreciate your time and great information and excited to see where you’re going and thank you for sharing everything.
JM: Thank you, Brian. Was a pleasure talking to you.
BK: Appreciate that.
All right. Johannes Maunz, programme director for Xalt, thank you so much for joining us here on HxGN Radio.
For more information, and also to listen to additional episodes, head over to iTunes, Spotify, or SoundCloud, and you can also visit hxgnspotlight.com for more information and stories from Hexagon. Thank you again for listening. Have a wonderful day.