Canada’s Position in the Fast-Paced Digital World: Insights from Gorve Rekhi

Canada's Position in the Fast-Paced Digital World: Insights from Gorve Rekhi

In a recent interview with CanadianSME, Gorve Rekhi from Siemens Canada cast a spotlight on Canada’s place in the quickly progressing digital global landscape and areas where Canadian businesses can strengthen their stance. He emphasized the crucial role of tech investments and digitalization for Canadian SMEs in boosting their competitiveness and prospects for long-term growth. Gorve also expounded on the various contemporary interoperable and collaborative solutions that help SMEs harness the benefits of technology without incurring massive costs. Using examples from Siemens’ own success stories, he illustrated how Canadian SMEs can significantly enhance operational efficiency. He touched upon creating a conducive environment for digitalization, and suggested resources and best practices to aid SMEs’ digital transformation journey. Finally, Gorve highlighted forthcoming trends and challenges, and how SMEs can equip themselves to stay competitive in this evolving digital era.

Gorve Rekhi is a dedicated and results-driven Business Developer at Siemens Canada with a background in Electrical Engineering. Gorve’s mission is to help Canadian manufacturers and producers succeed in tackling their growing business challenges by using digital technologies. With a knack for identifying new opportunities and a passion for innovative technology, Gorve excels at forging valuable partnerships for the Siemens Xcelerator ecosystem, enabling enterprises to find the solutions or services they need for their digital transformation on a trusted platform backed by Siemens. As a strategic advisor, Gorve stays ahead of industry trends and is poised to make a lasting impact in Canadian manufacturing.

The global market is experiencing rapid digitalization. How do you see Canada’s position in this digital transformation, and what are some key areas where Canadian businesses can improve?

Canada is at risk of falling behind global competition in adopting digital technologies as it ranks low in technology adoption and innovation in manufacturing compared to other advanced economies. There are many manufacturers in Canada that have not explored or are in their infancy of digital transformation.

Much of this can be attributed to the shortage of skilled workers, high-cost and complex solutions, and a lack of awareness on what is possible. Businesses would benefit by exploring what is available to understand how technology can help their business and the requirements for implementing it. This can be achieved by connecting with a reputable ecosystem – learning best practices from and collaborating with other businesses, or by visiting demo centres where technology providers display their solutions and give an opportunity to prospective users to test.

In your view, why is it crucial for Canadian SMEs to invest in technology and embrace digitalization in their operations and processes? How can technology adoption enhance their competitiveness and long-term growth prospects?

It is crucial for Canadian SMEs to adopt digitalization because of the business pressures that they face today, and the pressures they will face in the future. These business pressures include product innovation, sustainability, and supply chain uncertainty.

Digitalization makes businesses more resilient to changing factors, like supply chain disruptions by forecasting demand, automating material ordering, and bringing intelligence to supplier selection. Technology also helps businesses do more with less – test designs and/or manufacturing processes without multiple physical prototypes by simulating the asset virtually.

Can you elaborate on the types of interoperable, open, à la carte, and collaborative solutions that are available to SMEs today? How can these solutions help SMEs leverage technology without incurring significant costs or disruptions?

Several Siemens solutions have evolved for the purpose of making digital technologies easy to adopt and scale without incurring significant cost and/or disruptions. Companies pick exactly the functionality they want, the solutions are easily deployed into their existing infrastructure without the need of a specialist, they can test the value and eventually scale once the technology is proven, and there is minimal or no capital expenditure because these solutions are provided as-a-service. Below are examples of such offerings:

Teamcenter X – PLM for taking control of product data and processes.


NX X – Software to design products and feed instructions to manufacturing processes including CNCs, robots, 3D printers, etc.\

Insights Hub – Cloud offering delivering ready to use applications to monitor and improve performance of machines and operations.

Siemens has been actively supporting digital transformation initiatives in various sectors. Could you share some success stories or examples of how Siemens has helped Canadian SMEs embrace technology and achieve operational efficiency?

Siemens has supported numerous Canadian SMEs in adopting digital technology with immediate impact. One such case is Ontario-based automation systems integrator, Ethos Automation. In collaboration with the dedicated team at Longterm Technology Services (a Siemens Digital Industries Software Expert Partner), Ethos adopted and trained their users on our comprehensive process simulation solution, Tecnomatix Process Simulate, which helped them reduce robot programming time by 25% and program debugging time by 20%. With this cutting-edge solution in hand, Ethos realized a return-on-investment (ROI) within three months and was later named one of Canada’s 10 top-growing companies.

One way we support SME adoption of technologies is through proof-of-concept (PoC) tests. We strategically select small scale projects to prove the value, and support with scaling up once the solution has proven to be valuable. Siemens often supports by loaning the technology needed to test the solution so that the SME does not need to incur the upfront costs of getting the PoC started.

Siemens is very proud to have partnered with the Government of Quebec to help create four Industrial Experience Centers in the province. These Centers play a fundamental role in connecting SMEs that are looking to initiate or accelerate their digital transformation with the technology and experts who can help develop custom digital strategies. On display at each Center includes our Digital Twin and IIoT technology.

Besides investing in technology, what other factors should Canadian SMEs consider to create an environment conducive to successful digitalization? Are there any best practices or resources available to support SMEs in their digital transformation journey?

To create an environment conducive to successful digitalization, SMEs must continuously upskill their workforce to be comfortable with using these new technologies. Digital Twins, VR, IIoT, are all entering our manufacturing spaces as we build towards the industrial metaverse. Advancement can sometimes be hindered due to a lack of familiarity and the unknown. Demystifying, for example, what Digital Twins and Artificial Intelligence can do will ease the adoption and expand the use. 

    Looking ahead, what do you foresee as the next big trends or challenges for Canadian SMEs in terms of digitalization, and how can they prepare themselves to stay competitive in an evolving market?

    There is a lot of noise in this space – digitalization is, to no one’s surprise, one of the most talked about topics in the industry. Many organizations have yet to construct a roadmap. To do so, you must understand your problem statements before looking at solutions. However, the landscape is growing every day and the sheer number of options available may seem overwhelming. This is where having the right partner can be invaluable as they guide your through the sea of options to help you select the right solutions or services. 

      This is one of the key motivations for Siemens Xcelerator – to create a partner ecosystem that is solving end user issues, whether the solution used is from Siemens or one of our partners. All the solutions and services, including those of partners, have been thoroughly vetted by Siemens and are intentionally placed on the platform, filtering out the noise.

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