Voith, Ray Sono enter strategic partnership

Voith GmbH
May 15, 2017
By Voith GmbH
May 15, 2017 - Voith, a global technology company, and Ray Sono, a German digital service provider, have concluded a strategic partnership — joining up to build a new business division for industry-oriented digitization solutions under the auspices of Ray Sono AG.

To supplement its core business, Ray Sono is to establish the agency on the market as a new digital service provider for industry. To do so, Voith is acquiring a 60 per cent stake in Ray Sono AG. The cooperation model is geared to the strengths of the two partners, they say, combining traditional skills with new business models.

The aim is to develop industry-oriented digitization solutions above all in the fields of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. Voith is taking on the role of pilot customer in this new business division of Ray Sono. The knowhow and resources of this new unit at Ray Sono will, in the future, be available to the existing customers of the agency.

Ray Sono AG will continue to operate with independent management and will remain active on the market under its own brand as an independent service provider for digitization in the B2C and B2B environment. There will also be no changes at all for customers, business partners and employees as a result of Voith’s stake.

The partnership of the two companies is also aimed at implementing digital solutions within Voith’s portfolio, such as the virtualization of machines and systems and the improvement of existing digital solutions.

“With Ray Sono’s expertise, the digital solutions offered and soon to be developed by Voith will provide an intuitive user experience that is significantly more powerful than before, and thus contribute to improving efficiency for industrial customers,” explained Dr. Hubert Lienhard, president and CEO of Voith GmbH.

Thomas Helbing, president of Ray Sono AG, “We are pleased to work with Voith to set up this new business division within Ray Sono, with one its aims being to develop digital products and services for the industrial sector. This will bring the strengths of Ray Sono to the fore: the interaction of design thinking, customer experience, technical implementation and the nurturing of these complex digital ecosystems.”

Established in 1992, Ray Sono currently has about 200 permanent employees in Munich and Berlin, with customers including Austrian Airlines, BMW, BRITA, DATEV, Deutsche Bahn, Linde, MAN, McDonalds and Miles & More. Ray Sono considers itself a pioneer and trailblazer of digital change for its customers, developing digital strategies plus the applications, products and services (mobile and personalized) based on them.

Voith’s objective is to make a significant contribution to the digital transformation of industry. As part of its digital agenda, Voith is expanding its existing products and services to offer new digital solutions for its existing markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials, and transport & automotive, as well as the development of digital solutions for new markets Voith has not yet tapped. To achieve this objective, the Group Division Voith Digital Solutions – now with around 1,500 employees and around €300 million in sales – was established in 2016 to focus on the development of the company’s digital business models.

Voith intends to invest an additional amount of around €100 million, over the next two fiscal years alone, in the development of digital products and services. More than 20 specific incubation projects have already advanced to the alpha or beta phase. Other projects will be launched soon.

“Voith and Ray Sono are united by traditional, complementary skills in their business segments, a leading market position and a sustainable value-oriented corporate culture. For Voith, acquiring a stake in Ray Sono is an important building block of our digital agenda that helps add significant expertise to the Group,” said Dr. Hubert Lienhard.

“By bringing together the 150 years of technological and process experience of Voith and the 25 years of digital transformation expertise of Ray Sono, we will be jointly developing highly innovative digital solutions for industry. That offers attractive potential for growth, both in the core business of Voith and for Ray Sono AG as a partner for digitization, which now has in Voith a strong majority shareholder,” continued Thomas Fehr, president of Ray Sono AG.

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