ABB: accelerating digitalisation with McDermott

Heather Cykoski, Group Vice President and Rajesh Ramachandran, Chief Digital Officer at ABB, discuss digitalisation and ABB's partnership with McDermott

|Aug 6|magazine8 min read

ABB is a leading global engineering company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. 

Heather Cykoski is the Group Vice President at ABB. Having worked for the organisation since 2005 in several different leadership positions, she has a comprehensive understanding of the industry and has observed her organisation’s digital transformation journey first-hand. “It’s incredibly interesting to be where we are today. Digitalisation has been at the core of what we do for many years; however, the acceleration of implementation today is truly transformational,” explains Cykoski. “Now is the time for those who lead in this space to transform and deliver digital value to both our own operations and to our customers. Today’s challenging economy makes this more urgent than ever. There is so much more to deliver, and we need to deliver fast.”

Rajesh Ramachandran is the Chief Digital Officer for ABB’s Industrial Automation business. He joined ABB in February 2019 and brings over three decades of experience in technology and business leadership to ABB, having helped to transform world-class multinational organisations such as Oracle, Siemens, PayPal and more. 

“Different customers are at different points of their digital transformation journeys,” says Ramachandran. “This is even true with the solution providers as they are learning along with the customers on what the real value of digital is to drive business outcomes. In today’s highly competitive landscape, industries are able to embrace digital technologies to address their core challenges, while striving for operational excellence and output of the highest quality. Digital transformation has become a high priority due to its promise of addressing strategic business imperatives. Many companies are struggling with how to leverage this potential. We believe the industry must adopt a clear roadmap of how to address digitalisation, from enabling it to implementing it through focused solutions, keeping in mind the longer digitalisation journey. At ABB, we can help our customers effectively with these challenges.”

Having established a key, strategic business relationship with McDermott, Cykoski affirms that this collaboration is influential to mutual success. “The partner ecosystem has changed. The combination of a technology provider like ABB, and an EPC like McDermott, supporting the end user, is the trifecta that creates the perfect project,” says Cykoski. “We know how important an EPC is: 80% of large projects go through an EPC. When you look at digitalisation and partnerships, what it truly means is that you trust one another and collaborate to provide value. McDermott and ABB both have very similar outlooks and values, and that is key.”

With the future in mind, Ramachandran has a clear idea of what the partnership with McDermott could hold. “We’re actively working on how to build solutions together that have a lifecycle value for customers, from design through operations through continuous improvement,” he says. “The trusted relationship that we have with McDermott is important to ensure projects are delivered on time at the right cost. There is now a new normal in the industry following the pandemic. It’s the right time for partners to come together and develop, test and implement new technologies that challenge traditional ways of working. We’re confident that by working together, we will ensure safer, smarter and more sustainable operations across the industry. It’s a great opportunity to bring the value of combined power of domain and technologies and to bring value to customers. We’re confident to bring our joint value proposition in engaging with customers and drive value.”

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