Swisscom wins Microsoft Global IoT Award for Rhomberg Sersa track digitisation

Swisscom has won the Global IoT Award in the IoT category at the Microsoft Partner Awards, triumphing over more than 4,400 other nominees. Swisscom is working with the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group on a project to digitise railway infrastructure construction sites, for which both partners rely on Microsoft cloud infrastructure and Azure services.

The project combines 5G, IoT, AI, cloud and Azure components and creates measurable benefits on construction sites, by increasing employee safety, reducing CO2 or providing financial benefits. As Hubert Rhomberg, co-owner of Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, explains: “By working with Swisscom, we have been able to increase transparency and efficiency to make decisive progress in the digitisation of the construction site, while at the same time increasing our employees’ safety and providing our customers with even better service.”

Digital Innovation

Global benchmark

The Swiss-Austrian family-owned company Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group has successfully been able to combine technology with the physical aspects of the construction site. Thomas Winter, Member of the Management Board of Microsoft Switzerland and Head of Partnerships at Microsoft Switzerland, explains: “The Swisscom-Rhomberg Sersa project is setting global benchmarks. There have been very few previous examples of the harsh construction site environment being successfully combined with technologies such as 5G, IoT, cloud and data analytics.” The digital solution is based entirely on the Microsoft cloud platform and Azure services. Services such as 5G, Azure IoT, Azure ML and Azure DB are major components of the solution sub-projects.

Urs Lehner, Head of Swisscom B2B, says: “We were pitted against IoT system integrators across the world and have come out on top. In partnership with our customers, we are ready to develop, implement and operate comprehensive integrated ICT solutions that generate genuine business benefits.”

The specific Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group and Swisscom project

Local 5G networks on construction sites connect all devices and machines that generate data. International standardisation, high bandwidths and wireless networking deliver the flexibility and reliability required.

Local cloud on a railway carriage pre-processes the large amounts of data using artificial intelligence and machine learning on the construction site. This involves applications for personal safety (e.g. using image recognition in dangerous situations), construction progress and measurements.

Edge IoT: Artificial intelligence models analyse construction progress, measure the volume of excavated material or the service life of machinery and provide immediate on-site results.

Tracking and localisation of machines and things on different construction sites in different countries. This is vital because maintenance windows are extremely short and, therefore, construction site logistics need to be perfectly planned.

Machine monitoring: using all machine data to proactively avoid failures, bill directly or issue alerts.