For the future of Kalypso, the past is prologue

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As Kalypso celebrates the two-year anniversary of joining Rockwell Automation, it is clear to me that together we will be able to deliver on the promise of innovation in ways I could have never imagined when I joined Kalypso over a decade ago.

The story of Kalypso goes back 18 years to a time when “innovation” wasn’t a buzzword yet. Companies were just starting to consider the role of advanced technology in new product development. R&D leaders didn’t know how, or where, to begin. Kalypso saw an opportunity to radically alter the consulting landscape by bringing an exclusive focus on product innovation to our earliest clients.

Kalypso became known as the go-to consultancy for organizations looking to change the way they innovated and reimagined products. A good percentage of the household brands and products you use every day were thought up and designed in a process or a system created by a Kalypsonian.

That passion for, and dedication to, innovation and delivering bleeding-edge tech to the next generation of product designers continued as Kalypso grew. As product development software adoption moved up the maturity curve through the early 2010s, and new technologies started emerging, we began to think about what the growing digital transformation could unlock for our clients. We experimented with how IoT could feed real-time data into R&D systems to predict and prevent failures; how RFID could change traceability in the food and beverage, and pharma industries; how digital design and simulation tools could remove the need for physical sampling; and most importantly how artificial intelligence and machine learning could change the way new products were made.

Our early curiosity and willingness to take risks led to a confidence that we could help our clients brave the new digital frontier. We offered informed opinions and comprehensive capabilities before “digital transformation” was a buzzword.

While our early technology interests centered around product development, the real goal has always been connecting the entire value chain from ideation to the manufacturing floor to supply chain and beyond until the product is in the end user’s hand.

The digital thread connects enterprises and their valuable data in ways that 18 years ago we would have called science fiction. As we bring the digital thread to life for our clients, we are setting our sights on its ultimate consequence for designers and makers: an evolution from automation to autonomy. The autonomous enterprise.

This is the next frontier and will be a reality sooner than you think. To bring an autonomous enterprise to life requires three foundational elements:

  • A new class of human expertise – consultants, engineers, data scientists, developers and designers equipped with new methodologies to optimize everything from the creation of new products to the design, execution, and maintenance of manufacturing systems
  • Software equipped with algorithmic intelligence capabilities to learn complex design and control policies from data, and to adapt these learnings as environmental conditions or business objectives change
  • Next-generation automation hardware, including PLCs and edge devices, that are purpose built to run self-learning, intelligent applications

We had the human expertise, but we needed to be closely involved in the development of the software and hardware capabilities, so we went looking for a partner with a similar vision and history of transformational thinking to make the autonomous enterprise real. In 2020, Kalypso joined Rockwell Automation to pursue the challenge of an autonomous enterprise together—to connect IT to OT as the acquisition press release said.

In the nearly 120 years since Rockwell was founded, it has radically altered how products are made time and time again. They are the perfect partner to bring science fiction to life.

Since Rockwell Automation acquired Kalypso two years ago, we have helped our clients make significant strides toward their most ambitious goals that are laying the foundations toward their autonomous enterprises. All while making tangible impacts like:

  • Algorithms on the edge that optimize tire assembly, yielding hundreds of thousands of additional tires every year
  • Digital twins of distribution warehouses, running thousands of simulations to discover the optimal policy to control autonomous mobile robots and maximize fulfillment through put
  • End-to-end autonomous french fry production lines–could you imagine a world without this?!

All of this and more from our kitchen tables, home offices, and cramped bedroom desks. If you’ve met a Kalypsonian this isn’t a surprise—by nature we are a scrappy, rebellious, and innovative group of people that take our duty as trusted advisors to the world’s R&D and manufacturing leaders seriously.

In the next ten years, Kalypso and Rockwell will do the most important work in the history of our companies. We will deliver the strategies, software, hardware, and analytical expertise to address our client's most pressing needs and ambitious goals. We will build autonomous enterprises that change the world.

The pandemic, societal and political upheaval and the speed at which technology has evolved have put the world in a tumultuous place with too many uncertainties to count. No one can fault business leaders who have a hard time getting their heads wrapped around so much monumental change in such a short amount of time.

Business leaders hear this: The point of ‘proof’ is behind us, and the organizations equipped for success are the ones with the confidence to step into the digital wilderness. Don’t worry we’re here to guide you through the scale up.

An autonomous enterprise unlocks the ability to hedge against tumult and uncertainty. Organizations can speed up their time to market; be more productive and efficient; be more sustainable and responsible with resources; build a domestic manufacturing base or even go big and build a manufacturing capability in the communities your customers live in.

That is the future of Kalypso and consulting.

We’ve expanded what a client can expect from a professional services firm from just strategy and IT implementations to data science, bleeding edge tech, software, hardware, and the ability to step on the manufacturing floor and prove we know what we’re talking about. No one else can.

Since Kalypso was founded 18 years ago, we have always delivered on the promise of innovation whether that is a new way to think, new tech to use, or a new way to see the world. Innovation is in our blood. In the next decade, as part of the Rockwell family, we will deliver on a new way to make.

The things that felt like science fiction just a few years ago are being built by Kalypsonians today.