Innovation Lab – a key success factor in our development work.
In February 2016, we opened our Innovation Lab. Its role is to act as a kind of think tank, demonstrating that we are ready to meet the challenges of the future. After all, innovation has always played a crucial role when it comes to launching new ideas and approaches. The new Innovation Lab showcases our efforts to take ideas from the abstract level, apply them to real life, and make them accessible to our customers. "Innovation is vitally important for any technology company that wants to play a leading role in the market," says Dr. Alexander Knobloch, Head of the Research and Innovation division within the Chief Technology Office. It is the engine that drives the company forward and ensures its future viability.
However, it takes a lot of work to convert trends and ideas into products and prototypes. You need a team with a lot of know-how and creativity and the ability to think outside the box. At Wincor Nixdorf, that team is made up of around 30 employees from many different divisions, and a large number of young researchers, e.g., postgraduates and student employees. Every member of the team contributes his or her own particular skills and expert knowledge. So you might have one member of the team with a lot of experience in software technology, for example, and another with expertise in cryptography.
The subjects they deal with often qualify for support from the German government or the European Union, focussing on areas such as digitalization and cloud computing. In fact, with regard to cloud computing, our team is currently working on a project that was mainly set up to develop a secure cloud platform linking various financial services. The project is primarily a response to the growing importance of IT security in our digital society, especially in the area of financial services.
Cloud platform to link financial services
Customers want to be able to perform transactions wherever they are and as flexibly as possible without compromising on security. There are still many cases of transaction data being intercepted or manipulated at ATMs, so there is a lot of scope for the cloud solution to deliver security combined with flexibility.
The focus of the project Securing the Financial Cloud (SFC) is on linking banks, ATMs, and transfer terminals by means of a cloud platform. This is where our encryption specialists come to the fore. Each user is allocated a number of attributes that reflect his or her specific authorizations. These attributes are incorporated into a unique key that only matches the authorized files. The procedure is combined with hardware security modules.
This project and many others can be found on display at the Innovation Lab. As well as bringing the future to life, they make it both comprehensible and accessible.