Building Digital Services for the Dairy Industry

With digitalisation and cloud technologies breaking up barriers in the dairy industry, suppliers now have the capability and technology to extend their data reach. The access to data enables new forms of collaboration and partnerships. DeLaval is well-positioned in the value chain to take the lead in the digital transformation journey, as we have access to the core operational data at the dairy farm itself.

We talked to Yvo Bogers, Cloud Solution Architect for Digital Services at DeLaval, who recently presented DeLaval’s digital transformation approach at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) summit in Stockholm.

He explains how we work together with AWS to provide digital services that benefit our farmers and dealers.

Benefits for the farmer
“We have taken up the challenge to harness dairy farm data by building digital services for our customers. We monitor and deliver new, rich user experiences for customers to keep an eye on their data through graphs, dashboards and alerts. Our customers can analyse their data and discover new information about their herd by combining and correlating information from different sources and discover irregularities in the herd for example related to animal health, reproduction, or system operational performance.

We can then use cloud technology to predict events and trends before they occur using machine learning, as well as offer insights that guide the customer on how they can adjust and steer their business towards optimal performance”, Yvo explains.

These benefits for the farmer also bring benefits for DeLaval due to extending and enriching our existing business, delivering efficiency gains and assure customer satisfaction as well as strengthening our long-term relationship with different actors in the industry.

Technical platform
The digital services from DeLaval are built on a serverless architecture. “This means that we don’t depend on server parks, virtual machines or containers to be up and running constantly consuming resources”, Yvo explains. “Instead, we use services like for example AWS Lambda, API Gateway and Amazon EventBridge to build a serverless and event-driven architecture that scales with our needs.”

The dairy farm data is secured through AWS technology and the access to DeLaval APIs – Application Programming Interface – is managed using a purpose-built access control system. Yvo explains that the device communication is also certificate-based to prevent intrusion.

In addition, there is a suite of services, both within AWS and from other suppliers, to enable our SecOps (Security Operations) team to detect and act on security anomalies and possible intrusions.

Challenges and opportunities
“Creating digital customer offerings in a large and at times traditional manufacturing company like DeLaval can be challenging. At the same time, our tremendous domain expertise and customer focus are some of our strongest assets. Creating a better understanding of the new use cases, which cloud based technologies enable, is key. Now that our manufacturing experts and cloud experts have joined forces, we have a winning team here,” he says.

DeLaval Dairy Intelligence
Based on a large customer survey completed across countries in Europe and North America, we found that our farmers are very interested to improve their farm performance by utilising new data driven decision support tools. Based on this, we gathered all the information and analysed it to create our DeLaval Dairy Intelligence offering. Within the Dairy Intelligence offering, there are two digital services that we will sell. DeLaval Plus Analyses and DeLaval Plus Predictions. Both services aim to deliver distinct customer value. And both services will grow over time also with more applications becoming available.