Oracle Smart City opens in Brussels

It’s probably not what you’d expect… walking into the new Accenture office at Gare Maritime and seeing people playing with LEGO®. However, as you’ll discover, innovation is serious fun in Liquid Studio.
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Imagine if you could explore and test new technologies, products and services in miniature… With Oracle Smart City, it’s only a small step from there to making the magic happen for real in Liquid Studio. Launched on February 19, this impressive ‘connected’ LEGO® metropolis, designed and built from scratch by a joint Accenture/Oracle team, is the only one of its kind hosted by an Oracle partner in Europe. 

As a metaphor for today’s world, Oracle Smart City makes innovative solutions tangible. In its initial launch phase, it showcases 9 business relevant demo scenarios enabled by Oracle Cloud Services and leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain and Facial Recognition to name but a few. For example, a robot that automates waste collection demonstrates how automation can be applied in different business areas and a LEGO® train riding around the city illustrates the capabilities of blockchain.

Although people are initially grabbed by the playful aspect, the purpose is powerful. It is a truly effective tool for activating and testing transformative ideas – applicable to every industry and business domain – in a very short timeframe and at a low cost. And it is only the beginning. The Oracle Smart City will continue expanding as it addresses further business challenges. The possibilities are only limited by our imagination.

Think something is impossible? That’s music to our ears! 

Once upon a time, technology solutions took months if not years to build. It often required a leap of faith. Testing came after the fact and users were only considered at the end, once the solution was built. Liquid Studio changes this by taking an open and agile approach to ideation, co-creation and prototyping, and by involving as many different partners and perspectives as possible. Oracle Smart City is just one example of what happens here each day. 

Driven by Accenture Technology, Brussels Liquid Studio is part of a network of around 60 similar facilities around the world. Our focus is on technologies that have never been tried before or finding new combinations of existing technologies to create unique solutions.If someone thinks something is impossible, that’s music to our ears!And there are loads of cool things to experiment with: Extended reality on iPads (think of remote workforces), robotics, 3D printing (the Atomium was created for the Oracle Smart City launch), Oculus Ghost VR headsets, Microsoft’s Surface and new translation tool… 

For new ideas to hatch, trust is vital

In Liquid Studio’s collaborative environment, there are no slides, no theory, no assumptions. It’s all about demonstrating how something works in practice, in a fast and synergetic way. Everyone works side by side, from end users to technologists, from startups to CEOs. Trust is vital otherwise creativity is not possible. Liquid Studio provides a secure and confidential environment for new ideas to hatch and fills the space between different people and layers of understanding and expertise. By bringing all these elements together, by taking small steps together, we arrive at entirely different and more sustainable - in every sense of the word - products. 

Technology is the final step

Beyond its role as a technology innovation hub, Liquid Studio is an enabler of a new way of consulting and a new way of having an impact. Everything we do is built on dynamic partnerships, designing and delivering results together, using all the many talents that are available inside Accenture, inside clients’ organizations, technology partners and the wider ecosystem, from startups to social entrepreneurs. This wider ecosystem makes ‘Innovation with Purpose’ possible: addressing business needs and societal/environmental challenges at the same time resulting in a win-win-win for all.

Technology is the final step. Business or societal issues are often symptoms of something else that is not being addressed. If you want to go from A to B, we first ask why do you need to go there? Is it the correct destination? What are the limitations? These steps are just as important as the final product. Only at the end do we ask which vehicle should you use? Technology is that vehicle.

Want to jump on the innovation train as a Liquid Studio partner? Do you have a seemingly impossible idea that needs testing? Reach out to us and we’ll be delighted to welcome you for a guided tour and chat!

Authors: Tom Ghelen Felix Amez