Chainyard, a US based global blockchain consulting and Development Company that has been assisting enterprises and governments globally with their blockchain projects and implementations. Recently, Chainyard in collaboration with IBM launched Rapid Supplier Connect leveraging Trust Your Supplier blockchain network in response to the COVID-19 challenges of procuring & exchanging critical goods for health care providers.
Additionally, in the MENA region Chainyard is in the midst of a huge blockchain implementation with the UAE Federal government. UNLOCK interviewed Isaac Kunkel, Senior Vice President of Consulting Services at Chainyard and Gigo Joseph, Vice President of Consulting Services to learn more about the company and their solutions as well as their work in the region.
According to Isaac, “Chainyard began working on blockchain around five years ago focusing on the quality assurance of Hyperledger Fabric releases, since then we have been helping companies to navigate blockchain by working with them to identify business value, prioritize opportunities, develop solutions, manage operations and build consortium & governance for the decentralized ecosystem.
We were the first company in the world designated as a Hyperledger Certified Service Provider.” Most of the work Chainyard has done in blockchain has been in manufacturing, transportation, logistics, financial, Government, healthcare and supply chain sectors
Isaac states, “We see blockchain accelerating, as digital solutions pick up . Chainyard is implementing digital solutions for companies globally leveraging blockchain, cloud computing, AI, IoT, machine learning, API integrations, and other technologies. In some projects blockchain was just 20 percent of the entire project as it creates a nice bed of trusted data that enables algorithms to be better than before.”
According to Gigo, Chainyard has implemented over thirty blockchain projects, eight of them being with governmental entities. Of the 30 projects only six have made it to production while some are still getting off the ground. One of those that made it into full production has been Trust Your Supplier platform. He explains, “Getting companies to work together as a consortium is a bigger challenge than the technology itself, as they have to agree to same set of rules, and the roles each plays; in the world of trusted blockchain, trust is still an issue and this has slowed adoption.”
While Chainyard’s expertise is in Hyperledger Fabric, they are also strong in other blockchain platforms such as Quorum. Isaac adds, “We are leveraging private blockchain as a stepping stone to do more with public blockchain which is less used amongst enterprises because of regulatory and privacy issues, but eventually I believe we will get there. We will however continue to use permissioned based Blockchains while anchoring certain hashes of data in the public ones. We believe there are some uses cases which are great for public blockchains where a truly decentralized ecosystem can thrive.”
Most of the work Chainyard has done has been implementation where they build the solution and their clients own the IP. The exceptions include their software as a service offering Trust Your Supplier, Personal Health Wallet and Trust Your Product platform.
GCC MENA Region
ChainYard is present in the MENA region through its system integration partners. These partners cover the UAE, Bahrain and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 2019 Chainyard and the University of Dubai signed an MOU for center for business research and consultancy services.
Currently Chainyard is working on a project with the UAE Federal government and while Isaac didn’t elaborate further he did explain, “We are working on a large project for the UAE Federal government in the transportation sector along with our partners in the region. The first phase of the project will be launched in November 2020 and it will continue to run into next year.” Chainyard is a member of Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA).
TRUST YOUR SUPPLIER
One of the biggest and most promising permission based Blockchain projects is TYS ( Trust Your Supplier) network launched jointly with IBM which is aimed at automating the validation and onboarding of buyers and suppliers. The network includes more than two dozen big Fortune 500 companies as buyers such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric, Vodafone, Cisco, JetBlue, Lenovo and UPS, JP Morgan, American Express among others. The supplier identity is verified and validated on TYS by many Fortune 500 validators such as Dun and Bradstreet, EcoVadis, RapidRatings, Giact, and Resilinc. The business networks providers such as SAP Ariba, IBM Sterling, TRADESHIFT, OMX among others uses the trusted data from TYS to provide additional services.
GIigo explains, “anytime a large enterprise does business with a new supplier they need a lot of information which takes time, usually between 45 to 90 days, to onboard a supplier so by using blockchain we are saving anywhere between 70% to 90% of this time, and reducing administrative costs by at least 50% . The network provides 90% real time update to supplier information. Only permissioned suppliers can access TYS and today we have thousands of suppliers who have joined the network and are working on onboarding thousands more.”
The network is made up of buyers, suppliers and verifiers. As Isaac states, “We have created a governance board from 18 of the buyers, they are the key participants of this network and one of the major strengths of TYS is its good governance.”
Trust Your Supplier is ideally positioned to drive market adoption of Dubai Blockchain Strategy for Industry Creation – creating an economic sector and effective blockchain-enabling environment. Adopting TYS across UAE will improve suppliers’ easy discovery to global network of buyers, improve the trust, reduce cycle time, cost, and effort to onboard. This improved trust using TYS was demonstrated during COVID-19 PPE purchase panic in US.
During mid-March 2020, when the pandemic hit the United States with unanticipated impact and scale, hospitals found themselves struggling to procure quality and essential PPE equipment needed in the frontline battle. Availability was uncertain, quality was questionable, and trust in suppliers was eroding. IBM and Chainyard jumped in to help responders to battle the pandemic by launching Rapid Supplier Connect, leveraging Trust Your Supplier and IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite.
Chainyard‘s TYS is developed on Hyperledger Fabric, deployed on the IBM Blockchain Platform, and the corporate digital identity is based on W3C standards. Trust Your Supplier creates a unique “digital passport” for each supplier’s identity on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. This ID can be shared with any permissioned buyer on the network to save time validating, onboarding and maintaining supplier information. Many third-party verifiers are on the network, including Dun & Bradstreet for business data, EcoVadis for sustainability ratings and RapidRatings for financial risk ratings.
Isaac explains,” Suppliers on the network own their own identity. As such they decide who they want to share their information with which and what information they want to share. In TYS, we onboard the buyers and the buyers invite the suppliers to onboard.”
In the end whether ChainYard is working in the transportation sector or supply management or any other project, they bring forth strong understanding of both the business and technology requirements. Isaac believes they will be doing more projects in the MENA region in the future.