A joint initiative project between Seagate and IBM has culminated into running a pilot project designed to track and get rid of counterfeit hard disk drives (HDD). The project was initially kicked off in 2018 as a proof of concept project aimed at tracking the origin of HDDs.
In the pilot phase, IBM will act as a customer but also the provider of the Hyperledger Fabric platform where the pilot project will run. On the other hand, Seagate will come in as the supplier of the hard disk drives.
Besides just tracking the movement of the hard disk drives from Seagate to IBM, the blockchain platform is in place to handle other issues. The blockchain platform will also monitor the movement of the HDDs back to the manufacturer in case of defects.
“When the hard drive is in the customer’s hand, it’s filled with their data. However, in case of a return event, we have put in place a certified erase solution.” Manuel Offenberg, Seagate’s data security managing technologist. “Through the erase solution, we wipe the data from the hard disk and are also able to comply with general data protection regulations. Similarly, we easily prevent any leaked of customer’s data.”
Besides the above, the blockchain platform will increase customer confidence in Seagate products as a result of user transparency. Down the road, Seagate will integrate its brand protect ID security measure into the blockchain platform. The brand ID protector will be in place to help consumers scan QR codes to ascertain if the products they are buying are genuine and from Seagate.
At the moment, Seagate seems to have IBM as the only participant in the reverse supply chain program, but plans are underway to get other large partners into its project.
Similarly, through automating the supply chain sector, blockchain will fast-track the movement of devices from manufacturers to customers. The pilot project hasn’t gone live, but Seagate has the approval to initiate the project.