Bruce Anderson, global managing director of IBM Electronics, explains that Seagate has been a trusted supplier to IBM for many years and has provided IBM with a hard drive to buildserverplatform. As the next phase of the partnership, the two companies will ensure that every hard drive in the server can be traced back to its manufacturing point.
To verify the drive, Seagate will now include a physical tag on each of the manufactured drives, including an electronic key, which is then stored in IBM's blockchain so that it can be checked at any time to ensure delivery from the supply chain. The product is still the real drive produced by Seagate. While IBM is considering allowing retail customers to use the platform to track drives, this feature will not be implemented for at least some time. This is mainly because companies like IBM are already financially responsible for the product and therefore have a responsibility to ensure the authenticity of the equipment.
In addition to tracking Seagate drives, the blockchain platform can improve supply chain processes by simplifying or eliminating paperwork. Given the scale of the counterfeiting issue, IBM expects such platforms to be adopted "very quickly." According to a study by the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, the alliance predicts that the total value of counterfeit or pirated goods worldwide will exceed $1.7 trillion in 2015. To solve this problem, IBM believes that different companies in the industry need to cooperate, especially for solutions such as blockchain platforms. IBM has contacted other manufacturers to measure interest in tracking products using blockchain.