For GE, the path to the Industrial Internet goes through the predictive analytics market, layering Services atop the complex machines powering the movement. At this week’s Minds+Machines summit in Chicago, the conglomerate bolstered its networked machinery management system with 14 new predictive solutions, bringing the total number of technologies available on the platform to 24.
Dubbed Predix, the software is billed as an integrated framework for unlocking the value of connected devices, from mobile devices to jet engines. This week’s additions augment Predix with industry-specific asset and operations optimization functions, including the HoF SimSuite cloud service for healthcare providers and the Field360 oil field monitoring tool.
The right partners
Underscoring its efforts to secure a leadership position in the Industrial Internet era, GE also announced that it has teamed up with with AT&T, Cisco, and Intel to build an ecosystem around the platform. The firms will collaborate to deliver remote maintenance capabilities, add support for open standards and make it easier for service providers to process machine data. These partnerships build on GE’s existing alliances with Accenture, Amazon Web Services and Pivotal, which spun off from EMC and VMware earlier this year.
Jeff Immelt, the chairman and CEO of GE, stated that “our greatest challenge and opportunity is to manage and analyze this data in a highly secure way to deliver better outcomes for customers and society. We are developing more predictive solutions and equipping our products with sensors that constantly measure performance so our customers see major productivity gains and minimize no unplanned downtime. Observing, predicting and changing this performance is how the Industrial Internet will help airlines, railroads and power plants operate at peak efficiency.”
See his entire keynote from the Mind + Machines summit below:
Building business around Servicing complex machines
On Tuesday, GE’s chief economist and head of analytics published a paper in which they argue that the Industrial Internet can help companies can save billions of dollars annually. The firm says that Predix can help CIOs achieve this goal today, given the specific nature of its solutions. GE’s partnerships and specialized product line is out to solve several issues that have plagued IT’s evolution these past two years, buried in legacy systems that can’t always handle new demands driven by data and software.
Just as GE is pushing for the development of the Industrial Internet from both ends (enterprise and consumer), the company is aiding the movement by improving the machines as well as the people managing and using those machines.
- Evolving the Industrial Internet from both ends
“The IT folks are more and more in the business units working side by side, so that they understand the business process we’re trying to change from the start,” says panel member Jim Compton, Vice Chairman & Chief Revenue Officer at United, hosted by our own John Furrier, after the summit keynote (full video below). “One of the challenges of the idea of a lot of data, the other is in our business there is a lot of legacy systems, understanding the IT to move past that. Those are the two biggest areas I see.”
As outlined in the paper mentioned above, GE sees an extended opportunity within the Industrial Internet to provide services around complex machines. GE had to undergo a hefty change internally to support this new mission, seeking fresh talent to build out a proper Services strategy to help businesses maintain intelligent machines.
“If we were sitting here 10 years ago, basically the relationship we’d have is if the product breaks we fix it,” explains Immelt, who participated in the post-keynote panel. “Today, with these service relationships, it’s all about outcomes. These are closed systems, products tend to be closed systems, analytics are open systems. And that’s uncomfortable for us – so you have to get your team ready for that. We never really made progress until we brought people in from outside of GE.”
It’s clear why GE ramped up internal efforts and brought in the right partners, as well as the right talent. The opportunity is broad for GE, becoming a benefactor of the rise in devices, and the demand for user-friendly analytics. As one of the companies designing and producing the devices powering the Industrial Internet, GE is in the process of virtualizing its core business. GE, is as they say, doing it right.