Microsoft partners with GE to accelerate Industrial IoT adoption
- Seeking to help industries capture more intelligence from IoT and asset data
- Represents the largest partnership between the two companies to date
- GE Digital will standardize its Predix solutions on Microsoft Azure
- Both companies will jointly market IIoT solutions to verticals
The Industrial Internet is proving to be major battleground for digital services companies seeking to extol the benefits of collecting massive amounts of data and then using it intelligently to provide financial gain. Connectivity, meanwhile, takes a back seat, as its value diminishes and pushes it towards commodity status.
GE is one of the most forwarding-looking companies in this sector, particularly with its GE Digital business unit. It has just announced a partnership with Microsoft (which has rapidly become one of the major global cloud players) to try and combine operational technology and information technology (OT and IT) to reduce the barriers to wider-scale adoption of Industrial Internet and IIoT by industrial companies as they seek to implement their digital transformation projects.
GE Digital will standardize its Predix solutions on Microsoft Azure and will deeply integrate the Predix portfolio with Azure’s native cloud capabilities, including Azure IoT and Azure Data and Analytics. Both companies will jointly market IIoT solutions across vertical sectors.
The two partners quote Gartner research which suggests that whilst there was abundant talk about IIoT and lots of early-stage proofs of concept (PoCs), there have been very few larger-scale initiatives. Cue Microsoft and GE. They also quote the GSMA’s research that suggests that the global IoT market is expected to be worth $1.1 trillion in revenue by 2025 as market value shifts from connectivity to platforms, applications and services. Two points here: the definition of IoT is rather lose and encompasses everything from connected toasters to mission-critical industrial sensors; and it’s refreshing to see the GSMA downplay the monetary value of connectivity.
- “Every industrial company will have to master digital to compete in the future, connecting machines and making them more intelligent to drive efficiency and productivity,” said Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital.
Stating the bleedin’ obvious quote:
- “The industrial sector plays an important role in fuelling economies around the world,” said Judson Althoff, EVP at Microsoft.
Original Press Release:
GE and Microsoft enter into their largest partnership to date, accelerating industrial IoT adoption for customers
Expanded partnership will help industrial companies capture greater intelligence from IoT and asset data, boosts GE innovation across its business
SAN RAMON, Calif. & REDMOND, Wash. — JULY 16, 2018 — GE (NYSE: GE) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: “MSFT”) today announced an expanded partnership, bringing together operational technology and information technology to eliminate hurdles industrial companies face in advancing digital transformation projects. As part of the union, GE Digital plans to standardize its Predix solutions on Microsoft Azure and will deeply integrate the Predix portfolio with Azure’s native cloud capabilities, including Azure IoT and Azure Data and Analytics. The parties will also co-sell and go-to-market together, offering end customers premier Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions across verticals. In addition, GE will leverage Microsoft Azure across its business for additional IT workloads and productivity tools, including internal Predix-based deployments, to drive innovation across the company.
According to Gartner, companies have evolved from “talking about” to implementing IoT proofs of concept (POCs) and pilots. While POC projects tend to be easy to start, few enterprises have ramped up large-scale initiatives.* The GE-Microsoft partnership helps industrial customers streamline their digital transformations by combining GE Digital’s leading IIoT solutions that ingest, store, analyze and act on data to drive greater insight with Microsoft’s vast cloud footprint, helping customers transform their operations at the enterprise level.
Advancing Industrial IoT Applications
GE Digital’s Predix is the application development platform that equips industrial organizations with everything they need to rapidly build, securely deploy and effectively run IIoT applications from edge to cloud, turning asset data into actionable insights. Leading industrial companies such as BP, Exelon, Schindler and Maersk are using GE Digital’s solutions – including flagship applications Predix Asset Performance Management and Predix ServiceMax – as well as thousands of Predix-based apps created by customers and partners to improve operations and efficiency of their assets. Tapping into the power of Azure will help accelerate adoption of the Predix portfolio. The partnership brings together GE Digital’s expertise in industrial data and applications with Microsoft’s enterprise cloud, helping customers speed deployment of industrial applications and achieve tangible outcomes faster, ultimately fueling growth and business innovation.
Driving Innovation across GE
GE also plans to leverage Azure across the company for a wide range of IT workloads and productivity tools, accelerating digital innovation and driving efficiencies. This partnership also enables the different GE businesses to tap into Microsoft’s advanced enterprise capabilities, which will support the petabytes of data managed by the Predix platform, such as GE’s monitoring and diagnostics centers, internal manufacturing and services programs.
Microsoft Azure has announced 54 regions across the globe, with 42 currently available – more than any other major cloud provider. Its cloud meets a broad set of international standards and compliance requirements to ensure customer solutions can scale globally. This partnership also enhances the security layer within the Predix platform, which meets the specialized requirements of industries such as aviation, power and utilities. Leveraging Azure enables GE to expand its cloud footprint globally, helping the companies’ mutual customers rapidly deploy IIoT applications.
The global IoT market is expected to be worth $1.1 trillion in revenue by 2025 as market value shifts from connectivity to platforms, applications and services, according to new data from GSMA Intelligence.
“Every industrial company will have to master digital to compete in the future, connecting machines and making them more intelligent to drive efficiency and productivity,” said Bill Ruh, Chief Digital Officer, GE and CEO, GE Digital. “Our customers are asking for us to make a deeper connection between our two companies. Through this expanded partnership, Microsoft and GE are enabling customers around the world to harness the power of the Predix portfolio, including Predix Asset Performance Management, to unlock new capabilities to drive growth.”
“The industrial sector plays an important role in fueling economies around the world,” said Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Microsoft. “With this strategic partnership, GE and our mutual customers will benefit from a trusted platform with the flexibility and scalability to deliver unprecedented results and help advance their business potential.”
As part of this expanded partnership, the companies will go-to-market together and also explore deeper integration of Predix IIoT solutions with Power BI, PowerApps and other third-party solutions, as well as integration with Microsoft Azure Stack to enable hybrid deployments across public and private clouds.
*Gartner, Hype Cycle for the Internet of Things, 2017, 24 July 2017
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