HPE partners with ABB for industrial IoT and data analytics

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Nov 29, 2017



  • Global partnership combines ABB Ability with HPE’s hybrid IT solutions
  • Joint industry solutions that combine cloud platforms with IT systems
  • Aims to accelerate data processing in industrial plants
  • Providing actionable insights across plants, cloud and on-premises data centers

ABB and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have announced a strategic global partnership  to provide industry-based customers with solutions that generate those all-important actionable insights from the ever-increasing vast amounts of data created by their businesses. The goal, of course, is to increase the efficiency and flexibility of their operations and create competitive advantage. Call it the Industrial Internet, IIoT or simply digital transformation – it’s the new current favourite market of the ICT sector.

“This alliance between two global leaders is unprecedented in terms of breadth and depth, and it will be ground-breaking for the progress of the Industrial Internet of Things,” said Meg Whitman, the outgoing CEO of HPE. “Together with ABB, we will shape a digital industrial future where everything computes, equipping machines with intelligence to collaborate, allowing plants to flexibly adapt to changing demands, and enabling global supply chains to instantaneously react to incidents.”

The new partners say that their customers will benefit from ABB’s deep domain expertise in operations technologies (OT) and HPE’s expertise in IT. ABB and HPE will deliver joint industry solutions that seek to merge OT and IT to turn industrial data into insights and automatic action, combining cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure with IT systems running in corporate data centres and at the edge of the network (along with IIoT, the network edge is another of the key focus areas for the coming year).

“Together, we will bring intelligence from cloud-based solutions to on-premises deployments in industrial plants and datacenters for greater uptime, speed and yield,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB. “This strategic partnership marks the next level of the digital industrial transformation. ABB and HPE will deliver solutions that span the entire range of computing required by enterprises today, from the edge to the cloud to the core.”

Growth in IIoT

Research firm IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on IoT will grow to $1.4 trillion in 2021 from an expected $800 billion in 2017. The largest investments are being made in areas such as manufacturing, transportation and utilities. ABB and HPE say running data acquisition, analytics and control processes near industrial equipment helps customers avoid the latency, security and reliability issues associated with data communication through remote IT systems, and so they will jointly develop, market and service digital industrial solutions that analyse industrial data from ABB Ability applications running on enterprise-grade IT systems. They are also looking to manage and control industrial processes across the supply chain by leveraging hybrid IT to provide a seamless experience from edge to cloud to core.

The partnership will enable ABB Ability solutions to run on hybrid platforms such as HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, either on HPE infrastructure in industrial plants and data centres or in the Microsoft Azure public cloud. ABB and HPE will also deliver joint solutions for data centres, including the integration of ABB Ability Data Center Automation and HPE OneView. A new, secure edge data centre has been specifically designed to run in harsh industrial environments, and is being developed in collaboration between ABB, HPE and IT Rack manufacturer Rittal.

ABB currently claims an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions.

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