GE to sell its In­dus­trial Cloud-Com­put­ing Tech­nol­ogy

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Gen­eral Elec­tric Co. will spend $500 mil­lion this year to pro­mote and sell tools that link fac­to­ries, equip­ment and com­puter sys­tems, seek­ing to be­come a one-stop tech­nol­ogy provider for in­dus­trial com­pa­nies.

The ini­tia­tive is called Predix Cloud, a global net­work of data cen­ters, com­put­ers and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties tied to­gether with soft­ware to an­a­lyze the vast amounts of data be­ing gen­er­ated by ma­chines.

GE is ef­fec­tively of­fer­ing other com­pa­nies the tech­nol­ogy it has de­vel­oped to run its own in­dus­trial busi­nesses, which span from avi­a­tion and energy to health care and trans­porta­tion. By us­ing GE's cloud-based com­put­ing sys­tems, cus­tomers will be able to keep their in­for­ma­tion se­cure and com­ply with strin­gent data reg­u­la­tions, the Fair­field, Con­necti­cut­based com­pany said.

"A more dig­i­tal hos­pi­tal means bet­ter, faster health care," Jeffrey Im­melt, GE's chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer said in a state­ment. "A more dig­i­tal man­u­fac­tur­ing plant means more prod­ucts are made faster. A more dig­i­tal oil com­pany means bet­ter as­set man­age­ment and more pro­duc­tiv­ity at ev­ery well."

GE plans to build about 10 data cen­ters over the next two years to sup­port the pro­ject, ac­cord­ing to Bill Ruh, GE's vice pres­i­dent of soft­ware. The com­pany is part­ner­ing with Equinix Inc. to de­velop its data cen­ters.

"We will build, we will buy, we will rent ca­pa­bil­ity glob­ally and op­er­ate it as a sin­gle in­te­grated in­fra­struc­ture," Ruh said.

GE mon­i­tors and an­a­lyzes data from 10 mil­lion sen­sors spread over $1 tril­lion worth of its as­sets across the world. By help­ing in­dus­trial com­pa­nies fil­ter this flood of data through Predix Cloud, GE said they will have more pre­dictable oper­a­tions, lead­ing to greater cost sav­ings.

"The pre­dic­tions would be things like, 'can we go to zero un­sched­uled down­time.'" Ruh said. "It doesn't sound very sexy, but it may be the sex­i­est op­por­tu­nity in the world."

Gen­eral Elec­tric made about $2.4 bil­lion selling soft­ware and so­lu­tions re­lat­ing to its Predix port­fo­lio in the first half of 2015. The com­pany is com­pet­ing against Siemens AG., Hi­tachi Ltd. and other ri­vals in the in­dus­trial-cloud mar­ket.

"The only way the In­ter­net of things has any re­deem­ing value is when we build ap­pli­ca­tions that de­liver real out­comes," Ruh said. "That is not go­ing to be built un­less the in­dus­trial com­pa­nies stand up and build in­dus­trial ap­pli­ca­tions that have real out­comes."

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