GE Creates Separate IIoT Entity, Sells ServiceMax
Grant Gerke | December 13, 2018
GE makes a splash today with news about their digital software units, as the company announces the formation of a separate entity to focus on building out their Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) portfolio to serve industrial customers. GE will create and own this new IIoT company with the software portfolio to include these assets: Predix platform, Asset Performance Management, Historian, Automation (HMI/SCADA), Manufacturing Execution Systems, Operations Performance Management, and the GE Power Digital and Grid Software Solutions businesses.
According to GE, the independently run business will have a new brand and identity, its own equity structure, and its own Board of Directors. The new company will start with annual software revenues of 1.2 billion and existing global industrial customer base.
An interesting twist for Efficient Plant readers is the announcement of the sale of ServiceMax, a company just acquired for $919 million in 2016, to Silver Lake, a private equity firm. ServiceMax is a provider of cloud-based software productivity tools for field service technicians.
According to the press release, ServiceMax and GE Digital have entered into a reseller agreement to ensure ongoing collaboration to serve their joint customers, including GE’s industrial business units, and plan to continue to deeply integrate their technology offerings.
One area where this ongoing collaboration from GE and ServiceMax will probably exist is with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the growing trend of OEM service offerings. Back in June of this year, EP reported on the agreement with SIG Packaging Systems and GE for turnkey solutions in the areas of work order management, closed-loop maintenance activities and implement health-monitoring for equipment.
Health monitoring will be a serious trend in the IIoT space in 2019, as end users try to find more efficiencies from OEMs. In my August IIoT column, I detailed new service offering around equipment health monitoring and easier maintenance accessibility via its Italpress Gauss’ new service offerinng for its light-metal casting machines. The offering leans on Cambridge, UK, AVEVA’s embedded Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality software.
AMe, the new Italpresse Gauss service offering, allows operators to point a camera-enabled tablet at a machine part to extract augmented machine and maintenance-related data documentation to diagnose and repair faulty components. The maintenance process can include a tablet for initial diagnostics at the machine and a VR headset used by a remote engineer to help guide the local service team.