Automation Perspectives: Operationalizing The Connected Enterprise

Keith Nosbusch AF2014 1“The Connected Enterprise is transformational—both for productivity and global competitiveness. Automation and manufacturing will change more in next 10 years than last 50.”

“ This is the first time in my career where Connected Enterprise can be considered a game changer; the value at stake is enormous.”

Keith Nosbusch, Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation, has never been one for really bold statements in his speeches. Those two quotes were from his talk kicking off the annual Automation Perspectives session for assembled global media and customers. I asked him later in a private interview, and he told me that the main reason is it’s undeniably real. Customers are implementing the Connected Enterprise and realizing significant business benefits.

Eating Their Own Dogfood

In fact, Rockwell sr. vice president of operations Marty Thomas discussed how Rockwell itself has shown 4% to 5% productivity gains per year over the past five years after implementing its own Connected Enterprise strategy.

Value drivers for the Connected Enterprise for Rockwell customers are
• Faster time to market
• Lower total cost of ownership
• Improved asset utilization
• Enterprise risk management

“Everything we do is to help customers realize tangible benefits in at least one of these drivers,” added Nosbusch.

Probably the overarching theme was the convergence of IT and OT. Later during our interview, Nosbusch added that meetings with customer teams often include about half of the members from IT. He sees the “isolation” of the two groups slowly dissolving.

There were two panel discussions during the morning presentations. A couple of salient quotes were, “Discussion of whether to connect the enterprise should be off the table,” and “involve the customer in discussing the business case for connected enterprise.”

One further note on the day. Every member of the senior leadership of Rockwell Automation was able to talk seamlessly from process to discrete to SCADA applications. Beyond fulfilling the Connected Enterprise vision, Nosbusch has also been able to change the corporate culture to think all manufacturing (production) and not factory automation first. This is revolutionary for the company. Very interesting.

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