Some old issues were addressed in new ways by Rockwell people at Rockwell Automation TechED in San Diego Monday (June 1).

  • Workforce
  • IT/OT Convergence (or not)
  • Connected Enterprise
  • Mobility (or the breakdown of silos—finally)


We continue to talk about the coming Armageddon of baby boomer retirements and domain expertise walking out the door. This conversation has been ongoing for more than 10 years. We’re still talking.
One proposal here at Rockwell is to increase use of the technology that Millennial generation understands. That suite of technologies and devices are integral to Rockwell’s Connected Enterprise vision.

Another solution comes through the training/workforce development business. That group has begun to provide training and education beyond traditional (to Rockwell) electrical, motor control, and automation. It offers basic math, leadership, mechanical crafts, and more.

IT/OT Convergence

Once again training comes to the front. Partnering with Cisco, Rockwell has developed a specialized class beyond the Cisco CCNA certification—CCNAI. This training goes beyond traditional enterprise networking to include networking crucial for manufacturing and production.

The target market for this training is also non-traditional. It includes those presently working in enterprise IT. The hope is that this training will bring together information technology and operations technology (IT/OT) people and finally move the needle on this sticky organizational problem.

Connected Enterprise

My meeting with a representative of this initiative is set for later this morning. However, I’ve already had many conversations and attended a “Super Session” on the topic.

Connected Enterprise at this point reflects the Internet of Things and is the vision pointing to smart manufacturing. According to an Accenture study about 84% CxO executives see potential revenue streams from IoT, but only about 6% doing something about it

The Rockwell mantra for this conference is Intelligent Assets Controlled by Intelligent Software.


Mobility for Rockwell goes far beyond just adding a few visualization tools to smart phones and tablets. It actually reflects the breaking of silos within the company. I’ve seen this developing for several years—especially with the current executive management team.

So, mobility becomes a cross-division effort so that all the various product groups come together so that there is a Rockwell app, not a drives app, a motion app, a control app, and so on.

Mobility also leads to the next age of automation—management by exception. Steve Gillmor of the Gillmor Gang, a popular tech conversation (podcast), talks often about the power of notifications. Notification leads to management by exception. That is where Rockwell is heading.

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