Schneider Electric LogoTechnology strategy in Europe is becoming sharply divided between the Siemens-led German Industrie 4.0 cyber-physical systems approach and the Industrial Internet of Things.

Schneider Electric has announced its support of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) by joining the  Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and earning an appointment to the organization’s steering committee. Other members of the organization include AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel.

Schneider has also wrapped up this focus with a branded strategy dubbed “Life Is On.”  That strategy “will transform how people and organizations consume energy, better automate industrial processes, and increase the quality of business decisions, while improving their lives.”

Here is the statement of philosophy from the Schneider press release, “The Life Is On brand strategy will help clearly show how the company is helping its customers around the world take advantage of this fundamental shift, leveraging Schneider Electric’s expertise in the operational technology (OT) that controls our society’s most important processes and connecting it to the information technology (IT) that we rely on to simplify our lives and make better decisions. This approach, which Schneider Electric refers to as building Operational Intelligence, relies on optimized automation and control, advanced remote management, predictive maintenance, enabling managed services, advanced analytics and generation of actionable information to drive informed decision-making in our homes, manufacturing facilities, data centers, buildings and cities.”

In addition, Schneider Electric has also announced it has entered into a collaboration with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (HKUST-MIT) Research Alliance Consortium to advance IoT solutions and adoption.

One of the most interesting aspects of the announcement is the treatment of automation. After Schneider Electric acquired APC its message changed to promoting itself as a power company. Almost all mention of its factory automation products ceased. For years. (Remember Modicon?)

Following the acquisition of Invensys, especially the Foxboro and Triconex part, the company has routinely defined itself as a power and automation company.

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