There were some good responses to my post on LinkedIn regarding the AVEVA software / Schneider Electric Software deal. Check out Sandy Vasser’s comments. Those remind me of a conversation I had with a Schneider executive many years ago following a small acquisition. I was actually enthused with the acquisition and explained all the cool things I thought they could do with the new technology. He responded, “Wow. I should have you talk to my product team. These are great ideas.”

The conversation went no further. 2-Evidently is was just an acquisition with no strategic thought. 3-In the end, it went nowhere. Maybe like the Citect acquisition that never really panned out.

Sandy Vasser, retired from ExxonMobil, said, “This is a significant opportunity for Schneider to make more and more project delivery, operation and maintenance activities almost “just happen”. There should be opportunities to simplify HMI development. By interfacing AVEVA Electrical with ETAP and Schneider electrical systems, there should be opportunities to automatically program protective relays and update the settings when the electrical systems change. Schneider should sit down with all of their users and brainstorm all of the possible activities that could be automated or greatly simplified.”

He is right on. This is an opportunity. But I don’t know if it will happen. When I was evangelizing MIMOSA and its non-platform platform OIIE, we had that vision of automatic interfaces of data from design to construction to operate & maintain. There is some interest in the owner/operator community, but in the end they will probably pay big money to the Accentures of the world.

Robert Zwick, Automan Controls, noted, “New alliances will be formed in response to this AVEVA reverse takeover by Schneider Electric. We have already seen Emerson align themselves with Aspen Technology. I’m sure we’ll see Intergraph start making significant alliances as well.

The reverse takeover moves the Schneider Electric Software business into UK, where there is a different taxation environment than France. Plus Schneider Electric can now begin to see a P/E multiple of a software business rather than a stodgy old electrical manufacturer. Both of these points should put dollars into this new business to accelerate the merger, consolidation, and growth. At least one can only hope.”

Yes, there has been substantial consolidation in the industry over the past five years or so. This is probably good. But this will ultimately free up space for the innovative startups that solve real customer needs–until they sell out to the big companies.

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