Marc Andreessen the famed technologist and investor famously said almost 10 years ago that “software is eating the world.” The industrial market, famously slow to move, has been resembling that remark over the past year. In this episode, Emerson has announced an acquisition and an investment in software. Yes, the valves and DeltaV Emerson. Or, the big guys get bigger.

Emerson announced August 27 that it has agreed to acquire Open Systems International, Inc. (OSI Inc.) for $1.6 billion in an all cash transaction. 

OSI Inc. is a leading operations technology software provider that broadens and complements Emerson’s robust software portfolio and ability to help customers in the global power industry, as well as other end markets, in their quest to transform and digitize operations to more seamlessly incorporate renewable energy sources and improve energy efficiency and reliability.

Digitization is critical for the power industry to modernize and improve the reliability of the electric grid. Incorporating clean and renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, requires balancing the variable nature of renewable energy with the often bi-directional demands of the grid. By combining Emerson’s domain expertise and leading technology in power generation with OSI Inc.’s complementary software and reach within the power transmission and distribution sectors, the acquisition will equip customers with the end-to-end ability to monitor, control and optimize real-time operations across the power enterprise through scalable, software-enabled automation and data management.

“An enormous change is underway as utilities globally are investing to digitize the grid and adapt to rapidly evolving energy sources and new technologies that increase consumer choices,” said Lal Karsanbhai, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “This acquisition will help the power industry maximize the remarkable opportunity to harness renewable energy sources and to accelerate the transformation to the smart power grid. Emerson now has the opportunity to be a leader in this large, rapidly growing market with a compelling and complete software and technology offering.”

Karsanbhai continued, “Our $1 billion standalone software and associated engineering implementation services portfolio is quickly growing to meet customer needs and support operational performance, analytics and digital transformation. OSI Inc. is a great business with a track record of high growth, strong profitability and long-term customer loyalty. This acquisition builds on Emerson’s software footprint and supports customers in providing comprehensive end-to-end solutions to help the power industry continue transforming to meet the needs of tomorrow.” 

OSI Inc. is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN and has approximately 1,000 employees globally.

The acquisition is expected to close in early fiscal 2021, subject to various regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

In additional news, Emerson announced it has made an equity investment in inmation Software GmbH, a global software platform developer that further deepens Emerson’s data management and integration capabilities. The investment will increase data visibility and provide unified, actionable information to empower fast decision-making and optimized operations.

inmation aggregates global operational data from across the enterprise into the Plantweb digital ecosystem to create an OT data lake – a centralized storage repository – that serves as the foundation for business intelligence and analytics.

“Emerson and inmation are committed to advancing our customers’ digital transformation initiatives, bringing disparate data together with advanced analytics to provide the comprehensive insights needed to drive business results,” said Stuart Harris, group president for Emerson’s digital transformation business. “Our joint solutions unlock vital information in legacy systems, aggregate data from diverse sources and securely connect to the cloud – enabling plant and enterprise-wide operational improvement.”

The investment will complement Emerson’s effort to build an innovative software platform that provides data aggregation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality and workflow management. The platform, coupled with the expertise of the two companies, will further enable customers to realize a measurable return on their digital transformation efforts.

“Emerson’s longtime leadership in digital transformation, global execution and customer service capabilities made them a natural partner,” said Timo Klingenmeier, CEO of inmation. “We see widespread industry benefits as we pair Emerson’s award-winning Plantweb digital ecosystem with inmation’s data management software platform to offer customers end-to-end solutions.”

inmation Software GmbH is based in Cologne, Germany.

The terms of the investment were not disclosed.

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