Personal Brand Building with Digital Transformation–Emerson Exchange

Personal Brand Building with Digital Transformation–Emerson Exchange

Emerson Global User Exchange brings thousands of geeks together to, well, exchange ideas. Most relate to technology and its applications. Some relate to personal growth and development. So far, I’ve captured the growing importance of Digital Transformation—both Emerson helping customers achieve their own, as well as, Emerson’s own transformation. We talked personal development with Dave Imming’s presentation on giving presentations. Then we discussed the Edge, Industrial Internet of Things, and connections. Today, I’m reporting on a presentation by Jim Cahill (for years he was called “Chief Blogger”) and Adam Thompson.

Personal Brand Building with Digital Transformation

The “Digital Transformation” part of the presentation was partly a reference back to the conference theme. But, the presenters also did a bit of compare and contrast of the older analog way of building personal connections and the newer digital way.

Cahill and Thompson told us that first we need to become an expert on some topic. How do we accomplish that? Well, the traditional way included reading books, attending classes, researching, attending conferences, reading trade magazines. Those between analog and digital might watch TV, also read books, scan social media,read blogs [maybe like mine…], attend conferences, read trade magazines, watch TED Talks. The digital people are on Netflix, YouTube, and social media, they watch TED Talks, are active on Emerson 365.

Next you must build your network. We traditionally do things such as trade business cards, attend conferences/events, reach out to authors, reach out to internal contacts, join groups. Moving on, you might make use of online groups such as Emerson 365 and LinkedIn groups both reading and contributing. Use hashtags both in your posts and searches.

Finally, you’ll want to share your expertise. Take the initiative. Present in company meetings. Find relevant conferences and construct presentations (see Dave Imming’s ideas). Share ideas and knowledge with press and influencers [we like input]. A great activity is to participate on industry standards committees or, if you are a programmer, contribute to an open source project. Write white papers.

Building a personal brand will help you and your company and often the community, as well.

Personal Brand Building with Digital Transformation–Emerson Exchange

Presentation Skills for Career Success–Emerson Exchange

Presentations abound at Emerson Global Users Exchange. Attendees can choose to take deep technical dives into Emerson products, get overviews and trends of technology and the industry, and even personal development. Yes, there was even a 6 am fitness time with either running or Yoga.

Where’s “The Edge”? Yes, you can use good presentation skills for career success. Building Your Personal Brand through Digital Transformation–or social media an networking. Here’s a recap of the 2019 Emerson Global Users Exchange based upon several sessions I attended led by people I’ve known for a long time–Dave Imming, Mike Boudreaux, and Jim Cahill.

Presentation Skills for Career Success

Dave Imming, VP for QC at Emerson presented (well) about making good presentations as essential for career success.

First off–It’s important. Even in your first years as an engineer, you may be presenting ideas to management or even presenting at conferences. These help you become recognized and show your knowledge and ambition.

There are three steps to developing and presenting.

First, you must create a story. I’d emphasize even in a technical presentation making it flow. As you create your story, first you must determine the objective of the presentation. What are you trying to convey? Note: do this with pen and paper. Don’t create slides, yet. Next determine your audience. You must have a clear idea of whom your are talking to. The presentation will be different for your engineering team and for management. Hint: don’t create slides, yet. Now, determine your Key Points. [When I prepare, I use PostIt Notes so I can arrange them easily. Hint: stay away from the computer and don’t create slides, yet. Now you can construct your Story Line. How are you going to develop your ideas. [This is where I arrange and rearrange the PostIt Notes.] Oh, yes, don’t create slides, yet. You can research the Rule of 3 or 7 basic plot lines to help. Now Outline  and still don’t create slides. FINALLY create your slides. Do not use text heavy or dense charts. Text should be 30 point. Find interesting and illustrative pictures with maybe a few words superimposed.

Refine and Rehearse—Do this verbally, aloud, several times. First with yourself several times, then to a friend

Stand and deliver—Most important is to have confidence, even while experiencing normal nervousness. Preparation breeds confidence. If you know the key points per slide-especially the first few to get into the groove-then your confidence will grow. Move with intention, do not pace like a caged animal. Make eye contact with one audience member at a time and hold for at least 5 seconds. That establishes connection with the audience.

Emerson to Buy General Electric’s Intelligent Platforms Business

Emerson to Buy General Electric’s Intelligent Platforms Business

There was plenty of cool new products unveiled at last week’s Emerson Global Users Exchange. As a former product development manager, I liked the “peanut butter and chocolate” moment when Emerson’s engineers were trying to solve the human location in a plant problem. They realized that many customers already have a WirelessHART mesh network. Why don’t we use location tags with WirelessHART as the communications service? Cool.

Topping the news released during the week was announcement that Emerson has agreed to acquire Intelligent Platforms, a division of General Electric. Intelligent Platforms’ programmable logic controller (PLC) technologies will enable Emerson, a leader in automation for process and industrial applications, to provide its customers broader control and management of their operations.

This is a great acquisition. It reveals Emerson as a company that has its act together. This is the consolidation trend in the industry. Siemens has a complete portfolio (well, mostly). ABB recently acquired B+R Automation in a similar move. Schneider Electric added Foxboro and Triconex from Invensys to its mostly factory automation portfolio. So there are four major companies aligning their competitive offerings. And all are focused on digital transformation for their customers.

Even Rockwell Automation has built a process automation business over time. It recently shunned acquisition with its money and instead invested $1 billion for a little over 8% of PTC in order to achieve a closer partnership with ThingWorx (and a seat on the board). Maybe having an executive on the board, it can learn how Jim Hepplemann managed to build a company through acquisition.

Back to Emerson. GE IP (formerly know as GE Fanuc) has a line of PLCs, motion control, and HMIs. It hasn’t promoted its products for years, but they are still alive and well in Charlottesville, VA. This is a great strategic move.

As for GE? Well, we know that it is having a fire sale. I’d wondered about this part of the business. Now we all wonder about what’s left of GE Digital. We know from a Wall Street Journal article that it’s for sale. And also we know that the board just replaced the CEO evidently for not moving quickly enough. But…will anyone want GE Digital? I’m sure everyone has looked. Here’s a thought. What if it wound up with an IT company to complement these burgeoning IoT practices?

Emerson to Buy General Electric’s Intelligent Platforms Business

Podcast 170 – Rockwell Automation Open and Scalable

Last week was Rockwell Automation week. I have one more major manufacturer show for the year—Discover Madrid with Hewlett Packard Enterprise next week.

I recorded a quick podcast recap of the week. I have so much material to digest, that I am still working through it.

Three quick points:

1. There was no discussion of the Emerson proposed acquisition of Rockwell. [My view after a few hallway conversations-very few-is that David Farr, Emerson’s CEO, needs to do something drastic to improve his performance. Emerson has been divesting lately, and his performance is below that of his legendary predecessor. He catches Rockwell with a CEO who have been in office just a little over a year. Maybe he thought he could surprise Moret and get a steal? What if the board prefers Moret to run the combined Emerson Rockwell company? Farr as chairman and Moret as CEO? Weird but interesting thought.]

2. Rockwell’s training is rigorous and thorough. I’ve been through at least 5 classes myself (controls, PLCs, drives, motor control centers, software). I know. Interesting and moving presentation on a joint effort of Manpower and Rockwell training veterans for second careers.

3. Open and scalable. I spent an hour learning about Rockwell’s new adoption of OPC UA. Then at least 1.5 hours on Rockwell software where the key word is scalable. The new analytics application appears to be well done and powerful (I only saw a demo during the keynotes and had some conversations, but it looked good).

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Overcast or you favorite pod catcher. I’d really appreciate a good rating and some referrals. It has a good audience considering the size of the market.

Emerson to Buy General Electric’s Intelligent Platforms Business

Rockwell and Emerson Head Merger and Acquisition News

I was putting together this piece on mergers and acquisitions when I received word that Emerson had been in conversations to acquire Rockwell Automation. Final price was $27.5 billion. That wasn’t sweet enough. The Rockwell board turned it down.

Note: I feel vindicated. I told an investment company once that they could never touch Rockwell with their war chest of $1 billion. Figured I was safe on that one.

I don’t see Rockwell as wanting to sell. Despite a friend telling me for 15 years that it had to sell, I just never saw that necessity. But I do think that consolidation is rampant in the industry right now. Schneider Electric and ABB have been acquiring strategic companies to compete with Siemens. An Emerson / Rockwell combination would have awesome market share.

Because of weaknesses elsewhere, I’m not sure either really needs the deal to survive. But I think the industry is coming to that point. My thoughts were that the most logical suitors for Rockwell were Emerson and ABB. Sources at ABB have told me that they did the evaluation (of course) and figured that Rockwell would be hard to digest. So, it went with B+R Automation.

My feeling is that this deal is not finished. But it will settle for a while until Rockwell’s share prices stabilize. Then we’ll see. Trying to integrate that Rockwell culture would be a supreme challenge for the best managers, though. It’ll be interesting.

Meanwhile, I received a quarterly update from PwC regarding global industrial manufacturing deals with disclosed values greater than $50 million.

What follows is from the PwC report.

Industrial manufacturing M&A results for Q3 2017 displayed much of the same as the previous quarter with relatively flat value and volume levels. Deal value came in at $16.5 billion while the number of deals announced were 57 compared to 55 in Q2 2017.

Cross sector global and US deal volume has modestly increased for the third consecutive quarter indicating the appetite to seek out M&A plays is still active and healthy. US cross-sector deal volume is substantially up for the first nine months of 2017 vs. 2016 which correlates with
the double digit volume increases seen in the industrial manufacturing sector over the same period.

Although there is an eagerness to investment in technology and innovation, industrial manufacturing remains somewhat risk-averse, especially as it relates to targeting larger size investments. As highlighted in our second quarter report, the slowness of implementing
trade, regulatory and tax reform in the US and the uncertainty of its implications continues to be a barrier to some. Conversely, others have accepted its existence and shifted their investment strategies to mitigate against these uncertainties.

• Deal value for the first nine months of 2017 was $52.6 billion, 18% lower than the first nine months of 2016, while deal volume saw an increase from 150 deals to 170 deals from the first nine months of 2017 vs. 2016.
• Deal value for Q3 2017 was $16.5 billion compared with $16 billion in Q2 2017. Deal volume increased slightly from 55 deals in Q2 2017 to 57 deals in Q3 2017, a 4% increase.
• The average deal size in Q3 2017 was 21% lower than the 2017 YTD quarterly average of $367 million, indicating a preference towards smaller transactions.
• There were four megadeals (deals greater than $1 billion) in Q3 2017 with an aggregate transaction value of $7.7 billion. Three of the deals were crossborder deals.
• The largest deal announced in Q3 2017 was the Swiss firm ABB acquisition of US-based GE Industrial Solutions for $2.6 billion.
• Asia and Oceania remains the most active region, accounting for 56% and 35% of M&A deal volume and value during Q3 2017.
• There were 14 megadeals announced in the first nine months of 2017 ($24.3 billion) compared to 17 in the same period of 2016 ($55.9 billion).
• Seven of the top ten megadeals in the first nine months of 2017 include China or the US as a part of the transaction vs. four over the same period in 2016.

Strategic investors continue to account for the largest share of deal activity in the sector with $12.9 billion of value and 27 deals for the quarter. As shown below, this reflects 78% of value and 65% of volume. Financial investor deal value for the first nine months of 2017 was $15.9 billion vs. $12.8 billion over the same period in 2016. This contribution is consistent with previous quarters and implies the market is more attractive for companies who can create synergies.

Deal value in the industrial manufacturing sector continues to be constrained as deal makers are still wary of the current investment playing field. Many of the same political uncertainties, particularly in the US and Europe, linger and have been the primary influence in declining average deal size over the last three quarters of 2017.

For foreign investors looking to capitalize on attractive businesses in the US there are positive and negative factors simultaneously working against one another. On the positive side, the Federal Reserve sees confidence in the US economy and plans to gradually continue to increase the federal funds rate. However, negative influencing the deals environment is the current administration’s inability to progress its agenda related to tax, trade, and healthcare.

We project the industry will close out the year in similar fashion to each of the three quarters of 2017 unless we see a catalyst event in the market such as tax reform.

Paul Elie, US Industrial Manufacturing Deals Leader

Bobby Bono, US Industrial Manufacturing Leader

Barry Misthal,Global Industrial Manufacturing Leader


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