Much time has been invested learning about GE’s new directions, including GE Digital, Digital Twin, Digital Thread, Industrial Software, and Industrial Internet of Things. Then I saw news coming from GE’s annual report–that it has a $5 billion industrial software and analytics company within it that is growing at 20% annually. That is a significant industrial software giant. Letting the GE letter speak for itself:
“We are just beginning our transformation as the Digital Industrial Company. The Internet has had a massive impact on consumer productivity and commerce. Its impact on industrial markets is just now being realized. By 2020, 10,000 gas turbines, 68,000 jet engines, more than 100 million lightbulbs and 152 million cars will be connected to the Internet.”
“At GE, we have decided to generate and model this data ourselves—both inside the Company and with our customers. This is what we mean by becoming a Digital Industrial. Our Digital Industrial capabilities will expand our growth rate, improve our margins and bring us closer to our customers.”
As for the Industrial Internet of Things
“There was a time when every sale had a clear endpoint, followed only by routine service and maintenance. Now, sensors on our products send constant streams of data, analyzed and translated into upgrades that drive productivity in industries where even the smallest incremental efficiency can mean very large gains. Capturing it will be a mission in every one of our businesses. Our aspiration is to offer with every GE product a pathway to greater productivity through sensors, software and big-data analytics.”
“Our investments are aimed at delivering more productivity for our customers and GE. The performance, so far, of technology companies to generate industrial productivity has been subpar. Industrial productivity, which averaged 4% annually from 1990-2010, is only 1% today. This is because pure connectivity does nothing to create value. Operational productivity requires domain data, physical and digital engineering models, industrial analytics and the ability to modify machines to achieve different outcomes. Ask a hospital CEO how their results have changed once they implemented a new Electronic Medical Record System, and the answer is typically silence. They still lack the data that drives outcomes.”
Industrial Software Killer App
“The ‘killer app’ for the Industrial Internet is GE’s Digital Twin. GE is creating living digital profiles of 500,000+ industrial machines in the field to provide new opportunities for customer growth and productivity. The Digital Twin is a software model of a physical asset or process that will make it possible to manage more precisely than we ever thought possible and deliver better outcomes. The Twin will create new business models and services for GE’s customers and our businesses. On the GE90 engine, we have used Digital Twins to increase fleet availability while saving tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary service overhauls. In rail, we are using Digital Twin models of the Evolution Locomotive to enable our customers to minimize fuel consumption and emissions. The data economy for the industrial world has arrived, and GE is in a unique position to lead it. We enter it bringing decades of deep domain expertise about our industries and volumes of data about our machines and their processes that no one else can match.
Top 10 Software Company
“With this technical leadership, GE can become a top 10 software company by 2020. At the center of this effort is our cloud-based operating system, Predix. Predix offers our customers complete situational awareness to monitor, and continually improve, equipment performance. In practice, it will assure everyone in a given enterprise–whether it’s an airline, a hospital, a railroad, an oilfield, or a wind farm–a real-time stream of relevant information, accessible on mobile assets. Everything we are doing in data and analytics comes together in this operating system.
“We plan to open Predix to our customers and other industrial companies. This gives GE a unique opportunity to create value in the platform ecosystem. We launched Predix in the second half of 2015. By the end of 2016, we expect it to have 200,000 assets under management, 100 GE applications and 20,000 developers creating many more applications.”
Proof of Industrial Internet
“GE applications provide a show site for the Industrial Internet. This year we will generate $500 million of productivity by applying data and analytics inside GE. We will have 75 ‘brilliant factories’ driving yield, cycle and uptime through model-based design. We are using model-based design on our New Product Introductions which allows us to develop and launch new products with reduced cycles, lower cost and higher quality. We can correlate material usage with product performance to change the work scope in a service agreement which drives productivity for GE and the customer.”