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The 'Internet of Things' and The Transformation of GE | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]
From We Bring Good Things to Life to Industrial Machines in the Cloud
By: Esmeralda Swartz
Oct. 27, 2014 11:15 AM
The Transformation of GE
General Electric (GE) has been a household name for more than a century, thanks in large part to its role in making households easier to run. Starting with the light bulb invented by its founder, Thomas Edison, GE has been selling devices ("things") to consumers throughout its 122-year history. Last week, GE announced that it is officially leaving that job to others. While the lighting division will stay, GE will now turn its attention to selling industrial machinery and analytics as a service to other companies.
GE's transformation to focus on building industrial machines such as aircraft engines, locomotives, gas-fired turbines and medical imaging equipment has been underway for quite some time. But for those that grew up with GE, the company's catchy slogan, "We bring good things to life," used between 1979 and 2003, is synonymous with what the brand stood for. Who could have imagined in 1979 when its advertising firm first came up with that memorable catchphrase how well the slogan would capture where GE was headed in the era of the industrial Internet and the Internet of Things (IoT)? GE has been systematically moving to secure its place in both of these fields. Wind turbines, locomotives, jet engines and other industrial machines are all examples of products that have successfully transitioned to being sold as a service.
The jet engine use case serves as an illustrative example of the as-a-service movement. We all know that the jet engine is a complex product, which is why airlines have separate agreements with engine maintenance providers, usually the same companies producing the actual jet engines. For those unfamiliar with this industry, it might come as a surprise that usage determines jet engine costs, which has proven to be a truly compelling customer value proposition. Rolls-Royce came up with the Power-by-the-Hour concept that is relevant to so many other industries: provide the exact same service for exactly the same products, but charge customers per flying hour of the engine. It is worth noting that Rolls-Royce introduced it about 50 years ago, before the idea of "the cloud" even existed.
The actual business case is straightforward for the end user. Airlines have a difficult time forecasting how often equipment will break down. Additionally, the cost of repair and stocking spare parts is not desirable as what the airline really wants is the engine to fly. That is precisely what the Power-by-the-Hour contract offers: customers buy functionality (a flying engine) and not spare parts. A company selling you parts and labor has a direct incentive to sell you more of it. Under the Power-by-the-Hour model, the service provider is actually incentivized to perform more proactive maintenance (operating time is money; downtime is not) or maybe even design a better engine. Both the customer and the service provider get what they want out of the service agreement.
GE took the cloud and IoT push one step further in 2013 when it introduced Predix, an analytics platform for managing data produced by industrial machines in the cloud. Predix offers a common architecture, combining intelligent machines, sensors and advanced analytics to convert data from machines produced by GE into offerings for corporate customers. Industries served include global enterprises in aviation, health care, energy production and distribution, transportation and manufacturing. Airlines, railroads, hospitals and utilities have the ability to manage and operate machines in the cloud. These solutions are offered in a cloud-agnostic-way and can be deployed on premise at a customer site, in GE's cloud or in a third-party public cloud like Amazon Web Services. In the case of AWS, the intent is to enable a customer to layer GE analytics services on top of data stored in Amazon's cloud. Services include condition-based maintenance, fuel consumption, outage management, and controls and plant automation. For example, a utility provider can run advanced data modeling programs and simulations to optimize power output to meet fluctuations in demand. By doing this, customers can move the compute-intensive processing performed by machines into the cloud, saving time and money during spikes, such as spikes in the power grid.
GE has two major products: its Predictivity line, which provides real-time data analytics across a company's network, and Proficy Historian HD, a separate service based on open source Apache Hadoop to provide historical analysis. The target customers for this service are existing GE heavy-machinery customers.
GE will certainly not be the only provider that wants to capture and derive value from the vast amounts of data generated by its machines and devices. There are tremendous opportunities for companies that can tailor specific services to vertical markets. GE's go-to-market strategy also highlights another trend we expect to see across cloud and Internet-of-Things partners. GE is working with AWS and analytics firm Pivotal to package offerings for the as-a-service movement, and also in the mix is a global alliance with Accenture to develop technology and analytics applications across industries.
Companies like GE that are already in a variety of industries are increasingly trying to make business decisions based on data, particularly as the rise of the machines continues. Companies that can capture the data, bring it to the cloud, provide actionable decisions, and adjust and monetize the entire supply chain will win big.
Interested in learning more about these developments?
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Conference Schedule Announced
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Cloud and Big Data topics and tracks include: Enterprise Cloud Adoption, APM & Cloud Computing | Hot Topics, Cloud APIs & Business, Cloud Security | Mobility, Big Data | Analytics.
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The largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world has announced "sponsorship opportunities" and "call for papers."
The 1st International Internet of @ThingsExpo was launched this June at the Javits Center in New York City with over 6,000 delegates in attendance. The 2nd International Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, with an estimated 7,000 plus delegates attending over three days.
@ThingsExpo is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world. In 2014, more than 200 companies will be present on the @ThingsExpo show floor, including global players and the hottest new technology pioneers.
Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities for @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley and New York Are Now Available
For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021. Book both events for additional savings!
@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley (November 4-6, 2014, Santa Clara, CA)
Secure Your VIP Pass to Attend @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley
To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code "IoTSeptember" and secure their "@ThingsExpo Plus" registration to attend all keynotes and general sessions, as well as a limited number of technical sessions each day of the show, in addition to full access to the expo floor and the @ThingsExpo hackathon.
The registration page is located at the @ThingsExpo site here.
@ThingsExpo New York 2015 'Call for Papers' Now Open
Track 1 - Consumer IoT and Wearables: Smart Appliances, Wearables, Smart Cars, Smartphones 2.0, Smart Travel, Personal Fitness, Health Care, Personalized Marketing, Customized Shopping, Personal Finance, The Digital Divide, Mobile Cash & Markets, Games & the IoT, The Future of Education, Virtual Reality
Track 2 - Enterprise IoT: The Business Case for IoT, Smart Grids, Smart Cities, Smart Transportation, The Smart Home, M2M, Authentication/Security, Wiring the IoT, The Internet of Everything, Digital Transformation of Enterprise IT, Agriculture, Transportation, Manufacturing, Local & State Government, Federal Government
Track 3 - Developer IoT: WebRTC, Eclipse Foundation, Cloud Foundry, Docker & Linux Containers, Node-Red, Open Source Hardware, Leveraging SOA, Multi-Cloud IoT, Evolving Standards, WebSockets, Security & Privacy Protocols, GPS & Proximity Services, Bluetooth/RFID/etc., XMPP, Nest Labs
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Chris Matthieu Named @ThingsExpo Tech Chair
Internet of @ThingsExpo named Chris Matthieu tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley.
Chris Matthieu has two decades of telecom and web experience. He launched his Teleku cloud communications-as-a-service platform at eComm in 2010, which was acquired by Voxeo. Next he built an open source Node.JS PaaS called Nodester, which was acquired by AppFog. His latest startups include Twelephone. Leveraging HTML5 and WebRTC, Twelephone's BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is to become the next generation telecom company running in the Web browser. Chris is currently co-founder and CTO of Octoblu.
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