GE's interest in building the Industrial Internet--the integration of machinery with connected sensors and software to deliver big data to people in real time--has prompted the company to invest some $1 billion into the development of such applications.
GE's latest strategic Industrial Internet investment is in Pivotal, an EMC and VMware spin-off company that plans to bring together big data, application programming and the cloud to reinvent Enterprise Platform-as-a-Service. Pivotal says its next generation Enterprise PaaS will accelerate GE's ability to create analytic services for its industrial customers.
Pivotal said today that GE plans to invest $105 million, representing a 10 percent equity stake in the company.
Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz told CRN in an interview last week that unless companies develop these [big data business applications] capabilities in the future, they will go out of business or they'll be rendered irrelevant.
Pivotal aims to provide more than just analytics. Its Enterprise PaaS will enable companies like GE to analyze and understand big data generated by machines and stored in the cloud. That real-time data can, in turn, help industrial companies improve efficiency.
GE views the Industrial Internet as an opportunity to increase both productivity and revenue. A GE report released in November 2012 found all of the major industries, such as aviation, power, rail, healthcare and oil & gas, can save more than $270 billion over the next 15 years by improving their efficiency by one percent. (see graphic).
For example, jet engines, which contain three major pieces of rotating equipment, could be instrumented and monitored separately. By the time a plane lands, GE, which does thousands of engine overhauls a year, would know exactly what needs to be repaired or replaced and complete in half the time, said CEO Jeffrey Immelt (pictured above) during last year's Mind + Machines conference.