General Electric is stepping up its software efforts as is aims to take advantage of machine to machine connections and build what it calls the "industrial Internet."
The effort highlights how companies from multiple industries are trying to build more intelligent systems. On Wednesday, GE said it acquired a railroad software company. Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, has said that information technology will become one of the company's key growth markets.
Meanwhile, IBM is branching out into industrial areas with its software and services. Wireless carriers see machine-to-machine connections as future growth markets. Simply put, companies are in a land grab to be suppliers to the Internet of things---devices that are interconnected, can communicate and ultimately coordinate efforts.
As for GE, the company said it will offer a new software nerve center in San Ramon, Calif. GE will hire 400 software pros to complement 5,000 software workers already focused on applications for power plants, jet engines, medical systems and electric vehicle charging stations.
GE Vice President Bill Ruh said in a statement that the company is looking to "is to develop a new generation of intelligent systems that can predict and respond to changes."
Construction of this new GE software hub will be complete in mid-2012.