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GE will open up its internal Predix platform as a cloud-based service in 2016, in a bid to capitalise on the so-called industrial internet.
The company’s digitisation strategy has driven its plans to enter the cloud services market.
"Cloud computing has enabled incredible innovation across the consumer world,” said Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE. "With Predix Cloud, GE is providing a new level of service and results across the industrial world.
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"We look forward to partnering with our customers to develop customised solutions that will help transform their business."
Predix Cloud will enable operators to use machine data more quickly and efficiently, saving billions of dollars a year. By combining GE’s deep domain expertise in information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), GE says its Predix Cloud will deliver advanced tools, such as asset connectivity, machine data support and industrial-grade security and compliance.
By building Predix as a platform, GE hopes to entice third-party developers to create industrial software applications. Harel Kodesh, vice-president, general manager of Predix at GE Software, said: "GE's Predix Cloud will unlock an industrial app economy that delivers more value to machines, fleets and factories – and enable a thriving developer community to collaborate and rapidly deploy industrial applications in a highly protected environment."
Pitney Bowes is one of the companies hoping to develop industrial apps based on Predix. Its chief innovation officer, Roger Pilc, said: "With our APM apps running on Predix Cloud, we are able to extract and analyse data from our assets faster than ever, and use that insight to drive real business outcomes for Pitney Bowes and its clients, including lower operational costs, greater productivity and output, and higher service levels."
As Computer Weekly has previously reported, Predix has been used internally for products such as the Reliability Excellence engine, which was deployed at Irish Power earlier this year. The GE software has been used to combine operational data to help improve efficiency at Irish Power's Whitegate plant, a 445-megawatt gas combined-cycle power plant located 25 miles east of the city of Cork.
GE businesses will begin to migrate their software and analytics to the Predix Cloud in the fourth quarter of 2015, and the service will be commercially available to customers and other industrial businesses for managing data and applications on Predix Cloud in 2016.
The company expects to post software revenues of $6 billion in 2015.