GE Digital is about transforming industrials
General Electric (GE) is training its sights on the industrial IT market. The company is developing software systems and other technologies to help modernize industrial machinery and enable industrial companies to operate more efficiently. To get there, General Electric is reaching out to partners with specific expertise in certain fields of enterprise technology.
Contributors to the GE Digital project
General Electric has selected Cisco (CSCO), Dell Technologies (DVMT), and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) to back its GE Digital unit by contributing technology to the project. While these companies are helping General Electric make the GE Digital dream come true, they also stand to benefit if the project succeeds.
As part of its digital push, General Electric has created a cloud-based operating system called Predix. The problem is that not all existing industrial machines can run on the Predix platform. That situation forced General Electric to develop periphery hardware capable of collecting data from industrial machinery where the machines can’t run its operating system directly.
To support efficient data harnessing from industrial machinery and its transmission to the cloud, Cisco has developed a router that is readily compatible with General Electric’s Predix. With the help of Dell and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, General Electric has developed another hardware system called Predix Box, which enables companies to run Predix applications locally. NRG Energy (NRG) is one of the corporations already testing GE Digital solutions.
Predix Box is intended to allay the concerns of corporations that may be leery of shifting everything to the cloud at once. General Electric said Predix Box could start shipping in 2Q17.
Preparing the ground before takeoff
General Electric realized that for GE Digital to become a reality, it needs not just to develop industrial-grade software, but also make available hardware systems to enable its software work with existing machines. While that means more groundwork should be done, it is a boon for companies like Cisco that have been looking for new growth opportunities as cloud computing disrupts their mainstay businesses.