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GE to integrate Predix with Azure, co-develop IIoT solutions with Microsoft

GE Digital will integrate its Predix portfolio with Microsoft Azure’s cloud capabilities, and standardise its Predix solutions on Microsoft Azure, it has announced.

GE and Microsoft said they will also work together under the terms of an expanded partnership on the development, marketing, and sales of industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions “across verticals”, and seek to bring together operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) to eliminate hurdles in digital transformation projects.

“We will be able to streamline our customers’ digital transformation journey by speeding the deployment of industrial applications and achieving tangible outcomes faster,” commented Bill Ruh, chief digital officer for GE and chief executive for GE Digital.

GE Digital’s Predix development platform enables enterprises to build, deploy and manage IIoT applications, including GE Digital’s own Asset Performance Management and ServiceMax applications. IIoT appsby customers and partners are also available on then platform. It is used by BP, Exelon, Schindler, and Maersk, among others.

GE said the deal will drive sales of the Predix platform. The company will use Azure across its business for additional IT workloads and productivity tools, additionally, including its own Predix-based deployments.

Different GE businesses will be able to tap into Microsoft’s enterprise capabilities to gain support for the high volumes of data on the Predix platform. Its monitoring and diagnostics centres, internal manufacturing and services programmes will leverage Azure, said GE.

The partnership also enhances the security layer within the Predix platform, which meets the specialised requirements of industries such as aviation, power and utilities.

Ruh said: “Every industrial company will have to master digital to compete in the future, connecting machines and making them more intelligent to drive efficiency and productivity. Through this expanded partnership, Microsoft and GE are enabling customers to harness the power of the Predix portfolio to unlock new capabilities to drive growth.”

Judson Althoff, executive vice president at Microsoft, commented: “The industrial sector plays an important role in fuelling economies around the world. GE and our mutual customers will benefit from a trusted platform with the flexibility and scalability to deliver unprecedented results and help advance their business potential.”

The global IoT market will be worth $1.1 trillion in revenue by 2025, according to the GSMA. Enterprises have evolved from “talking about” digital transformation to implementing IoT proofs and pilots, according to Gartner. The new arrangement with Microsoft will expedite the pace of change, according to GE Digital.

The company said last month the digital transformation of industry will be more dramatic than transformation of the consumer retail and media markets. “We have seen how retail has been remade, how media has been remade, how telecoms has been remade. The winners and losers in those industries have changed over time. What hasn’t changed is industry,” said Ruh.

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