GE and Microsoft announce major partnership, standardize Predix on cloud platform Azure

The partnership comes at a time when GE is pushing Predix as a leader in the industrial internet, what with the platform already available on Amazon Web Services and Oracle.

0 July 20, 2018
Devin Jones

GE

GE and Microsoft recently announced the expansion of a partnership that began in 2016 when GE brought their analytics platform-as-a-service Predix to Microsoft’s cloud-based services Azure.

The new, “major” partnership concerns the standardization of operational technology and information technology on the Azure in an effort to eliminate obstacles the companies are currently addressing within the IIOT industry.

Specifically, GE Digital will begin to fully integrate their Predix platform on Azure, leveraging their variety of IoT services with Microsoft’s scope in regards to cloud-based analytics. The partnership is an attempt to co-sell together and in-part, expand GE’s IT workload capabilities and Predix deployments in an effort to “drive innovation across the company.”

“Our customers are asking for us to make a deeper connection between our two companies,” said Bill Ruh, ceo of GE digital. “Through this expanded partnership, Microsoft and GE are enabling customers around the world to harness the power of the Predix portfolio, including Predix Asset Performance Management, to unlock new capabilities to drive growth,” he said.


Read more: Canada takes centre stage in IIOT conversation with “MIOTY” software 


According to a paper on Gartner titled “Hype Cycle for the Internet of Things, 2017,” the two companies have moved past discussions regarding IoT solutions and begun implementing specific “proofs of concept.” While this doesn’t really mean anything since concepts are relatively easy to create, the partnership is focusing on implementing strategies aimed at streamlining customers’ digital transformations by combining GE’s industry specific analytical solutions with Microsoft’s scope and scale.

Theoretically, the adoption of Azure will allow GE to dramatically speed up customer specific deployment of IIOT applications within an industrial setting, while also—according to a press release—“support the petabytes of data managed by the Predix platform, such as GE’s monitoring and diagnostics centers, internal manufacturing and services programs.”

With the expected revenue of the IIOT industry to reach $1.1 trillion by 2025, the partnership signifies a significant consolidation in power and ability seeing as Azure has announced 54 regions across the globe, with 42 currently available.

The partnership comes at a time when GE is aggressively pushing Predix as a leader in the industrial internet, with the platform already available on Amazon Web Services and Oracle. For Microsoft, it’s an opportunity to further expand their services as a cloud based platform. The ideal is cyclical: With GE wanting Predix to be the de facto system designers create applications for, they need to increase their scale and scope which is where Microsoft comes in. Wanting to create apps for the biggest user base possible, the larger scope of Predix comes as interesting news to IIOT application devs, and customers—seeing the expansion of services—will theoretically move towards Predix.

There’s also the question of whether or not GE will service customers’ hardware, adding a value proposition to Predix since it’s already integrated into the hardware itself.

“With this strategic partnership, 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,” said Executive Vice president of Microsoft, Judson Althoff.


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