5 things you need to know about General Electric's IoT cloud platform
General Electric has been making noise about its role in the fast-growing industrial internet of things for some time. Today it boosted its ambitions with the unveiling of a public service based on its Predix data analytics platform.
The aim of the Predix Cloud launch is to help organisations in industries such as aviation, healthcare, energy and transportation deal with the vast amounts of data being generated as sensors are attached to everything from medical equipment to aircraft engines - what is known as the industrial internet of things.
To this end, the platform as a service (Paas) will support the development of apps that can use real-time operational data to provide insight for better and faster decision-making.
And should the fourth largest company achieve its ambitions with Predix, it will have repercussions for both the IoT and cloud markets.
Here are the major points to keep in mind about GE's Predix cloud launch:
GE hopes Predix Cloud will bolster its position in the fast growing industrial IoT market.
More than 50 billion machines will be connected to the internet by 2020, according to GE, and it plans to grab a large share of the enterprise investment in analytics as this growth occurs.
The firm saw $4 billion in software revenues last year, and it expects this to reach $6 billion in 2015, with its Predix platform - already used by a number of customers - helping drive this.
GE has been trying to position itself as a major player in the burgeoning IoT market for a while now, and has made some interesting investments to this end. This includes a $105 million investment in Pivotal, a joint venture between EMC and VMware to provide cloud-based data analytics.
GE said that Pivotal's Cloud Foundry will be used to help with application development, deployment and operations.
It aims create an app store for the industrial internet of things
GE says Predix Cloud will focus on providing a platform for developers to "unlock an industrial app economy that delivers more value to machines, fleets and factories." This means supporting collaboration between a community of developers, providing the technology to build and deploy apps in a secure environment.
Developers will "have visibility into their operating environments and every actor connected to it," and will be able to deploy and monitor machine apps wherever and whenever they need.
It could create a challenge for AWS and other public cloud providers
Amazon Web Services has typically dominated the infrastructure as a service market, and others such as Microsoft's Azure have been targeting data-hungry IoT applications. But by targeting the manufacturing and industry sector, GE could carve out a strong niche as the "world's first and only cloud solution designed specifically for industrial data and analytics".
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