"We looked for some early launch partners that we could work with who really understand the dynamics of the changes taking place in the Industrial Internet of Things," says Bill Ruh, vice president of GE Software. "It's clear that Pitney is thinking about where they have to be. This is really about finding a partner who shared our vision and understood how it could change their business as well."
Ruh notes that GE carefully studied Internet companies like Google and Amazon to understand how they used new technologies to effect transformation in their spaces. GE's first takeaway was that it starts from within.
"First, we did it for ourselves," Ruh says. "Two years ago we decided to focus exclusively on GE."
In doing so, he says, the company applied the power of data and analytics internally and enabled "a ton of productivity." Now, he adds, it can use what it learned from the experience to help transform its customers.
"Our focus is this industrial world," he says. "There are lots of platforms optimized for consumer Internet applications and consumer devices. There are some aimed at the enterprise world, optimizing the IT environment. We saw nothing in the industrial world."
Solutions for the Industrial Internet of Things have to be able to operate at the edge, he says; they have to continue optimizing, even if the network goes down. Additionally, the services have to be aimed at getting more out of an asset and an industrial process. And it is essential to optimize for security in an industrial world -- cyberattacks in the industrial world tend to focus on control systems, he notes.
"In the end, everybody has to see a return," he says. "They have to know that they're making a significant improvement to some operation. A five percent to 10 percent increase in efficiency, that's significant to your bottom line."
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