GE has announced plans to establish a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software portfolio.
The company, GE Digital, has a head start with $1.2 billion in annual software revenue already locked in, plus an existing global industrial customer base.
GE Digital is intended to be a GE wholly-owned, independently run business with a new brand and identity, its own equity structure, and its own Board of Directors, the company said. It plans to unlock machine data to turn valuable insights into powerful business outcomes, according to the company.
“The proposed new organisation aims to bring together GE Digital’s industry-leading IIoT solutions including the Predix platform, Asset Performance Management, Historian, Automation (HMI/SCADA), Manufacturing Execution Systems, Operations Performance Management, and the GE Power Digital and Grid Software Solutions businesses,” GE said.
In addition to this spinoff, GE announced an agreement to sell a majority stake in ServiceMax, a provider of field service management software, to Silver Lake, a private equity firm focused on technology investments.
“With these actions, GE will sharpen the focus of its IIoT portfolio to position the new business for future growth,” GE said, adding the transaction was expected to close in the March quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
GE Chairman and CEO Lawrence Culp Jr, said: “As an early leader in IIoT, GE has built a strong business with its industrial customers thanks to deep domain knowledge and software expertise.”
The IIoT is a nascent market but is expected to have significant growth, GE said.
“GE’s independent software business moves into the market with a strong position, building on the company’s experience and success developing solutions to drive the outcomes that matter most for asset-intensive industries,” it added.
GE’s new IIoT business would provide software for these asset intensive industries with a focus on the power, renewables, aviation, oil and gas, food and beverage, chemicals, consumer packaged goods and mining industries.
“These industries build on GE’s foundation and expertise as a leading MES provider for nearly 20 years. With an already thriving business in these areas, the new digital organisation is positioned to accelerate GE’s ability to deliver IIoT solutions that meet the needs of these industrial customers, addressing the most impactful aspects of the asset lifecycle,” the company said.
With GE Digital CEO, Bill Ruh, deciding to depart GE to pursue other opportunities, the company plans to conduct an internal and external search to identify the CEO for this new independent company.
GE Digital’s Predix portfolio – including the leading Asset Performance Management and Field Service Management applications, as well as Predix Private Cloud – helps customers manage the entire asset lifecycle.
Underpinned by Predix, the application development platform for the Industrial Internet, GE Digital enables industrial businesses to operate faster, smarter and more efficiently, wherever their operations require, the company said.