General Electric invests big when it comes to the Internet of Things, or what the $148.6 billion manufacturing giant calls the ‘Industrial Internet.’
In late 2011, the company announced plans to open a new software center in San Ramon, Calif., part of a four-year, $1 billion investment to install sensors and develop software systems to manage the jet engines, locomotives, power turbines, medical equipment, and other machines its customers run. This large stream of new data informs production, maintenance, and innovation at GE. In 2014, GE generated $1.3 billion in Predictivity revenue from new software and analytics offerings in the market, and that top-line contribution is expected to grow. CEO Jeffrey Immelt says its sales could reach $4 billion or $5 billion per year in the next few years. Immelt has become one of the most public evangelists for the power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to transform business.
William Ruh, the GE vice president who heads the Global Software Center, says the company’s IoT investments have led to the launch of approximately 40 applications for predictive maintenance and other functions, and the establishment of Predix, a cloud-based platform for creating industry apps.