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General Electric Moves to the Cloud: What You Need to Know

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Mayank Marwah
Aug 09, 2015
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General Electric (

GE, Financial) plans to introduce its cloud service that would help the industrial behemoth run its factories more efficiently. The company is rolling out its new Predix Cloud through which it will be able to organize complex data, thereby taking cloud computing to a totally different level. GE expects the new software application to manage a variety of data that keeps piling every year from various segments. Why does GE need the application and how can it help the company? Let’s take a look.

Why the move is important

Big data centers that are powered by Amazon (

AMZN, Financial) and IBM (IBM, Financial) come in handy when it comes to storing heavy data ranging from files, back-ups of company reports, employee database, to music, videos, photos, and more. But that may not be of much use to the industrial sector. GE believes that big data would better help the industrial sector if the company manages to design its own cloud that can hold, organize and evaluate the massive data produced year after year. This is primarily why the company is so keen on launching the customized cloud service that would serve the purpose of storing industrial data and analytics.

GE’s Predix Cloud service will enable complex infrastructure and service companies to extract the best out of the plethora of data generated each year. Harel Kodesh of GE Software said, “The data we’re storing is very different from a Facebook picture, which is pretty well defined…Some of the sensors on machines may not be working properly and their data is dirty. It needs to be cleaned, normalized, compressed and ingested in a secure and efficient manner.”

Amazon’s Web Service was extremely effective in converting the excess capacity of its data center infrastructure into a lucrative business worth $7 billion. GE is following Amazon’s footsteps with the announcement of the Predix platform. The cloud service is a computing platform that would help manage factories, plants, and facilities more dynamically. GE intends to pour in $500 million annually to develop the new service.

The way to go ahead…

GE’s new effort in creating a cloud service forms part of the global conglomerate’s effort in becoming a key participant in Internet of Things. This helps in measuring performance, supply level, and identifying issues related to maintenance and repair, if required. GE aims at shifting to the Predix Cloud in the last quarter of this year, while its customers and other industrial businesses would be able to use the service next year. Recently, the Global Research Center, where GE has its laboratory, conducted an Industrial Internet Consortium conference. Tech biggies including Intel (

INTL, Financial), IBM, and Pitney Bowes (PBI, Financial) attended the conference and talked about how Internet of Things could assist corporates lower costs and minimize wastages, while increasing effectiveness and productivity.

GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt is extremely excited to shift to the new platform and believes that the company’s service level shall improve remarkably and bring massive changes across the global industrial sector. The digital move would result in improved healthcare services, higher efficiency and faster production at manufacturing plants, along with better management of assets. The company anticipates its software business revenues to shoot to $6 billion this year, which is an increase of 50% percent over last year. Bill Ruh, vice president of GE Software admits that the transition is not simple, but the company has invested four years to get things right.

GE has built Predix to optimize data analysis for efficient usage. The company has ensured high security level which is way beyond what other players provide. The cloud service perfectly suits the specific requirements of industrial companies without compromising on flexibility, unlike other cloud service platforms.

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