CBT Tops Systems Integration Giants To Win PTC Award

‘What CBT does is we create the innovative solutions that move the needle and create an opportunity for companies like Texmark to be transformed by technology,’ says CBT President Rob Schaeffer. ‘We put the pieces of the puzzle together with technologies that are not as well known or mature.’


CBT once again displayed its industrial technology prowess with its ‘Refinery of the Future’ solution beating out system integration behemoths to win the inaugural award for Teaming (Best Ecosystem Project) from $1 billion industrial software powerhouse PTC.

To win the PTC honor, CBT, No. 232 on the CRN SP500, topped much larger finalists, Accenture No. 1 company on CRN’s 2021 SP 500 list with $44.3 billion in annual revenue and 569,000 employees, and L&T Technology Services, an India-based engineering services behemoth with 16,400 employees.

The award recognized CBT’s ability to bring to life from technology vision to reality the Refinery of the Future solution for Texmark Chemicals, a privately held chemical processing and manufacturing company located in Galena Park, Texas.

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CBT faced the formidable task of integrating a wide variety of technologies from top vendors including PTC, HPE, Aruba, Intel National Instruments, OSIsoft, Allied Reliability, SparkCognition, GuardHat and RealWear.

Texmark has credited the solution with helping employees to do their jobs more safely with breakthrough technology including predictive maintenance, connected workers and advanced video analytics.

PTC, for its part, said the award recognizes projects developed as a result of the PTC partner ecosystem that could not have been done by a single provider. “Excellent solutions that were delivered through best of breed partner teams, regardless of partner type or size,” said PTC.

“We are truly humbled to be in the company of the other finalists,” said CBT President Rob Schaeffer in an interview with CRN. “This is a testament to the hard work and conviction that we bring to bear to help our customers. This doesn’t happen by accident. This happened because we were able to leverage the phenomenal PTC technology to transform Texmark Chemicals. As the lead aggregator we were able to put all the pieces together from multiple OEMs into an award winning solution. We thank PTC for the recognition. It feels fantastic!”

Schaeffer (pictured above) said the victory shows CBT’s ability to deliver innovative and breakthrough solutions for enterprise customers with its talented technology team.

“What CBT does is we create the innovative solutions that move the needle and create an opportunity for companies like Texmark to be transformed by technology,” he said. “We put the pieces of the puzzle together with technologies that are not as well known or mature. We put all the puzzle pieces together in a solution that is viable for the customer. It takes a single integrator to pull this all together. It’s why Intel coined the term ‘Domain Expert Integrator’ to describe us!”

The Refinery of The Future solution is opening doors for CBT to bring new ground breaking industrial solutions to industries beyond petrochemical and oil and gas to health and life sciences, manufacturing and distribution, utilities and public sector with smart cities, said Schaeffer.

Schaeffer credited the fortitude, staying power and stamina of CBT founder and CEO Kelly Ireland- a perennial winner of CRN’s IoT Innovator award- for investing millions of dollars and five years of manpower to develop and implement the ground breaking Refinery of the Solution.

“Kelly decided that this was a purpose and mission that we were going to see to the end,” he said. “She had the patience to see this through. This is not a short-term play. You have to get to a set of repeatable use cases that transcends all industries and you have to let your OEM partners innovate their part of the total solution.”

CBT’s accomplishment is particularly impressive given its size versus the larger, better funded competitors, said Schaeffer. “Putting this together is a really difficult challenge,” he said. “It’s not easy particularly for smaller companies who don’t have the financial resources that some others do.”

CBT’s talented technology team with leadership from the likes of Senior Vice President of Engineering Services Stan Galanski and Vice President of Solution Development Lonnie Ludwig were key to the success of the Refinery of the Future solution, said Schaeffer. “This solution was an all hands on project that could not get done with all of the people that make up CBT from our solution architects to our client services team,” he said. “This award recognizes the hard work of the entire CBT team.”

With the Refinery of Future solution getting more acclaim, CBT is seeing an inflection point in the convergence of operational technology system (OT) and traditional IT systems, said Schaeffer. He said CBT’s “first mover” advantage in the OT-IT convergence market is paying off in more Refinery of the Future like deals.

“We are seeing more customers reach out to us on this,” he said. “The future is beyond bright. It’s go time for solutions like this! We are hugely optimistic about where OT-IT convergence is taking us.”