GE Digital Scoops Up ServiceMax For Industrial IoT Services Boost

GE Digital announced Monday it had acquired field service management company ServiceMax in a $915 million deal aimed at giving the company more services options for the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) market.

GE Digital said the acquisition would also help it commercialize applications for automating and digitizing heavy-duty machinery on GE's Predix platform.

"This acquisition builds upon our ongoing efforts to enhance our overall technology stack around the Predix platform and advance our Industrial Internet vision," said GE Digital CEO Bill Ruh in a statement. "Improved productivity is critical for the Industrial Internet and digitizing field services is a cornerstone of a successful digital industrial strategy."

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ServiceMax sells a widely-used platform for managing field service operations, such as inventory and parts logistics, work order management and workforce optimization. The company's platform uses Internet of Things technology, machine learning and augmented reality, to ensure that the right company employees are correctly working on each process with the right tools.

GE Digital, which has been one of ServiceMax's clients, said with the acquisition, it plans to add analytics and insights into the ServiceMax logistics, workforce optimization and deployment models.

Andy Sivaraman, senior vice president at Paramus, N.J.-based GE partner ITC Infotech, said the acquisition would be essential for GE Digital to build out its product portfolio in the Industrial Internet of Things market.

"At the end of the day, [Industrial Internet of Things is] all about machinery, the required asset management and repair solutions and servicing solutions," he said. "ServiceMax is at the bleeding edge of that in helping customers process requests, and these robust services are appealing for GE."

GE Digital, which sells software and services for connecting industrial assets, then collecting and analyzing data about them, aims to connect machines to improve productivity, reduce emissions, and increase business insights for companies. The company recently added to its Predix platform through a series of acquisitions – including its September purchase of Meridium, a maker of asset performance management tools.

GE also partnered with Microsoft to strengthen its industrial IoT portfolio. As part of the partnership, GE’s Industrial IoT platform-as-a-service, Predix – which aims to enable customers to build, deploy and operate industrial IoT applications – will be available on Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

GE Digital expects the acquisition to close in January.