Industrial IoT Superstars GE, Siemens Are Butting Heads In Manufacturing Market

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New Investments In IIoT

The industrial space is a lucrative area in the Internet of Things market. According to market research firm IDC, manufacturing operations was the IoT use case that saw the largest investment, $102.5 billion, in 2016.

Tony Balistrieri, vice president of enterprise sales at Zones, an Auburn, Wash.-based solution provider, said he is seeing industrial clients upgrade from on-premise to cloud platforms but he expects "mass acceleration" toward the end of the year.

"There's definitely growth in the IoT space as many customers are looking for tools in the cloud to manage anywhere and anytime," he said. "All of our clients are looking to manage at the cloud level. Their ability to get a device and manage and monitor it from anywhere is a natural application for the cloud."

While Boston-based GE – a $123 billion diversified conglomerate --  already has scoped out a large portion of the North American IIoT market, Siemens – weighing in at $87 billion -- has been funneling investments beyond its German headquarters through a 30 percent increase in research and development spending in the U.S. since fiscal 2014, according to the company.

GE, for its part, estimates that it will generate nearly $5 billion in revenue from software and related services in the IIoT market in the coming year. The company brought in $4 billion in 2016 from Predix and software orders. Meanwhile, Siemens has about $5.49 billion in revenue from software and services.

Jagannath Rao, head of data driven services at Siemens Digital Factory, told CRN that the company plans to better entrench itself in the U.S. through building out its North American channel from its existing partnerships, including with Accenture and Atos.

"Our goal is simple – to scale up and get as many customers connected as possible … through building out our go-to-market channels, through system integrators and distributors," he told CRN.

GE, meanwhile, hopes to connect its manufactured products – from gas turbines to jet engines and light bulbs – through its Predix platform.

"Make no mistake, we want to continue to be the leader in the Industrial Internet of Things," said Aaron Darcy, chief marketing officer at GE Digital. "You'll continue to see a lot more innovations on our Predix platform, you'll continue see us start to innovate a lot more through our applications and work with our ecosystem to bring other applications to our customers."

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