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A Year Under Pat Byrne, GE Digital is More Pragmatic, Less Theatrical

In an in-depth interview, GE Digital CEO Pat Byrne talks about his pragmatic approach: ‘If you put an overall umbrella around GE Digital, it’s really working with our customers, really enabling the transformation of how they solve their toughest challenges by putting industrial data to work.”

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In reflecting on your one year at GE Digital, you said in a recent blog post that in the beginning, the market wasn't clear on who GE Digital was and that your first priority was to build a new GE Digital. What is the elevator pitch for the new GE Digital and what is its position in the market now?

So we‘re in these vertical markets. We’re very focused on business outcomes. If you put an overall umbrella around GE Digital, it’s really working with our customers, really enabling the transformation of how they solve their toughest challenges by putting industrial data to work. What this really means is we’re very focused on these vertical markets. This is really what we do: We understand the business process, the business priorities in these vertical markets, and so it’s more about the business outcomes, it’s more about the customer’s business process and challenges. And now we’re bringing our talent and our technology to bear to do that.

I think the difference is significant between [GE Digital now and before Byrne‘s appointment]. GE Digital before was much smaller. It was really the Predix platform and manufacturing solutions. The Predix platform is really a tool we use now to deliver functionality for customers. So it’s critical to our Asset Performance Management software. It’s how we deploy in the cloud for hundreds of customers using APM. We also use Predix for the Manufacturing Data Cloud solution we have in manufacturing operations. But again, the first words are, what solution are we delivering for a customer?

It‘s also a much larger business. This is more than a billion-dollar [business], 4,000 people, 1,000 software engineers. It’s a much larger business, and it’s in a number of different vertical markets. The reason we call it the new GE Digital is, we re-use the name. GE Digital already existed as a name. We reuse the name, and we repurposed that name. I like the name. It’s a good name.

 
 
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