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Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton: Integration Is Key To MindSphere's Success

'The thing that is most interesting to me is the fact that we have that product that has pull. We don't have to push anybody. Folks are recognizing the power of the portfolio,' Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton tells CRN in an interview about the company's MindSphere IoT platform.

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You've been with Siemens since 2011. On a broader level, how has modern technology changed the company?

First of all, what's really cool about Siemens, and one of the reasons I joined is, here's this corporation that is responding to global megatrends. When I joined, I don't know how crisply this was articulated, but you could sense it. In these last few years, that's absolutely what we've become very intentional about. You think about megatrends like urbanization, climate change, the digitalization of everything, and you realize, if you've got know-how in electrification, automation, digitalization, this is what you need to focus on every day.

So Siemens, even in the time I've been here, has been trimming and tailoring its portfolio. When something became what I'll call commoditized, that was time to move that off to the side, let others who are great at commodity products take those on. And then really focus on those areas where it's going to take large-scale engineering talent to go solve the next problem. So you'll find us on the leading edge of so many of these domain areas. Now with software, it brings us into a completely different world.

So this transformation to becoming a tech company began in around 2007 when Siemens made its first big purchase of what would become product lifecycle management and the creation of the digital twin. So since 2007, I mean in the U.S. alone, investment of $40 billion dollars in acquisitions have made us one of the top 10 software companies in the world. Joe Kaeser, who is now our CEO, was actually assigned here in California. He was working in the semiconductor industry, and he started to hear about this trend that was going to happen and made a very wise investment.

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