Starting November 30, North American customers and developers using GE's Predix development platform for the Industrial Internet will be able to build industrial apps on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform for enterprises. The announcement was made by GE chairman and CEO John Flannery, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at GE's Minds + Machines industrial software conference in San Francisco.
"It's really two market leaders coming together to accelerate the adoption on the Industrial Internet of Things," says Kevin Ichhpurani, GE Digital’s executive vice president in charge of ecosystem and channels. "It's one of the biggest value drivers for customers.”
According to Kevin Dallas, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of business development, Intelligent Cloud, “We are bending the productivity curve... [for industrial customers] looking to digitize their products, be it a jet engine or an elevator." The notion of shipping a machine and not being able to communicate with it and gain insight into how it’s being used, he says, "is a thing of the past."
GE and Microsoft first announced a partnership last year. Since then, says GE's Ichhpurani, customers have been calling for closer integration with Azure. According to the companies, the Predix-Azure combination will become available to additional markets next year.