General Electric is honing its focus on its IoT-centric Predix platform as struggles to cut costs and maximize revenues under its new CEO.
Predix was an early entrant to the IoT segment, and GE inked deals with wireless heavyweights such as AT&T in 2013 and Verizon in 2014 to provide connectivity to GE’s software-enabled industrial machines and devices. The platform has been a key component of GE’s move to spend six years and more than $4 billion to transform the company into a “digital industrial” business under former CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Reuters reported this morning.
But the news outlet said GE earlier this year called for a two-month “time out” to address problems with Predix software that had not been reported previously. GE has addressed those concerns and will refocus on Predix, targeting companies in the energy, aviation and oil-and-gas sectors, shifting its gaze away from customers in other industries.
“Our resources will go to our fastest-selling markets,” GE Digital CEO Bill Ruh told Reuters in an interview.
Whether GE’s problems with Predix will affect its U.S. carrier customers isn’t clear, and what its move to refocus on its IoT platform will mean for operators has yet to be determined. But the IoT segment is moving quickly in its early days: Verizon in February launched an offering aimed at helping carriers around the world more easily expand into next-generation offerings including IoT-based services, for instance, and AT&T in March tapped IBM’s Watson to help its customers fully leverage the data gathered through industrial IoT applications. Meanwhile, the IoT market is consolidating as it begins to evolve beyond its infancy.
Whether GE can recapture its momentum in the segment is uncertain. But the company obviously has the scale and the deep pockets to become a major player in an IoT market that is just beginning to get legs.