09 Aug

Azure Positions GE’s Predix as the Go-to Platform for Industrial Companies

At Microsoft’s 2016 Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, General Electric (GE) announced it will be running its Predix platform on Microsoft Azure. Predix is GE’s internet of things (IoT) platform that is designed to enable businesses to perform large-scale analytics on industrial machinery to manage asset performance and optimize operations. By putting it on Azure, GE moves closer to its goal of making Predix the go-to platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution for industrial and manufacturing companies. The partnership will make Predix more broadly available and attractive to potential industrial customers. GE has also said it bets that the new industrial era will revolve around software innovation.


Extracting Valuable Data

Users from around the world will be able to capture intelligence from industrial assets when Predix becomes available on Azure. CEO of GE Jeff Immelt explains that connecting industrial machines to the internet through the cloud will simplify business operations and transform how workers do their jobs. Predix will help its customers receive valuable information from the large amounts of data that is produced by industrial machines. He states that GE is building an ecosystem with industry leaders such as Microsoft that will enable industrial companies to be successful worldwide.

Because of Predix’s ability to pull insights from industrial data, companies from industries like aviation, energy and healthcare will be able to pull information from the sensors they have attached to their equipment (jet engines, medical devices, etc.) and use apps to analyze and find trends in that data. Essentially, it will be an app store for the industrial internet of things. Azure supports the idea of an industrial internet of things community by giving users of Predix access to data sovereignty, hybrid capabilities and, most importantly, advanced developer and data services.



Keeping Data Secure

One of the biggest concerns about moving so much data onto the cloud is that the industrial sensor data will be a target for hackers. However, the security system Microsoft has built for Azure has clear, real-time visibility of threats and GE has designed Predix with advanced security protocols.

Microsoft Azure uses data and an analytics-driven approach to detect threats and prevent false positives. It analyzes behavior and detects unusual activity so it can respond quickly before any damage is done. Predix has 24/7/365 security management and monitoring and is located in secure data centers that meet SSAE 16 compliance as well as other certifications.


Increasing Usage

Predix is currently available on AWS and Oracle’s cloud system, which has helped GE’s industrial customers build, deploy and operate applications. However, global familiarity with Microsoft software for administrative and communicative purposes could mean that usage of Predix will increase because of this partnership. GE and Microsoft plan to combine Predix with the Azure IoT Suite, the Cortana Intelligence Suite and Microsoft’s business applications, including Dynamics 365, Office 365 and Power BI.

By being on the Azure cloud, Predix users also will have access to features such as natural language technology, advanced data visualization, enterprise application integration and artificial intelligence. With Predix connecting machines and people globally to collect industrial data, the ability to analyze and communicate this data becomes increasingly important, and Azure makes this possible. 

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