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July 21, 2016

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GE to use US$20m on digital strategy

GENERAL Electric Co will invest US$20 million in digital development over the next two years in China with the help of a Digital Foundry workshop that the US firm launched in Shanghai yesterday.

The US$11 million workshop plans to incubate startups and have developers work on new software applications to make machines more intelligent.

The move is part of GE’s plans to lead a productivity revolution in global industry by combining machinery with analytics, after selling off its financial assets and embarking on a major restructuring.

Chief Digital Officer Bill Ruh said the world’s biggest maker of jet engines and diesel locomotives had already made US$500 million in productivity savings for itself this year by using smarter machines, and he expected this to grow to US$1 billion in total by 2020.

GE is investing US$500 million annually in software as part of the digital drive, and Ruh said the company expected the products to bring in about US$6 billion in revenue this year.

In September, it said its portfolio of software-related products would yield more than US$5 billion in revenue in 2015, swelling to more than US$15 billion by 2020.

GE yesterday also announced a partnership with Huawei Technologies Co, which will see the Chinese communications technology firm adopt GE’s industrial cloud-based platform Predix, which is already used by China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Telecom and on Tianjin city’s street lamps grid.


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