Microsoft and GE Partnership to Connect Industrial Machines with Cloud

Microsoft and GE join together to use cloud technologies in industrial production.

The two companies proclaimed Monday at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto that GE will be bringing its Predix industrial data-gathering operating system to Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.

The pact is the first in a planned tactical partnership between Microsoft and GE.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an announcement revealing the partnership, “Every industry and every company around the world is being transformed by digital technology,” and “Working with companies like GE, we can reach a new set of customers to help them accelerate their transformation across every line of business — from the factory floor to smart buildings.”

Joining with Azure can bring novel features comprising artificial intelligence and natural language technology to GE’s Predix platform. GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement, “Connecting industrial machines to the internet through the cloud is a huge step toward simplifying business processes and re-imagining how work gets done.”
GE and Microsoft plan to incorporate Predix to Azure’s Internet of Things and Microsoft’s Cortana artificial intelligence platforms, as well as Office 365 and other Microsoft business applications.

Three years ago, GE launched its digital industrial data analytics platform first on Amazon Web Services. Three months ago, GE and Oracle declared a pact incorporating GE’s Predix into Oracle’s cloud platform and enterprise software products.
Shares of GE reached a 52-week high of $32.50 afore closing Monday at $32.21, up 0.03% for the day. Shares are up over 32% over the past 12 months. Microsoft shares closed at $52.59, up 0.55%.

Predix aids enhance “machine learning” and can deliver insights to a company on segments such as equipment maintenance, said Jim Cramer. “Think about the amount of money that can be saved if you were always aware something you have is about to break. Once something is broken it costs a fortune to fix, but if you can fix it in maintenance, ahead (of a breakdown), wow.”