However, the platforms’ readiness for partnerships is a key factor for success.
Germany’s Siemens and its US rival General Electric are competing to roll out an ‘Internet of Things’ cloud platform for the manufacturing industry.
The two companies are looking to develop the technology that has the potential to support industrial automation and offer huge amount of data related to various stages of manufacturing.
To reinvent manufacturing processes, GE, Siemens and a group of other companies are aiming to enable companies of different sizes to utilise digital platforms to link the stages involved in the value chain, The Wall Street Journal reported.
GE Chief Digital Officer William Ruh was quoted by the publication as saying that the industrial IoT “is about connecting and using the data from end to end.”
By deploying a new generation of built-in sensors, manufacturing firms are finding ways to allow digital conversation between industrial equipment and products such as robots, turbines, pumps and drones.
IHS Technology research director Jenalea Howell said: “People are still trying to learn how it benefits their business.
“Folks are coming around to the idea, but it’s still fairly recent.”
According to research firm Markets & Markets, the fast growing market could reach $150bn in three years.
Rethink Robotics chief executive Jim Lawton said: “We’re going to see more value out of the industrial side sooner.”
The success of platforms will rely on their readiness to partner with competitor brands.
Siemens chief technology officer Roland Busch said the systems need many “co-petitors.”
Currently, Microsoft has deals with Siemens and GE to connect with its Azure cloud platform. Siemens and GE are trying to get partners and bring more industries to their platforms.
According to GE’s Ruh, the company has made over 300 partnerships for its Predix platform.
Siemens said that it has nearly 100 partnerships in the pipeline after announcing six partnerships for its MindSphere platform.
Busch acknowledged that Siemens’s platform is less open compared to those of rivals but said it will soon “will be as open as any other.”
Bosch Software Solutions head Rainer Kallenbach said: “You can’t do it alone.
“All these various platforms are currently more or less islands” and must merge to “create continents,” he said.