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January 16, 2017updated 25 Jan 2017 3:20pm

ServiceMax CEO: Industrial Internet of Things & why GE went for field service

ServiceMax CEO discusses the importance of field service maintenance and Industrial Internet of Things.

By Hannah Williams

In an interview with CBR, ServiceMax CEO Dave Yarnold discussed the importance of Industrial internet machine maintenance for both businesses and manufacturers, using the company’s recent acquisition by GE as an example of the opportunity to integrate its industrial internet vision.

ServiceMax develops field service software solutions, in addition to providing solutions for social and analytics to be delivered to any mobile device via the cloud. It was the strength of ServiceMax’s platform which drew the attention of GE, with the American multinational acquiring the company for for $915 million in November 2016.

ServiceMax CEO- Dave Yarnold

ServiceMax, Chief Executive Officer, Dave Yarnold

ServiceMax CEO Dave Yarnold said: “GE drives more than 70 percent of their profits from their service business, so we know that they know what we are in business to do. Now that the CEO has been very public in saying they want to build a top tier software company, focused on the industrial internet segment, we had this opportunity to become part of GE.

“They are deploying our product throughout all of their industrial product units such as, GE Oil & Gas, GE Healthcare, GE Aviation and GE Power & Water- they are all using ServiceMax to power their tens of thousands of field engineers.”

The acquisition aims to provide GE Digital with new capabilities in the $1 trillion market for industrial service, enabling customers to immediately gain more value from their assets and find greater efficiency in their field service processes. This, Mr Yarnold argues, is a trend seen across manufacturing.

“The maintenance part of a business for an industrial manufacturer is an increasing amount of their revenue and profits. Companies make a lot of money on the service part of their business.”

“For example, looking at our work with GE, we are so connected to their Predix strategy, getting information from the machines and data from the machines, to making sense of it and then being able to apply it to things like maintenance of those machines.

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“So if I can take that data, and make sense of it, then I can actually go out and fix the machine before it breaks down. Which means the customer is happier because the machine has not broken down and they are also getting more productive time. I can also take that data and I can look at it and help the customer actually get more through-put from the machine,” said Mr Yarnold.

The Predix platform mentioned by Mr Yarnold refers to GE Digital’s industrial cloud-based platform, billed by the company as the operating system for the Industrial Internet. It offers complete connectivity from the edge to the cloud and computing capabilities at every level of the industrial software stack.

Due to the acquisition, Predix will now be combined with ServiceMax technologies to help industrial customers accelerate productivity by combining cloud-based mobile applications with Predix.

So following a $915 million acquisition, what’s next for ServiceMax?

“We’re going to be one amongst several product lines within GE Digital. There will be a product line to focus on asset performance management, and another on brilliant manufacturing to drive productivity within the manufacturing realm.

“There will be the product line focused on service transformation, which will enable companies to get revenue and more profits out of their service usage.

“We will all leverage the GE Predix platform to make use of all that serviced data. ServiceMax will be an important product line, and my understanding is that we will be investing heavily into this business.”

Along with the continuous growth in the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things, David Yarnold says: “There is a lot of discussion around the data and managing it, what is missing in the market is a practical application of that data to real business situations.

“We have condition-based maintenance, which is the ability to take the data and make machines more productive to drive less down time and more through-put is something we are doing today.”

GE has already estimated that there is a market-wide opportunity to improve service productivity by $25 billion through the use of analytical tools. With GE making smart acquisitions like that of ServiceMax, it seems that the American giant is well placed to grab a huge share of the field service market.


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