Busy Week for Digital Solutions Companies: Acquisitions, Investments, & Product Releases [Roundup]

Posted by Diane Murray on Sun, Nov 20, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

MobileManufacturingFloor.pngThis week in Roundup, LNS Research explores recent announcements and events, such as Koch Industries Invests in Infor; GE Digital Acquires Three Tech Companies; Arena’s Newest Release; and Siemens Buys Mentor Graphics.

Two Big Names, One Bigger Company: Siemens Buys Mentor Graphics

Siemens says newest purchase will “further strengthen position in industrial automation and digitalization.” This week, the automation, drive, and software company added to its already wide breadth of offerings Mentor Graphics, a business that focuses primarily on design automation software, adding to their portfolio of PLM technologies. According to the joint press release, “[The acquisition] brings together mechanical, thermal, electrical, electronic and embedded software design capabilities to create a digital twin of any smart product, smart machine or production line.” The move signals Siemens’ continued focus on growing its digital enterprise software portfolio to help meet demand for smart connected products like autonomous vehicles. Check out the joint news release by Siemens and Mentor Graphics.

Koch Industries Invests to Fuel Infor Growth

Infor has invested about $2 billion over the last five years in product design and development for cloud and SaaS products. Now, Koch Industries has invested more than $2 billion in growth capital for Infor for continued R&D and sales expansion. Infor focuses primarily on Cloud applications, and Koch Industries is an American multinational corporation with a large ecosystem of businesses that are contemplating Digital Transformation. Just a few of the concerns under the Koch umbrella include INVISTA, Georgia-Pacific, Molex, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals, Matador Cattle Company, Angel Soft, Brawny, Dixie, Quilted Northern, and STAINMASTER. As a closely related sister company, Infor may boost its position on a lot of shortlists or even edge out the competition due to the conglomerate’s investment. More interestingly, the relationship further blurs the line between software vendor and end-user. Head over to the Infor site to read the full story.

GE Digital Takes on Field Service with ServiceMax Buyout

GE Digital continues to invest in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions, this time with the $915 million purchase of ServiceMax, a Cloud-based field service management company. It wasn’t the first throw-down that direction; GE Ventures was an investor in ServiceMax in 2015 as part of an $82 million Series F round of funding. GE Digital and ServiceMax say the offerings are well-aligned since data on MRI machines, wind turbines, and airplane engines provide important data for maintenance. The vision is to enable companies to create new business models like subscriptions to machine availability rather than buying or selling the machines themselves – the equipment vendor is responsible for monitoring the machine and keeping it running. It looks like GE may become one of those companies – going from selling big machines to selling production uptime and availability – and the ServiceMax solution of capturing and using data for service and maintenance seems to fit well with that kind of business model. Read the TechCrunch coverage and comments by ServiceMax’s co-founder and chief innovation officer.

And Two More GE Acquisitions Makes Three: Artificial Intelligence

General Electric has acquired two tech startups for artificial intelligence (AI) capability, Bit Stew Systems, and Wise.io. The company plans to use the AI to expand the Predix platform. Wise.io has advanced machine learning technology that allows computers to adapt to new data without new programming. Bit Stew applies machine learning to large data sets associated with utilities, aviation, oil and gas production and manufacturing. The acquisitions by GE take place just over a year after opening a headquarters for GE Digital in San Ramon, and coincide with its annual Minds + Machines event in San Francisco. GE Digital styles itself as a data science center of excellence, according to CEO Bill Ruh. Read full editorial coverage on SF Biz Journal and Business Insider.

Arena Adds Requirements Management to PLM, Quality Management

Arena Solutions announced this week that the newest release of its Cloud product development platform connects PLM, quality management system (QMS), and application lifecycle management (ALM) in a single platform. The company says it’s important to share critical information with stakeholders and the extended supply chain, like defects for example, and requirements management is a key element to release information from silos and accessible by only a few people. In this case, collaborative requirements and defect tracking could improve product quality and new product introductions holistically. The company believes that PLM, ALM, QMS and other enterprise systems are the foundation for product success, and enable rapid design, development, introduction, and improvement of products and services. Read what Arena wrote about their newest SaaS release.

LNS 4 Best Practices: Gain Executive Support for you Quality Management Initiative

Tags: PLM, Quality Management, IIoT, cloud, Digital Transformation