Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to keynote Honeywell’s INspire Partner Conference. This was the first such event from Honeywell Connected Plant, and it focused on educating process industry OEM’s about Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) opportunities and Honeywell partner offerings.
It was an intimate executive level event led by Shree Dandekar, Vice President Honeywell Connected Plant. Along with myself, there were presentations from Vimal Kapur, President and CEO Honeywell Process Solutions, and Rebecca Liebert, President and CEO Honeywell UOP, among many others.
The main theme of the event was that the IIoT is real, moving faster than you think, and delivering Smart Connected Assets to process industries is one of the top use cases today. Among the 50 or so attendees, the mood was one of acceptance, interest, and desire to capitalize on the market opportunity. Based on the panel discussion, it was clear that some of the IIoT early movers had taken a DIY approach to building platform capabilities. Not that this was the wrong approach at the time, but with what platform providers like Honeywell have built over the past two years, taking advantage of these capabilities today can help jump-start the journey.
In LNS Research’s opinion, Honeywell has made impressive progress in the capabilities delivered as part of Sentience, the company’s IIoT platform offering. The key to this growth has been leveraging partners like OSIsoft and Microsoft, as well as existing asset framework and monitoring capabilities delivered by Honeywell’s Uniformance™ Asset Sentinel.
It is still very early days for IIoT platform providers like Honeywell. Lots of challenging work lies ahead before any company starts claiming victory, but momentum is on the move.
IQMS 2017 User Conference: Striving for More in Manufacturing Operations
IQMS held its annual user conference April 3-7 this year in Orlando, Florida, which LNS Research Fellow, Dan Miklovic had the pleasure of attending and keynoting. Nearly 500 attendees from their customer base attended. The focus of the event was on providing insights as to how to best use the EIQ integrated ERP and MES suite to manage their manufacturing operations. IQMS is a fast-growing manufacturing operations solution provider with a full-featured solution that provides Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) functionality in a single package if the correct modules are deployed.
Dan’s keynote session focused on the impact of the IIoT and Smart Manufacturing while sharing the session with the Manufacturing Economist from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Generally, the mid-market audience is tactically focused, and the opportunity to hear both the technological and economic “big picture” was appreciated based on the feedback. The IQMS user community seems incredibly loyal, even with what minimal criticism LNS heard, it was very constructive and was offered in the spirit of product improvement. For many users, the event serves as their primary training opportunity. Virtually all of the sessions were very much tutorial and instructional in nature and delivered by IQMS staff.
For most attendees, the greatest value probably came from insight into the IQMS roadmap and future direction sessions. All the attendees we talked to were highly comfortable with product direction. LNS acknowledges that the existing client-server architecture and limited functionality mobile applications align with the IQMS customer base’s expectations and willingness to adopt new technology, but we see some issues on the horizon.
A separate Cloud solution today is based on a hosting model where each customer has their instance. This is appealing to their current customers as the concerns about availability and security have made this segment of the mid-market slow to move to the Cloud. The biggest concern LNS detected at the event was about data ownership and access. We understand that concern, but all our research has shown that these worries can be mitigated with proper licensing and security arrangements negotiated at the time of deployment.
Despite the caveats mentioned, LNS sees IQMS as a viable and appropriate solution in their target markets. The industry-specific functionality coupled with the tight integrated EQMS-MES-ERP functionality, usually only found in far larger and more expensive options, makes them the right choice for companies. Companies just need to ensure that they are comfortable with the pace of progress towards the Web, Mobility, and the IIoT that IQMS has committed to, and are in line with their expectations. We believe the event name, Pinnacle, represents an ideal that both IQMS and the customers should strive towards.