Enablon Being Enablon, Wonderware Platform Potential, & Infor Gets High Marks [MondayMusings]

Posted by Matthew Littlefield on Mon, Oct 24, 2016

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industrial_plant_zone.pngThe #MondayMusings Digital Transformation blog series provides executive level insight and analysis from the previous week’s briefings, events, and publications @LNSResearch.

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Enablon Starting to Look Like an Enterprise Software Company

Over the past year, LNS Research has continually commented on the velocity of private equity and acquisition deals in the EHS (Enterprise Health and Safety) software space. None was larger than the Wolters Kluwer acquisition of Enablon (noting the IHS, Genstar Capital, Sphera deal terms were not made public).

Recently, Pete Bussey had the opportunity to attend and present at SPF Americas 2016, which is hosted by Enablon and is one of the leading EHS events in the space. This was the first major event for Enablon post-acquisition, and I was struck by two key takeaways from my discussions with Pete.

First, at least so far, Enablon is not being quickly brought into the Wolters Kluwer fold. Rather, Enablon is being left to remain an independent company with its unique positioning and message to the market. And, as has always been the case with Enablon, this positioning is one of a company not scared to openly share its technology and business views with the market and a flair for discussing the success of its customers and own business.

Second, as the business continues to grow at an impressive clip, it is starting to act more and more like an enterprise software company. This means Enablon is investing in platform technology, like mobility and analytics, while engaging in a deeper and broader ways with customers. This also means they are facing the challenges of moving from selling point products to delivering business value for the world’s biggest companies and brands.

Although, Enablon is not yet at the same scale as SAP, Oracle, or Infor. And EHS is not yet at the same scale of deployment as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The trend is in that direction, meaning Enablon and others in the space will reap the benefits but will also have to face the challenges of starting to act like enterprise software companies.

To learn more, read the full report: Key Takeaways from the 2016 Enablon SPF Americas Conference: Evolution of an Enterprise Software Vendor

Prometheus Public Announcement: Wonderware Has Platform Potential

When we look at the broad industrial landscape and how different companies are preparing for Digital Transformation, there are several strategies we see being deployed:

  • Accepting and Embracing Digital Transformation with a Top-Down Approach: Companies that are building internal teams focused on Digital Transformation and pushing Digital Transformation across the enterprise to business leaders with a prescriptive approach supporting products, marketing, sales, operations, and more.
  • Accepting and Embracing Digital Transformation with a Bottom-Up Approach: Companies that are building internal teams focused on Digital Transformation and are enabling business leaders from across the enterprise to organically pull, deploy, and support needed resources as they see fit.
  • Digital Transformation Skeptics: Companies that may or may not be building internal teams focused on Digital Transformation, but where there is a lack of acceptance, executive leadership, and/or cultural support for the need to proactively disrupt current products and business processes.

Over the past year, LNS Research has had the opportunity to brief with and work on strategy for executives across a broad range of business units at Schneider Electric. Just to name a few, these include Peter Martin, Ravi Gopinath, Aravind Yarlagadda, Cyril Perducat, Rob McGreevy, and Arthur Silva among many others. By working with all of these leaders, something has become apparent to us at LNS Research; Schneider Electric is a company with a broad set of individuals Accepting and Embracing Digital Transformation with a Bottom-Up Approach.

A key example of this would have been at last year’s Wonderware LIVE! when executives provided LNS Research an NDA preview of its Prometheus project; i.e. the evolution of System Platform to provide open PLC programming, automation equipment management, and IIoT device management.  Since that time we have had several additional briefings and were very encouraged to see the public announcement last week at Wonderware LIVE! 2016.

Andrew Hughes attended this year’s event and in my discussions with him it became clear that Prometheus and the broader set of Wonderware technologies have the potential to support Digital Transformation, as well as have the ability to continue pushing forward the broader industrial software and analytics space.

Time will tell how effectively Schneider Electric can deliver its software and automation solutions to market in support of Digital Transformation and if they will have to switch from a Bottom-Up to Top-Down strategy to effect enterprise-wide change.

To learn more, read the full report, Wonderware LIVE! 2016 Delivers New and Exciting Solutions.

Infor Deserves More Credit

As LNS Research has expanded its Digital Transformation coverage, and Dan Miklovic has continued to expand his research on the impacts of #IoT on traditional Automation and ERP markets, our coverage of Infor has been expanding.

Over the past five years, we have attended a host of Infor industry analyst and customer events. At the latest event, Dan Miklovic and Jason Kasper had the opportunity to meet with technology and industry leaders from across the company.

In my discussions with Dan and Jason, it became clear that they believe Infor has been evolving product offerings around the #Cloud and industry solutions more successfully than many in the market give them credit for, including LNS Research. They also believe that Infor now possesses much more than a collection of acquired companies but rather a consolidated product portfolio that rationally aligns to customers by industry, company size, and operational vs. financial requirements, and platform technology needs.

This does not mean Infor won’t face challenges, but they may just be well ahead of where many give them credit. For those that have followed Dan’s 40+ year career, this may not sound like high praise, but I can assure you it is.

To read his full report, please find it here: Infor’s Industry CloudSuites Show Real Progress Since 2014 Introduction.

Webcast: Operationalize EHS Management 

Categories: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Cloud, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), #MondayMusings, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)