Siemens takes-on GE in IoT, with help from Watson

Siemens Innovation event reports progress on Vision 2020 $5bn/year R&D program. Siemens to bundle IBM cognitive analytics with Mindsphere IoT. On ‘nurturing’ the digital twin.

Siemens has signed with IBM to offer Watson analytics along with IBM Cognos as a component of MindSphere, its cloud-based operating system for the internet of things. The companies plan to offer ‘advanced analytics,’ data visualization and dashboards and an API for developers and data analysts. The expectation is that Watson’s ‘cognitive’ technology will unearth ‘hidden connections’ in production data and help with diagnostics and maintenance. Other partners in MindSphere, include ATOS, SAP, Microsoft, Evososft and Accenture.

The announcement was made at the recent Siemens ‘Innovation’ event in Munich where the company reported progress on its ‘Vision 2020’ program which kicks off with an ambitious $5 billion of R&D investment planned for fiscal 2017. Siemens claims some 17,500 software developers and 350 data scientists working on this and other programs in the company.

Siemens is also growing by acquisition and joint ventures, notably with the 2016 acquisition, for $4.5 billion, of Mentor Graphics and a recently announced partnership with Bentley Systems. The future will see further integration of the closed ‘life-cycle data-loop’ with artificial intelligence built into the ‘digital twin.’

The latter is a concept that Siemens shares with GE but Siemens takes the marketing biscuit with the notion that all of the above is going to ‘nurture the digital twin.’

A more concrete parallel exists between Siemen’s MindShare platform and GE’s Predix showing that, despite the best efforts of Industrie 4.0 and the IoT the two behemoths are in digital battle mode. Hey, what did you expect?

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