GE’s Predix: An investigation

Back in the days of Jeff Immelt, Predix was set to transform GE from an engineering company into a digital powerhouse. But as GE spins off its IoT software into a new unit and sells out of Pivotal, what is left of the platform?

We have written extensively about Predix, GE’s big data infrastructure that according to ex-CEO Jeff Immelt was key to the old GE’s digital transformation. Predix previously had two sides to it. A well-defined specification and website ( and a more nebulous usage across various marketing initiatives. The well-defined Predix was a complete development stack based on the Pivotal cloud-agnostic infrastructure as we reported back in 2013. At the 2019 BHGE meet in Florence, the only clear statement about Predix we heard was “we are not supposed to talk about Predix*”.

What has happened? According to a Forbes/Forrester report, GE has spun out its industrial IoT software business into a new GE Digital unit, a wholly-owned subsidiary. Forbes has it that the new unit will include the ‘Predix platform’ comprising Asset Performance Management (APM) but not ServiceMax which has been sold to Silver Lake. GE initially ‘planned to’ add Predix functionality to ServiceMax and to ‘further the development of additional industrial applications focused on service delivery’. But ServiceMax has its own cloud infrastructure (it uses the Salesforce platform) so this has probably proved to be harder than originally thought.

Which leaves APM inside the new Digital unit and apparently running on the Predix platform. But the extent to which Predix is really running atop of Immelt’s original Pivotal stack as described on is less clear. As reported by CRN, last November, GE sold most of its stake in Pivotal. It would also appear that APM clients may have their own preferred cloud/infrastructure that may not align with the paradigm. Also, it was Mike Olsen, CEO of Cloudera (a Pivotal competitor) who was invited to speak at the 2019 BHGE event. As far as we can tell, Immelt’s original concept has not worked out as was hoped. The various corporate level deals around BH, GE and the new digital unit further complicate matters. Perhaps the BHGE folks are not talking about Predix because nobody really knows what is going on.

Postscript: The announcement at the 2019 BHGE Florence event of ‘VitalyX’ a new cloud-based lubricant monitoring system co-developed by BHGE and the Emirates National Oil Company would appear to be a great candidate for the Predix platform but apparently was developed independently.

* Although Predix is still referred to on the BHGE website as a key component of BHGE’s digital twin offering.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.