GE buys ServiceMax for $915 million to bolster industrial internet platform

ServiceMax claims to build products that help field service technicians complete service requests faster and more efficiently.

General Electric announced Monday that it's buying ServiceMax, makers of cloud-based field service management software, for $915 million. The acquisition is within GE Digital, the company's division focused on the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

Founded in 2006, ServiceMax claims to build products that help field service technicians complete service requests faster and more efficiently. Its platform leverages IoT, augmented reality, machine learning, and drones, and it's used by companies such as Coca-Cola Enterprise and Pitney Bowes, as well as GE.

For GE, the deal will further the company's efforts to commercialize applications built on Predix, its industrial IoT platform, particularly those catered to field service workers. ServiceMax will give GE a full suite of service software, including inventory and parts logistics, scheduling and workforce optimization, and work order management.

In addition, the acquisition gives GE Digital an immediate vertical customer base and boosts its prominence as a field service software provider.

"This platform will address the service needs of enterprises across the entire service delivery process and provide the critical expertise and technologies needed to accelerate GE Digital's existing services solution roadmaps," GE said in the announcement. "Coupled with the recent acquisition of Meridium, GE Digital will now provide a full suite of applications centered on driving comprehensive asset management for the industrial internet."

Field service is a fast growing segment within the industrial internet, with enterprise giants such as Salesforce, Microsoft, and Oracle either building or buying a way into the market. According to research firm Gartner, two out of three field service organizations will equip field technicians with mobile apps that boost on-the-job efficiency and corporate profits by 2020.

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