GE Power lands Exelon as Predix customer, co-innovation partner

Exelon's power generation units will standardize on GE's Predix platform under an enterprise-wide pact. The two aim to speed up digital transformation in the energy industry.

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GE has landed a large deal with energy giant Exelon to deploy its Predix software suite across its nuclear, wind and gas generation assets. The companies also plan to develop industry-specific applications built on Predix.

The deal, which comes amid GE's Mind + Machines conference in San Francisco, offers a proof point for the company's software ambitions. GE plans to generate $15 billion in software revenue by 2020 by targeting internet of things deployments inside its customer base. GE calls the market the industrial internet.

More from Mind + Machines: GE releases new suite of Predix applications, services | GE Digital builds up its global presence with acquisitions, partnerships

Separately, GE rolled out new applications for Predix platform to round out its suite of industrial internet tools. GE also announced a pair of acquisitions to grow its platform and ecosystem. Predix was built with the help of Dell Technologies' Pivotal unit.

If successful, the Exelon deal will propel GE into more utility accounts under a co-innovation model that rhymes with what IBM does with large clients. In various industries, tech giants partner with large customers to build applications. Ultimately, these applications become standards for other companies within an industry.

Scott Bolick, head of software strategy and product management at GE Power & Water, said Exelon represents "our largest GE Power enterprise deals." The aim of the deal is to combine information and operations technologies.

Exelon has been among the front runners in internet of things deployments and its Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. subsidiary deployed Tom Siebel's C3 IoT platform to track its assets. Historically, the energy sector hasn't been a first mover in new technologies, but digital transformation can boost efficiency and bottom lines dramatically.

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GE's deal covers Exelon's generation plants. Exelon said it will deploy GE's entire suite of Predix applications. Exelon will use GE's Predix platform, Digital Power Plant and Digital Wind Farm suites. Asset Performance Management, Operations Optimization, Business Optimization Cybersecurity and Advanced Controls/Edge Computing applications will also be including. The two companies have conducted a series of pilots over the last year.

On the co-innovation front, Exelon's Shyam Krishnaswamy, senior manager of corporate innovation, said the GE partnership isn't about closing technology gaps, but transforming its business. "This is much broader and could impact the entire generation industry."

According to Exelon and GE the suite of Predix applications will be rolled out in 2017 and the implementation will be completed across the generation fleet in two years.

The company also released Digital Power Plant software that aims to cut unplanned downtime by 5 percent, reduce false alerts by 75 percent and trim operating costs by as much as 25 percent. GE also outlined Digital Hydro Plant, the fourth Predix suite geared to the various flavors of power plants.

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