GE, Softbank ink Predix software licensing deal

Softbank will utilize Predix to develop and deliver custom apps for industries such as shipping and manufacturing that will tentatively become available in early 2015.

General Electric on Thursday announced a deal with the Japanese telecommunications and Internet giant Softbank to license its Predix software platform.

As part of the deal, Softbank will utilize Predix to develop and deliver custom apps for industries such as shipping and manufacturing.

Predix is GE's software designed to add intelligence to Internet of things end points.

The apps will tentatively become available in early 2015.

The partnership marks GE's first monetization and licensing deal for its Predix software platform, and opens it up to the estimated $12 billion data analytics market in Japan.

"GE is taking the first step toward reaching new industries across the world by opening its Predix software platform to SoftBank," said Bill Ruh, VP of GE Software, in a statement. "Together, GE and SoftBank see the enormous potential of the predictive analytics market in Asia and globally. This partnership will enable SoftBank to develop and deliver revenue-generating apps for big data analytics, asset management and field services."

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GE has been positioning support for Predix over the last several months. In October, the company announced a slew of alliances with enterprise technology titans (Softbank included), with Intel and Cisco promising to build "Predix Ready" devices outfitted with open communication frameworks from sensors and devices to cloud based services.

Both deals illustrate GE's intense focus on the Internet of Things, or the industrial Internet, as the company calls it. It seems as though GE's long-term goal is to position its machinery and equipment as smart devices that connect to other gear via software. GE is already making progress on that goal: the company says it currently monitors and analyzes 50 million data points from 10 million sensors on $1 trillion of managed assets on a daily basis.

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