Honeywell aims to be Apple of industrial giants

Honeywell's plan to boost profit margins over the next five year largely revolves around software engineers, user experience and application development.

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Dave Cote, CEO of Honeywell, outlined the company's five-year plan and said "it is our intent to become the Apple of the industrial center."

Honeywell's planning process through 2018 highlights how every business increasingly revolves around software and the user experience. Honeywell, which makes everything from thermostats that compete with Nest to industrial equipment and technology, is betting that better applications will boost its profit margins.

Industrial giants such as Honeywell and General Electric are increasingly more about software and applications than turbines, generators and hardware.

Among the key items Cote noted:

  • Honeywell has created nine separate design centers focused on "how we can change and improve the experience" for users and installers of equipment.
  • The company has an "intensified software focus" and a unified operating approach with HOS Gold, the latest version of the Honeywell Operating System.
  • Of Honeywell's 22,000 engineers, more than half of them are focused on software.
  • 62 percent of those engineers are Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 5 today and Honeywell plans to have all of its talent certified at that level by 2015. CMMI Level 5 indicates that process improvements are optimizing applications and processes. 
  • That software certification will enable Honeywell to reuse more software, increase speed and create more robust systems.

Honeywell's tech heavy plan is expected to result in 2018 revenue of about $46 billion to $51 billion with 18.5 percent to 20 percent operating margins.

Also see: CNET: Honeywell Lyric Thermostat review

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