HPE partners with ABB to merge IT and OT

The partnership should accelerate data processing in industrial settings.

HPE is teaming up with the operational technology vendor ABB to bring more intelligence directly into industrial facilities, the companies announced today.

The partnership will bring ABB Ability -- ABB's portfolio of digital services that includes physical asset performance management and smart sensors for motors -- to hybrid platforms like HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack. ABB Ability was initially developed and built on the Azure platform. Extending it to hybrid platforms will enable customers to run applications either on Azure or on HPE infrastructure within their industrial plants and data centers.

The partnership comes as HPE aims to broaden its presence at the "intelligent edge" -- in industrial settings but also in workplaces, retail and smart cities.

ABB, for its part, has an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions. It competes with other OT vendors like GE, Siemens and Bosch.

"This alliance between two global leaders is unprecedented in terms of breadth and depth, and it will be ground-breaking for the progress of the Industrial Internet of Things," HPE CEO Meg Whitman said in a statement. "Together with ABB, we will shape a digital industrial future where everything computes, equipping machines with intelligence to collaborate, allowing plants to flexibly adapt to changing demands, and enabling global supply chains to instantaneously react to incidents. This partnership will create exciting business opportunities for our joint customers."

In addition to expanding the footprint of ABB Ability, the two companies also plan to work together to provide joint services for data centers. These include a data center automation service that combines the ABB Ability Data Center Automation service with HPE OneView, HPE's IT infrastructure automation software. Additionally, in collaboration with Rittal (an IT rack manufacturer), they will offer a "secure edge data center" designed to run in harsh industrial environments.

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