It's about to become one of the biggest tech rivalries of all time.
We're talking bigger than AMD vs. Intel, Netflix vs. Comcast, and Apple's iOS vs. Alphabet's Android.
That's because this growing showdown is taking place over the Internet of Everything (IoE).
There's a lot riding on the line here. Over the next two decades, the IoE will have a business and economic impact worth between $14 trillion and $25 trillion.
See, the IoE will connect trillions of sensors around the world that will be attached to everything from autos and streetlights to shipping boxes and robots to smart cities and homes.
One of the two stands to profit hugely.
The IoE will play a central role in what I call the "Convergence Economy." That's when multiple technologies "converge" to create whole new technologies, devices, and/or business opportunities.
And in the IoE, we're talking about a world in which just about every physical object – including probably our own bodies – is in some way connected to the web.
And that puts the cloud front and center in the battle between GE and Siemens. The reason: The IoE will create a tsunami of data that will be stored in remote data centers so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
GE is surely the premier industrial firm in the world.
Its consumer division has long been at the forefront of appliances, electrical equipment, and lighting. And enterprises turn to GE to solve major challenges in energy generation, security, inspection equipment, and medical devices.
Now, GE wants to take every one of those businesses into the digital sphere, bringing smarts and communications to all the products it makes.
In fact, GE now calls itself the "digital industrial company."
Bill Ruh, GE's chief digital officer, has quickly built a team of 1,200 in Silicon Valley to ensure that the firm's Predix industrial cloud-based platform is embedded in every new product the firm designs.
And not just products from GE…
The firm says that Predix "works with operating assets from any vendor or vintage." The software captures and analyzes the massive reams of data that are being produced today – and the even larger amount of info that the IoE will produce.
Applying Predix software to aircraft engine maintenance, for example, has reduced down time by 25%. This is now a nearly $6 billion business for GE, and the firm thinks it will be a $20 billion business by 2020.
But GE will need to keep close tabs on its main global rival…
That's Germany's Siemens.
The firm's MindSphere platform performs many of the same functions as Predix.
Siemens sees MindSphere as a "Platform-as-a-Service" (PaaS) that other firms can use to build IoE applications.
And both of…
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.