ABB and HPE bring intelligence to industrial plants

ABB and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced a strategic global partnership that combines ABB’s industry-provider digital offerings, ABB Ability, with HPE’s innovative hybrid information technology (IT) solutions. The partnership will provide customers with solutions that generate actionable insights from vast amounts of industrial data to increase the efficiency and flexibility of their operations and create competitive advantage.

Customers will benefit from ABB’s deep domain expertise in operations technologies (OT) and HPE’s leadership in information technologies (IT). ABB and HPE will deliver joint industry solutions that merge OT and IT to turn industrial data into insights and automatic action, combining widely-adopted cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure with IT systems running in corporate data centres and at the edge of the network. Employing the right mix of IT platforms will accelerate data processing in industrial plants and at the same time enable effective control of industrial processes across locations.

“This strategic partnership marks the next level of the digital industrial transformation. Together, we will bring intelligence from cloud-based solutions to on-premises deployments in industrial plants and datacentres for greater uptime, speed and yield,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “ABB and HPE will deliver solutions that span the entire range of computing required by enterprises today, from the edge to the cloud to the core.”

Meg Whitman

With an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions, ABB is a trusted provider in the industrial space, and has a four-decade-long history of creating digital solutions for customers.

HPE in turn is a global provider in helping customers optimise their IT environments with secure, software-defined technologies that seamlessly integrate across traditional IT, multiple public and private clouds and the intelligent edge to drive key business outcomes.

“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,” said Meg Whitman, CEO, HPE.

“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.”

To provide a true end-to-end experience for customers, the ABB-HPE partnership will include co-innovation, co-development, joint go to market and service.

Research firm IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow to $1.4 trillion (€1.17 trillion) in 2021 from an expected $800 billion (€670.93 billion) in 2017. The largest investments are being made in areas such as manufacturing, transportation and utilities. To tap into the opportunities of the IoT, companies are investing in new solutions that digitise their industrial equipment and integrate it with their broader IT environments. By joining forces, ABB and HPE are bringing together the capabilities needed to accelerate this transformation.

Computing where it is required

Running data acquisition, analytics and control processes near industrial equipment helps customers avoid the latency, security and reliability issues associated with data communication through remote IT systems.

ABB and HPE will jointly develop, market and service digital industrial solutions that help customers:

  • Create deep insights and automatic action from industrial data – by running ABB Ability applications on enterprise-grade IT systems close to the industrial equipment to accelerate the processing of vast amounts of data; and
  • Manage and control industrial processes across the supply chain – by leveraging hybrid IT to provide a seamless experience from edge to cloud to core, making critical data available across locations.

The partnership will enable ABB Ability solutions to run on hybrid platforms such as HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, enabling customers to deploy applications to their preferred location – on HPE infrastructure in industrial plants and data centres or in the Microsoft Azure public cloud – to meet the specific requirements regarding performance, security or cross-site collaboration.

ABB and HPE will also deliver joint solutions for data centres, including

  • Data centre automation – to enable data centre power, cooling and building systems automatically adapt to changing IT demands or incidents. To that end, ABB and HPE will integrate ABB Ability Data Centre Automation, which controls, monitors and optimises mission-critical datacentre facilities infrastructure, with HPE OneView, HPE’s IT infrastructure automation software.
  • Secure edge data centre – specifically designed to run in harsh industrial environments, bringing enterprise-grade IT capacity closer to the point of data collection and machine control. This solution is being developed in collaboration between ABB, HPE and Rittal, the manufacturer of IT racks, and will be an off-the-shelf ready IT data centre solution for industrial customers enabling real-time insight and action.

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