With General Electric's (GE) earnings set to be rolled out before the opening bell Friday, the manufacturer announced a new partnership with Oracle (ORCL) -- marking a major step forward in its so-called Industrial Internet.
General Electric -- which has been rapidly expanding its industrial base as it finishes winding down longtime lending arm GE Capital -- has more than tripled its partnerships tied to the "Internet of Things" platform since last fall.
The service is based on GE's cloud-based Predix technology and combines machine sensors with GE's proprietary software to help customers optimize the performance of machines from wind farms to jet and locomotive engines.
"GE and Oracle, two industry powerhouses, share a vision for growing the digital industrial ecosystem and providing customers with the easiest path to transformation," said Thomas Kurian, Oracle's president of product development, of the freshly inked collaboration. "GE's Industrial Internet platform sets the standard for the industry and we are committed to developing joint solutions that leverage Oracle's enterprise expertise in analytics and business applications to deliver digitally- enabled business process innovation for industrial companies."
And GE's Oracle partnership expands its total partnerships in its Predix platform to 22 from six last fall, which should further help prevent competitors from replicating GE's proprietary platform, William Blair Analyst Nick Heymann said in a Thursday interview with Real Money. GE's initial partners when its new Predix-based platform was rolled out last fall included Action Alert's PLUS member Cisco (CSCO) and Intel (INTC), as well as wireless giants Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), Vodafone (VOD), as well as Sprint's (S) parent Softbank.
"GE is getting a tremendous number of leading-edge digital companies," Heymann said. "It's really shaping up, and Its growing by leaps and bounds," he added, noting that GE should be able to grow sales of its data-analytics program to $5.6 billion by the end of this year, up from $2.7 billion in 2015.