2014 User Summit: Inspiration from the Sidelines

I just returned from our User Summit. The agenda was dense with wonderful examples of the Industrial Internet making a real difference, across the widest range of applications: 

  • Delta Airlines is now doing maintenance on “their terms” rather than in response to unplanned machinery downtime.
  • The City of Cincinnati is increasing reliability in its water and wastewater systems while reducing taxpayer costs and being more responsible toward environmental challenges.
  • Temputech, an OEM provider of grain management systems, is embarking on new revenue streams thanks to big data and cloud computing.
  • Zoetis, the largest global animal health company, is better able to stop the potential spread of animal infections before they impact cattle herds.

But it wasn't only the sessions that energized me. What really captured my attention was what happened between the sessions.

People were totally engaged. They were sharing playbooks…comparing approaches and outcomes…gaining confidence from the journeys of others.

I listened as several executives weighed whether to attend the next session or continue their conversation with peers sharing challenges and best practices. Customers so engaged they were torn between listening to a great story of success in a plenary session, or sharing pain points in small groups and discovering ways to accelerate their own Industrial Internet journey? What a conundrum!TechFair

The hallway buzz just got louder and stronger when the Technology Fair opened. Everyone sharing. Everyone engaged. We absolutely underestimated the room size we needed for these discussions. The Fair literally overflowed out the doors as attendees discovered current products, solutions and applications making the Industrial Internet real today. Our engineers, and those of our sponsors, were exhausted after hours of intense conversations.

At GE, we've invested three years and $1B on developing products, processes and new ways of operating to help customers on their Industrial Internet journey. Impressive. But what amazed me last week, and what continues to inspire me, is how our customers are using these tools and their data to drive business outcomes and culture transformations. And now they are taking the next step. They understand that these learnings can’t live in business and industry silos. We need to learn from each other. Push each other. Together we can accelerate our path to greater productivity and no unplanned downtime.

As our Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said during his keynote, “This is not something that you can sit on the sidelines and pretend like it's not for your company.” Listening in the hallways during the User Summit, our customers have already taken this message to heart.

I’m already looking forward to seeing where these new ideas will have taken us at next year’s User Summit.

Discover the latest innovations in the Industrial Internet. We will continue to update and maintain this area of our website as you and others bring new ideas, new processes and new solutions to your operations.

Renee Armstrong

Always willing to try new things in marketing, Renee is “connecting” via collaborative technologies every day. Look for Renee on Twitter @ReneeKArmstrong and follow her tweets about the Industrial Internet and how it is changing the industry today.

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