A Big Year for IIoT in MENA and Turkey, More to Come in 2018
Was 2017 a tipping point for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Turkey region? It certainly looked that way given all the activity GE Digital saw during the year.
A series of IIoT-powered initiatives, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE, helped set the pace for increased digitization in the MENA region. The agreements, projects and programs also demonstrated the many benefits that regional customers can achieve through digital solutions such as Asset Performance Management (APM), which tracks and optimizes assets, and ServiceMax, which allows for efficient use of field service engineers’ time.
Some of the most important digital projects of 2017 included working with the Obeikan Investment Group, GE Digital is helping to transform its manufacturing plants into smart factories that will enjoy higher productivity and efficiency.
In the UAE, the conglomerate Al-Futtaim is digitizing its end-to-end service and operational processes using the ServiceMax field service management platform. This digital transformation will be deployed on the mobile devices of more than 800 users at Al-Futtaim and is expected to go live in the first quarter of 2018.
In Turkey, GE Digital is partnering with Calik Holding to create a digital transformation roadmap for the company and to activate the in-house digital capabilities of Calik to serve industries such as construction, energy, mining and healthcare. GE Digital also is working with Turk Telecom to accelerate its digitization.
Alongside specific company projects, GE Digital signed agreements that reflect the extensive reach of the company. This includes the first-of-its-kind agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to bring GE Digital solutions at scale to the region. Initially it focused on cyber security solutions in Operational Technology, it later is expected to move into other digital solutions.
An agreement with Saudi Arabia’s National Digitization Unit will see GE Digital help drive the Kingdom’s digital industrial diversification and support Saudi youth in becoming key participants in Kingdom’s digital transformation.
Additionally, under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Health, GE Digital is working to support the digitization of healthcare in the Kingdom through digital solutions that will touch primary care facilities and hospitals.
Looking to the future, GE Digital recognizes that building the local software developer ecosystem is critical to enabling IIoT across the region. During the year, GE hosted hackathons in Turkey and Saudi Arabia on Predix, GE’s application development platform for IIoT apps.
In Egypt, GE Digital provided funding and Predix training for its Digital Innovation Challenge winners, while at NYU Abu Dhabi, the company participated in startAD. With Accenture, GE Digital partnered to host Think/Hack Global Hackathons in Istanbul and Dubai.
Looking ahead, 2018 and beyond look to be even more exciting, as GE Digital continues to drive the digital transformation, as regional governments continue to build focus on digital transformation, especially with the goal of leveraging the skills of the tech-savvy Arab youth. There is a clear understanding that digital is here and now, and not something to be applied in the distant future.
See and hear from the experts behind these GE Digital solutions in the region, by watching this video. Read more stories here about how GE Digital is helping customers across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.