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Tue 12 Jan 2016 10:52 AM

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Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO of the MidEast at General Electric: The year of the digital industrial economy

In today’s climate of economic uncertainty, sustaining growth momentum calls for quantum jumps in productivity and efficiency.

Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO of the MidEast at General Electric: The year of the digital industrial economy

The MENA region has evolved significantly in the past decade. Earlier, our role was as technology providers delivering ‘products’ that run power plants, aircraft, oil and gas fields, and hospitals.

Today, our role has changed dramatically. The region now looks for solutions that are comprehensive and add tangible value to the economy. Governments and the private sector seek partnerships to help them achieve their goals of sustainability, efficiency, localisation and human capital development. GE has emerged as the solutions partner for the region focusing not just on delivering the most advanced technology but also in supporting our partners to achieve larger goals that bring positive change to the communities.

Our strategy has been to support the region in driving its infrastructure development, and in aligning our business model to promote a culture of localised innovation and human capital development. Now, we see yet another shift – from industrial solutions to the digital industrial applications that not only meet the overarching development goals but also contribute to enhanced productivity and efficiency across the supply chain.

Within GE, we have just marked this power transformation by evolving as a digital industrial company. Our goal is to be among the top 10 software companies globally by 2020. This has great significance for the region, where we have had a strong operational presence for over 80 years.

In 2015, we took the pivotal step in introducing our Industrial Internet technologies for our customers. The region also became the first world-wide to embrace these technologies in sectors as varied as oil and gas, water, power, lighting, energy, healthcare and aviation. As we move forward, our goal is to engage our customers and the community to become active participants in this journey.

The focus on the digital industrial economy will be at the heart of everything we do in 2016. We will emphasise four key pillars: Productivity, Predictivity, Efficiency and Innovation. In today’s climate of economic uncertainty, sustaining growth momentum calls for quantum jumps in productivity and efficiency. Existing assets must be optimised so that we not only maximise productivity but achieve it with greater efficiency.

That calls for the integration of industrial machinery with specific tool kits powered by information technology to foresee challenges (predictivity), address them swiftly (efficiency) and achieve the best results (productivity).

Powered by Predix, the world’s first cloud-based operating system built exclusively for industry, GE’s Industrial Internet ushers in a new digital industrial economy, which will define the growth of all core sectors of the region’s economy in 2016.

To drive this, we are also engaging with the youth and professional community in the MENAT region. We are promoting a culture of localised innovation and have launched a dedicated platform called Predix.io.

Industrial developers and software professionals can work on this world’s first and largest marketplace for industrial applications to bring innovative solutions that support growth and development. We understand the importance of promoting collaboration and co-creation, and have invested in dedicated technology centers for oil and gas and aviation, among other sectors.

For example, our new Middle East Aviation Technology Center in Dubai will develop physics-based analytics, employ data science, and co-create software solutions with the MENAT region’s airlines. It will complement our long-term partnerships with the region’s airlines.

We are also working with Masdar to pilot and commercialise sustainable energy-neutral advanced wastewater treatment solutions in the UAE and MENAT region.

Our new Monitoring & Diagnostics Centers in Saudi Arabia and UAE will provide unprecedented insights for our power sector clients in identifying any potential concerns with the operations of turbines, thus assuring seamless operations and asset optimisation. In this cyclical climate of oil price volatilities, we have responded positively and creatively by supporting our partners to achieve new levels of efficiency.

As the world moves into the era of ‘Internet of Things,’ our Industrial Internet serves as ‘the internet of really big things’ and helps unlock a potential 20 percent increase in performance for our customers.

These solutions could help unlock $465bn in economic value for industry across the MENAT and Pakistan by 2025 annually. This is a never-before opportunity that helps meet infrastructure needs but also supports the region’s focus on job creation and developing a domestic supply chain centred on localised manufacturing. The digital industrial economy has effectively rolled out; it will now play a defining role in shaping a new narrative of growth for the region’s core economic sectors to bring a positive difference to the people.

Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO of the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey at General Electric.

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