This is the first in a series of posts from the technical staff that GE Software had on the ground at Cloud Foundry Summit. Read on to find out what Denny learned from three different presentations.

It’s typical at conference to hear companies “show off and tell” their stories, but the presentations at the Cloud Foundry Summit stressed the importance of teamwork, collaboration, adaptation, and the word “we.” Refreshingly, I heard leaders calling for progress through sharing knowledge rather than hording it. Here are some of the highlights from the presentation I attended.

“Not All Clouds Are Created Equal”

Brian Gallagher, president of the Cloud Management Division at EMC Corporation, described the disconnect between the perception that all clouds are created equal and the experiences of many of his customers, especially early adopters. He painted a vision of a multi-cloud future with Cloud Foundry at the center enabling cloud native applications.

“I’m 140% confident that in five years time we’ll look back at this community and say these folks here have changed the world.” 


“Managing Cultural Transformation”

A company familiar with changing the world was next on the docket, ushered in (appropriately) by “Danger Zone” from Top Gun. Kevin Carlson, Christine Chesnick, and Cecil Miller spoke on behalf of Lockheed Martin, with Carlson delivering a succinct synopsis of Lockheed’s challenges and triumphs with cloud technology. Carlson emphasized the responsibility they have to protect some very secret and sensitive data. They have had to develop an ecosystem of people, processes, and technology that deliver that security in a flawless manner. It has also required a large shift in culture. They had to embrace automation and change, think outside the box, and figure out what DevOps means for Lockheed Martin. In a company that enjoys the engineering process, they also had to work against their inclination to over-engineer by actively reducing complexity and driving innovation in a cost-effective manner to deliver business value and stay competitive.

“We have to think smarter, faster and try not to over-engineer.”


“Cloud Foundry for the Internet of (Really Important) Things”

A little self-deprecating humor never hurts when a crowd starts getting glassy-eyed from speeches and slides. And that’s just what Harel Kodesh, vice president and chief technology officer of GE Software, delivered as he dove into his keynote.

“Some of you are wondering what a GE executive is doing at a conference like this,” Kodesh said with a smile. “It’s almost like a crop duster going to an organic grower conference, but let me explain over the next 15 minutes and maybe I’ll be able to convince you that what we’re working on is the same thing you’re working on.”

More than polite laughter filled the room as Kodesh worked his way through a series of interesting slides and statistics, specifically:

  • The Internet of things includes 19% of the S&P 500 Market Cap today.
  • GE is firmly connected to the Internet of Things, combining brilliant machines, advanced sensors, and tons of data that businesses need to run more efficiently and be more profitable. This is tomorrow’s growth opportunity.
  • The lifespan of industrial products is fundamentally different from consumer Internet products. For example, the average wearables life is six months, but an airplane turbine needs to work daily for 25 years or more, a responsibility GE takes seriously.
  • The stakes for reliability are also much higher. A dropped call is usually not the end of the world, though it is the biggest cell phone complaint, but industrial connectivity is mission critical to operations. A huge oil spill is damaging to the environment and costs millions, possibly billions to clean up. Huge difference.
  • The amount of data generated by industry is another ball game. Real time feeds on Twitter generate 80GB of data a day; GE jet engines generate 500GB of data in one flight.
  • GE analyzes wind turbine usage with Predix to create more efficient blades.
  • Deep economical decisions are made from the big data GE collects every day.
  • The data ingested comes in every microsecond so there’s a lot of data to ingest. GE has to put it somewhere, analyze it and that’s what Cloud Foundry enables GE to do as we solve problems through Predix.

“The Industrial Internet is too big for GE, even as a 305,000 employee company, to take on itself,” Kodesh said. “We would like to see the whole community come to work with us and really push the envelope on what we’re calling the Industrial Internet.”

“At the end of the day, this is just the beginning. I’m looking forward to being here again next year, working with you folks, and anybody else that wants to join us, on really pushing forward this Industrial Internet. I think it’s going to be great.”


> Read about Harel Kodesh's thoughts on the Summit

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