Pat Byrne is the Chief Executive Officer, GE Onshore Wind. He previously served as CEO, GE Digital. This post originally appeared in LinkedIn.
I spent a few days recently on a camping trip in Utah and Idaho with my family. Cell coverage was limited, so it was a chance to disconnect from business and connect with my grown kids. It’s always fun to get together since we live in different states.
We talked about a lot of things, including our work. At one point my daughter asked me if I thought I’d made the right decision joining GE. I answered with conviction.
When I joined GE a year ago to lead GE Digital, I knew that we could make it a growth business.
But at the time, the market wasn’t clear on who GE Digital was, or where it was going.
We certainly never expected the last months of global crises – from the forest fires in Australia to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this uncertainty, the last year has validated my conviction about GE Digital as a growth business, its role in GE, and the power of its purpose.
My decision to join was based on a compelling combination of factors: The GE brand and global reach, the tremendous technology and talent in the business, and the very real customer needs for digital transformation.
Our first priority was to build a “New” GE Digital, with a strong focus on our customers’ toughest challenges.
In addition to GE Digital’s original Manufacturing and Predix product lines, we brought in teams from GE Power Digital, GE Grid Software Solutions and GE Baker Hughes’ Oil & Gas digital team.
As we built a new leadership team, we also started to build a lean culture focused on a new Shared Purpose:
Transforming how industry solves its toughest challenges, by putting industrial data to work
At the time, we didn’t know how tough those challenges would be!
When COVID-19 outbreak changed how the world worked, I’m proud of how our team has stepped up. When the pandemic took hold, all 4,000 GE Digital colleagues moved to remote work – and they didn’t miss a beat.
Our product teams pivoted investment to fast-track our Remote Operations product offerings. Other remote monitoring and operations products were made freely available to customers as they worked to ensure safe work environments for their people.
Hundreds of customers use these offerings and continued to run their operations – serving millions of people around the world.
After 12 months, we are pleased to share that GE Digital is a growing business. Here’s why:
For many of our customers, digital transformation has been accelerated. All our business units are delivering growth this quarter, even during COVID-19 disruptions.
We anticipate solid growth in the second half, both sequentially and year-year.
We have brought on dozens of new customers, and deepened partnerships with leading industrial companies like P&G, Exelon, NYPA, Suncor and more. Our list of reference customers has grown this year as well.
We have doubled down on investing in innovation with customers. Over the last 12 months, we have announced 12 new products or product upgrades – right across our portfolio.
But we’re not done yet.
I’m excited to announce that we are planning to bring GE Aviation’s Software as a Service team into GE Digital in the coming months.
As many of you know, GE Aviation has been laser-focused on navigating its current market environment, and here in Digital, we’ve been deepening process improvement and operating rigor in our businesses.
As with GE Digital’s other verticals, the Aviation SaaS team is tasked with mission-critical data sharing, providing insights for commercial airlines, business jet operators and military to reduce operational costs, empower crew and improve passenger experience.
It’s a natural time to look at how we could bring our capabilities together. We believe that GE Digital is the right home for Aviation SaaS to grow while GE Aviation continues to manage its Connected Aircraft offerings with customers directly.
My role at General Electric is also adjusting.
In June, I picked up an additional responsibility within the GE leadership team – to work with the GE businesses to accelerate our lean transformation. We have a team of lean experts that work across GE businesses to accelerate lean capabilities and talent development. The focus is on results within the GE operating units and I’m excited about the progress already underway across GE.
People often think of lean as applicable for manufacturing businesses, but we are seeing just as much opportunity in software and services. Within GE Digital, our lean strategy is helping transform our business in a way that reduces waste and puts customer value first.
Lean and Digital are both powerful drivers for transformation. Using digital technologies to enable business process transformation across GE businesses is a priority for our work going forward.
Capitalize or not but keep consistent throughout. Larry doesn’t seem to capitalize.
Our customer relationships are strong on a global basis. These relationships form the basis for the on-going partnership that enables digital transformation. We are making progress on significant implementations at hundreds of customers and the durable value from our work together has put us in a strong position to continue to innovate in partnership with our customers.
GE Digital is committed to putting industrial data to work.
That’s why my conviction has never been stronger. That’s why I’m proud to be part of a team that is rising to the challenge.
Follow Pat on LinkedIn.
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