GE said today that it would start using a new enterprise software platform developed by the cloud-based content company Box to connect its global employees and simplify how they work together.
GE employs 300,000 employees in more than 170 countries and soon the tool will allow many of them, including GE customers and partners, to securely collaborate online and access, store and share data from tablets smartphones and other connected devices.
GE has been designing mobile applications and other cloud-based tools for workers to give them the freedom to collaborate, simplify how they go about their jobs, and give them more speed and agility.
Aaron Levie, co-founder and chief executive of Box, wrote on his company blog that “in recent years, GE has become one of the most tech-centric companies of the Fortune 500. While GE has a long history of technology-driven innovation, few enterprises of its scale have reinvented themselves by putting information technology at the center of their competitive strategy.”
“They already have lots of employees who do a lot of work off site, using 50,000 iPhones and 30,000 iPads,” Levie told the New York Times. “They need new tools to work with this.”
GE has started connecting jet engines, power plants, locomotives and other “intelligent” machines to the Industrial Internet. The Box platform will be also able to accommodate industrial-strength Big Data.
Jamie S. Miller, senior vice president and chief information officer at GE told the NYT that “a team doing sales in Argentina, engineering in Schenectady, N.Y., and manufacturing in France can seamlessly integrate with each other and collaborate on the same product.”
Said Miller: “We’re diverse, we’re everywhere and we work at a huge scale – we need to work more with cloud computing.”