Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced a global partnership with global engineering company ABB to enable enterprises to generate insights from the vast amounts of industrial data their operations produce.

The alliance will include co-innovation, co-development, joint go-to-market and service. According to HPE CEO Meg Whitman, it will be “unprecedented in terms of breadth and depth” and “ground-breaking for the progress of the Industrial Internet of Things.”

Their collaboration will be based on combining ABB digital offerings, ABB Ability with HPE’s information technology products.

It’s the latest in a series of partnerships between global industrial companies and global software companies aimed at exploiting the IoT opportunity. IoT Hub reported recently a tie-up between Siemens and Software AG, based on Siemens MindSphere IoT platform and Software AG.

Nor is it ABB’s only IoT alliance with a global IT company. ABB announced in October 2016 a partnership with Microsoft to “help industrial customers create new value with digital solutions … [and to work on] empowering digital transformation in customer segments such as robotics, marine and ports, electric vehicles and renewable energy.”

ABB said it had selected Microsoft Azure as the cloud partner for its integrated connectivity platform.

In April 2017 ABB announced a strategic collaboration to bring together ABB Ability and IBM Watson’s cognitive capabilities to “unlock new value for customers in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure.”

ABB claims an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions. ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer hailed the partnership as marking the next level of the digital industrial transformation, saying ABB and HPE would “deliver solutions that span the entire range of computing required by enterprises today, from the edge to the cloud to the core.”

Whitman said the two companies would “shape a digital industrial future where everything computes, equipping machines with intelligence to collaborate, allowing plants to flexibly adapt to changing demands, and enabling global supply chains to instantaneously react to incidents.”

ABB and HPE say they will deliver joint industry solutions that merge OT and IT to turn industrial data into insights and automatic action by combining widely-adopted cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure with IT systems running in corporate data centres and at the edge of the network.

Specifically, the partnership will enable ABB Ability applications to run on hybrid platforms such as HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack (Microsoft’s recently announced version of Azure for deployment in customer premises), enabling customers to deploy applications on HPE infrastructure in industrial plants and data centres or in the Microsoft Azure public cloud – to meet requirement of performance, security or cross-site collaboration.

The two companies say employing the right mix of IT platforms will accelerate data processing in industrial plants and at the same time enable effective control of industrial processes across locations.

They plan to jointly develop, market and service digital industrial solutions that help customers:

  • Create insights and automatic action from industrial data by running ABB Ability applications on enterprise-grade IT systems close to the industrial equipment to accelerate the processing of vast amounts of data
  • Manage and control industrial processes across the supply chain – by leveraging hybrid IT to provide a seamless experience from edge to cloud to core, making critical data available across locations.