Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

hpe servers small

ABB partners with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to bring IoT intelligence to industrial plants

Companies say the new partnership will provide “actionable insights across industrial plants, cloud and on-premises data centers for higher productivity and innovation” 

ABB and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have agreed a strategic global partnership that combines ABB’s digital offerings, through ABB Ability, with HPE’s hybrid information technology solutions.

The companies say the partnership will provide customers with solutions that “generate actionable insights from vast amounts of industrial data” to increase the efficiency and flexibility of their operations and create competitive advantage.

The companies say they will combined ABB’s “deep domain expertise” in operations technologies and HPE’s expertise in information technology to provide an integrated OT-IT solution to customers. 

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

Employing what the companies say is “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.


ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, says: “This strategic partnership marks the next level of the digital industrial transformation.

“Together, we will bring intelligence from cloud-based solutions to on-premises deployments in industrial plants and data centers for greater uptime, speed and yield.

“ABB and HPE will deliver solutions that span the entire range of computing required by enterprises today, from the edge to the cloud to the core.”

With an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions, ABB is clearly one of the largest companies in the industrial space, and has a four-decade-long history of creating digital solutions for customers.

HPE in turn is a global technology company which helps customers optimize their IT environments with secure, software-defined technologies that the company says “seamlessly integrate” across traditional IT, multiple public and private clouds and the intelligent edge to drive key business outcomes.

Meg Whitman, CEO, HPE, says: “This alliance between two global leaders is unprecedented in terms of breadth and depth, and it will be ground-breaking for the progress of the Industrial Internet of Things.

“Together with ABB, we will 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.

“This partnership will create exciting business opportunities for our joint customers.”

To provide what they describe as “a true end-to-end experience for customers”, the ABB-HPE partnership will include co-innovation, co-development, joint go to market and service.

Research firm IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on the Internet of Things will grow to $1.4 trillion in 2021 from an expected $800 billion in 2017.

The largest investments are being made in areas such as manufacturing, transportation and utilities.

To tap into the opportunities of the IoT, companies are investing in new solutions that digitize their industrial equipment and integrate it with their broader IT environments.

By joining forces, ABB and HPE are bringing together the capabilities needed to accelerate this transformation.

Computing where it is required

Running data acquisition, analytics and control processes near industrial equipment helps customers avoid the latency, security and reliability issues associated with data communication through remote IT systems.

ABB and HPE say they will jointly develop, market and service digital industrial solutions that help customers:

  • Create deep 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; and
  • 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.

The partnership will enable ABB Ability solutions to run on hybrid platforms such as HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, enabling customers to deploy applications to their preferred location – on HPE infrastructure in industrial plants and data centers or in the Microsoft Azure public cloud – to meet the specific requirements regarding performance, security or cross-site collaboration.

ABB and HPE will also deliver joint solutions for data centers, including:

Data center automation – to enable data center power, cooling and building systems automatically adapt to changing IT demands or incidents.

To that end, ABB and HPE will integrate ABB Ability Data Center Automation, which controls, monitors and optimizes mission-critical datacenter facilities infrastructure, with HPE OneView, HPE’s IT infrastructure automation software.

Secure edge data center – specifically designed to run in harsh industrial environments, bringing enterprise-grade IT capacity closer to the point of data collection and machine control.

This solution is being developed in collaboration between ABB, HPE and Rittal, the world’s largest manufacturer of IT racks, and will be an off-the-shelf ready IT data center solution for industrial customers enabling real-time insight and action.

The partnership was announced yesterday at the HPE Discover conference in Madrid, where both companies demonstrated their first jointly developed solutions and prototypes.