In my last blog post, I outlined nine trends that are transforming the “I don’t know” architecture approach for legacy modernization. As examples, disruptive business models and the requirement to perform real-time advanced analytics have drastically transformed the way we approach these projects. Leveraging GE’s Predix platform is one way that Capgemini is addressing this issue.
For years, GE’s businesses have been collecting Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) data from their own factories and heavy industrial machines such as jet engines, wind turbines and MRI machines. GE uses this data to better understand how their products are performing, optimize its manufacturing processes and to offer new transactional models such as pay-for-outcomes.
After a few years, GE decided that the platform managing this data needed to modernize itself, and through GE Digital it created a platform based on an open-source stack of technologies largely centered around the Pivotal Cloud Foundry application platform.
The platform is called Predix, and in early 2016 it was made available to be used outside of GE. Predix provides developers and businesses with a cloud-based development platform featuring a variety of tools and technologies that are ideal for creating a modern application that can deliver the functionality needed today, and most importantly, evolve over time to support whatever comes next.
Predix is already cloud, IoT, mobile, artificial intelligence and advance data analytics friendly. It comes with technologies to store and manage structured and unstructured data such as photos and documents. It is based on the most modern techniques of development including Microservices, of which it provides a catalog of reusable services to select from. It supports the methods used to continually develop and release functionality throughout the day instead of months.
Most importantly, Predix is an ever growing platform that you can think of like a box of Legos, able to accommodate change. Because of GE’s own size, depth of experience and need to stay current, it will stay on top of the evolution in technologies, and add and incorporate them into the stack as they emerge. The Predix catalog of services can also be added to by developers like a marketplace of innovation and ideas.
Capgemini recently used the Predix platform to modernize an application used by a GE division to capture machine part maintenance information for the purpose of conducting predictive maintenance analytics. The legacy application was written in a much older version of Java, and GE wanted to take advantage of the Predix platform and its native mobile support. The architecture was modular for ease of future enhancement, readability and maintainability.
Capgemini used the Predix technology stack including Postgres, Microservices, Predix UI and Dashboard. We leveraged a bar-code scanner from iOS for the mobile app and we were able to reuse some of the legacy components. The result has been a much more scalable application with enhanced security features that is now capable of identifying or predicting when a part requires maintenance based on actual data instead of having to only follow a prescribed maintenance schedule.
Using the Predix platform allowed us to very quickly develop the new application, and make it ready for future growth on a platform that will allow us to accommodate future requirements that we have yet to even think about. And that is the real benefit of using Predix for legacy modernization.
This post is part of a series on Predix, an Industrial Internet platform created by GE to turn real-time operational data into actionable insights. As a member of the GE Digital Alliance Program – an ecosystem of global systems integrators, independent software vendors, telecommunications service providers, and technology providers – Capgemini provides a range of services for Predix from strategy and application development through implementation. To help business leaders understand how Predix can help with their Industrial Internet journey, Capgemini has developed a series of blogs on the technology behind Predix, and its applicability in various sectors. To learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.