During its press conference at Hannover Fair, Siemens
explained that the near-term focus for the company's Industry Sector would be
on industrial software, vertical expertise and its services business.
As with most large industrial suppliers, stronger vertical
industry positioning and growth of services/consulting have been major factors
for the past two or three years.
Services, consulting and maintenance programs in particular, have become
increasingly major sources of business for large industry suppliers, such as
Siemens, given the reduction in the full-time engineering workforce required to
operate most industrial facilities today.
Therefore, Siemens announcement around its increasing focus
on software is of greatest interest.
"We see the future as concurrent engineering occurring on a
common platform, allowing production planning and design optimization to occur
in parallel," said Prof. Dr. Siegfried Russwurm , CEO of Siemens' Industry
With the industrial software market expected to grow at a
rate of 8 percent a year between now and 2015 (especially when compared to the
projected 5 percent growth per year expected for vertical industry sectors and
related services), the company's heightened focus on this area makes a lot of
sense. It also speaks to changes the company clearly sees from machine
designers and system builders, as software increasingly becomes a major player
in the design process -- both in the design stages and as part of the delivered
Siemens software focus will largely revolve around expansion
of its TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal (you
can read more about TIA Portal here
) and PLM (product lifecycle management )
software, as well as its MES and HMI software. The company's vision is to
enable a combined product and production lifecycle using a joint data model,
allowing all software applications to access the same database for concurrency.
This vision of Siemens is still a work in progress and
requires integration of its own software with that of its acquisitions over the
last few years, such as UGS, Innotec, and Elan Software.
When asked during the press conference whether Siemens
growth strategy in software involved further acquisitions or if growth would be
organic from existing resources, Russwurm responded that the company is "open
to both" options.
Personally, I think some major announcements will be
forthcoming in this area -- likely before the year is out.