Enterprise Control System Defined - OpsManage 2009

Enterprise Control System Defined - OpsManage 2009

Integration of Wonderware, Process Systems (IPS), Wonderware, and Eurotherm
 
By Bill Lydon - Contributing Editor
 
November 3-5, 2009 - Anaheim, CA
 
Keynote
Sudipta Bhattacharya, President & CEO Invensys Operations Management (IOM), opened OpsManage09 with his keynote presentation. Bhattacharya is a chemical engineer by profession and spent the first eight years of his career working as a process engineer in chemical plants. Prior to joining Invensys, Bhattacharya was with SAP.
 
Bhattacharya reported that conference attendance is up about 9% over last year with customer and partner attendance up by 16% and thanked customers and partners for their participation. 
 
Bhattacharya displayed energy, vision, conviction, and a plan that he openly shared, including the rationale for the company’s new organization and business approach.   The strategy is built around the premise that manufacturing needs an Enterprise Control System to integrate business systems and manufacturing in real-time. The concept of the Enterprise Control System he described encompasses everything from sensors and people in manufacturing to the ERP system. He emphasized that IOM is developing solutions, noting that the automation industry focuses too much on products.
 
This logic does make sense since ERP systems have been refined over a number of years and they create tremendous efficiencies in business operations.   Certainly I and others see the need for this integrated systems approach in manufacturing. This seems to be an elusive concept except at manufacturing companies that have extremely brilliant and industrious staff who assemble custom systems.
 
Partner Ecosystem
IOM is embracing partners in a way not seen before in this industry with their Partner Ecosystem that insures a uniform and high quality delivery of partner software. IOM is certifying partner applications, and in some cased helping productize the third party offering, selling them and paying royalties.   IOM has created the Federated Delivery Model - a conduit to bring innovate solutions to customers - that insures the delivery methodology of their products and Ecosystem partner products is the same.
 
Bhattacharya explained that IOM’s partner Ecosystem is, “an absolute pillar of our differentiation in the market.” IOM already has certified partners to build applications on the platform and provides theme royalties.   An example is the Wonderware Enterprise Integration Application which was really built by two partners. 
 
“Don't fight forces, use them.”
 
This is a mature management recognition that innovation comes from many places. By leveraging their Ecosystem, IOM can bring more innovative solutions to customers faster, therefore strengthening IOM’s position in the market.
 
 
“We are basically choosing to be different by making certain choices.  We have set some really ambitious targets of where we want to take the manufacturing world.”
Sudipta Bhattacharya, President & CEO Invensys Operations Management gave an enthusiastic presentation.
 
Bhattacharya made a good case that the “new organization” along with a technical platform and Partner Ecosystem can economically deliver Enterprise Control Systems.   Bhattacharya describes the goal of closing the “last mile of innovation.”
 
Why Invensys Operations Management?
Bhattacharya indicated that the rationale for creating Invensys Operations Management is to become the Manufacturing Operations Leader. He contrasted this with competitors that are “point solution MES vendors” and “Automation Suite vendors.” The vision is to provide value in four areas that are important to manufacturers, environment excellence, productivity excellence, asset excellence, and control/safety excellence. 
 
IOM Leadership Goal
 
 
He explained four divisions form IOM - IMServ, Invensys Process Systems (IPS), Wonderware, and Eurotherm. He noted, “…the timing of this was important for us because what we believe is that the manufacturing market is undergoing some fundamental changes…”
 
He acknowledged that no one, single company can solve all the problems and Invensys Operations Management is a holistic business model bringing together 1,300 product developers, 3,500 service delivery engineers, and an Ecosystem of partners to provide solutions.
 
ERP Analogy
Bhattacharya pointed that now is the time for Enterprise Control Systems in manufacturing, similar to the evolution of ERP systems in the IT industry. Integrated ERP offerings did not exist 30-35 years ago and users bought pieces from vendors and wrote software themselves to stitch together business systems with varying results. Today users buy a packaged EPR solution from SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and others. ERP systems, he observed, are now efficient and manufacturing plants are the bottleneck. Deploying Enterprise Control System is the next step to improve manufacturing operations.
 
“Our vision to be able to build what we call the Enterprise Control System,” say Bhattacharya. “Leveraging the core understanding we have of the automation world, of the control world, leveraging the core understanding we have of the software world, information management world and stitching those worlds together.”
 
What is an Enterprise Control System? 
Bhattacharya explains the ECS is based on open Archestra and Infusion architectures that he believes are 2 to 3 years ahead of the industry. “Our competition understands this, they want to do something very similar, what prevents them from doing it is their DNA.” He observed that competitors are fixated on increasing hardware sales and if they open up their core architecture it hurts their whole business model.
 
He described how IOM is committed to open architecture platforms to connect all the systems on the pant floor. “It doesn’t only have to be a control system from us….it could be anyone’s,” says Bhattacharya.
 
Platform Strategy
IOM’s platform strategy is designed to enable the use of all information sources to build applications throughout the enterprise. IOM has software connectors and is SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) enabled to expose the information and services that customers and partners need to extend and create applications.
 
 
Summary
Sudipta Bhattacharya may well be the leader that the company has needed. He has industry experience, and seems to value technologists, and is customer oriented.   The company’s people I talked with during the conference were enthusiastic and solidly support his leadership.
 
It will be interesting to watch how the industry receives the Enterprise Control System concept.