GE Hiring Thousands of Engineers to Build Industrial Web

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric Co. (GE), speaks during a keynote address at the Minds + Machines 2012: Unleashing the Industrial Internet conference in San Francisco. Close

Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric Co. (GE), speaks during a keynote... Read More

Close
Open
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric Co. (GE), speaks during a keynote address at the Minds + Machines 2012: Unleashing the Industrial Internet conference in San Francisco.

General Electric Co. (GE) is hiring thousands of engineers near San Francisco in a push to connect everything from jet engines to medical-imaging machines to the Web and help customers run equipment more efficiently.

“We’ve opened a software center in the East Bay, hiring thousands of software engineers to basically bring all the great innovation you’ve seen in Silicon Valley now to industry,” Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer at GE, said at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit in Half Moon Bay, California.

Comstock said GE is developing an “industrial Internet,” building networks that harvest data from commercial machines and offering services to help customers analyze the resulting reams of information. The company said last year that it was investing $1 billion in a facility in San Ramon and hiring engineers from Oracle Corp. (ORCL), SAP AG (SAP) and Symantec Corp. (SYMC) as well as Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt has stressed the savings potential from using data to tweak machines, saying that even a 1 percent improvement in the operations of commercial aircraft would translate into $2 billion less per year in fuel costs for GE’s customers in the airline industry.

As Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE adds sensors to jet engines, the next step is to help customers analyze all the resulting data, Comstock said.

“We probably haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to data when machines start talking to machines and machines start talking to people,” Comstock said. “We have to make sense of it.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Callie Bost in New York at cbost2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.