I recently wrote a post about Honeywell’s digital aspirations. The anchor to the digital transformation is Honeywell Connected Enterprise’s ‘Forge’ Product. The Forge Product is an enterprise performance management system meant to be an operating model for industry. I wrote my post about Honeywell here: Hungry Honeywell.
I also recently wrote about Microsoft’s “Energy Wildcatter” presence. Microsoft is partnering up with the leading firms of the energy landscape. Through a mix of power purchase agreements and algorithmic treaties, Microsoft is locking in its’ IT operating system within the new energy OT environment. The moves are very smart. The article can be found here: Microsoft the Surprise Wildcatter.
Well, the two firms are now colliding. Honeywell has selected Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and Dynamics 365 Field Service platform architecture to be the backbone of Honeywell Forge. This move makes sense for two key reasons:
1- Microsoft suite tools are already the standard IT platform for most energy, industrial and manufacturing customers that Honeywell serves. Defaulting to Microsoft is really just meeting the customer where the customer already is…
2- Honeywell is a leader in OT. Pairing subject matter expertise in OT with the traditional leader in IT brings topical and architectural expertise together.
The initial use cases where Honeywell and Microsoft will collaborate are on: digitized maintenance, energy optimization, and OT cybersecurity. Energy & industrial customers are quite savvy on these topics and the market is ready for them now – meaning these should be good launching points for the Forge-Azure partnership.
Finally, this move is very smart for Microsoft. They are clearly not intent just being a player in the energy transformation. Microsoft has set its’ sight on being the IT backbone for the industrial transformation as well. This Honeywell contract and the downstream effect for how Honeywell and their customers are committing to the Azure framework will pay dividends to Microsoft for decades to come…