New Cloud & Cybersecurity Strategy for Rockwell Automation

Rockwell acquires Plex, Fiix, Oylo, and Avnet adding cloud-based software and cybersecurity services to its industrial control portfolio.


Quick hits:

  • Rockwell Automation’s strategic acquisitions of Plex, Fiix, Oylo, and Avnet.
  • Rockwell’s new cybersecurity partnerships with Dragos and CrowdStrike.
  • Expanding global security services, Rockwell opens operations center in Israel. 

Related to this episode:  

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   Read the transcript below:

Welcome to Take Five with Automation World., I’m Stephanie Neil, and today I’m talking about Rockwell Automation’s latest acquisitions related to the supply chain and cybersecurity.

I recently spoke with Rockwell CEO Blake Moret, who told me that the company has been prioritizing acquisitions based on a new strategic framework around information solutions and connected services. And the biggest move made to date is the acquisition of Plex Systems, a provider of a single-instance, multi-tenant software-as-a-service manufacturing platform that delivers MES software and supply chain management capabilities from the cloud.

Completed in September, Rockwell bought Plex for $2.2 billion in cash, folding the company into Rockwell’s Software and Control operating segment. That came on the heels of the purchase of Fiix Inc., a cloud-based artificial intelligence-enabled computer maintenance management system, or CMMS. Together the technologies that these companies provide, position the automation supplier with a strong portfolio of cloud-native offerings for its manufacturing customers’ production systems.

Moret said: “We’ve produced intelligent products on the factory floor where data is born, but landing that data into software apps that provide additional insight is important. And the Plex smart manufacturing platform does just that. In addition, Fiix takes data from the plant floor and applies artificial intelligence to help with predictive maintenance.”

Moret went on to say that the Fiix AI-enabled system connects teams, tools, data, and processes that could lead to the ability to make changes in a closed-loop autonomous control fashion.

And, when asked how these new tools could help manufacturers deal with supply chain disruptions that are currently causing major problems, Moret said that the Plex platform includes supply chain planning modules to gain better visibility into what materials and components are available for production and to help inform a flexible manufacturing strategy.

And, of course, with all of this data moving around, there is a need for security.

Last month, Rockwell announced new investments in its IT and OT cybersecurity offerings that includes new partnerships with Dragos for its threat intelligence services, and CrowdStrike a provider of a cloud-delivered endpoint and workload protection platform.

This is in addition to Rockwell’s recent acquisition of a company called Oylo, a cybersecurity services provider based in Barcelona that provides assessments, turnkey implementations, managed services, and incident response. And the company purchased Avnet Data Security, an Israeli-based cybersecurity service provider.

And that all leads to the opening up of Rockwell’s Cybersecurity Operations Center in Israel. The center, which opened in November, focuses on delivering remote cybersecurity services to global customers, adding to the company’s existing footprint of 15 remote service centers around the world.

Moret also told me that the company is expanding its focus in semiconductor production and in automated warehousing for e-commerce applications. And, in 2022 all of the pieces will be integrated to address specific industry challenges. 

So there’s more to this story coming, and we will continue to deliver all the latest news to you in 2022. That’s it for this edition of Take Five with Automation World.

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