Aveva Connects its Software for Industrial Interaction

Oct. 31, 2023
Aveva Connect makes the company’s vision for connected industrial ecosystems available to a broader mix of companies across industry and is reportedly delivering 10% higher profitability, 3x ROI and up to 20% higher sustainability performance.

At last year’s Aveva World event, the company announced its intent to bring its range of software technologies together to deliver one end-to-end, artificial intelligence-infused software for engineering and operations—all accessible via one pane of glass. At the time, Rob McGreevy, chief product officer at Aveva, said Aveva’s vision is to create a connected community where users still own all their data but can securely share it with equipment vendors, suppliers and customers.

This year’s announcement of Aveva Connect at the 2023 Aveva World event demonstrates the company’s progress toward delivering this vision.

Aveva Connect is the company’s industrial cloud platform developed to enable users to securely connect and visualize their engineering and operations data and enable collaboration with trusted partners and customers. In announcing the wide availability of Connect, Aveva noted that Connect and the Microsoft Fabric data analytics solution are now interoperable to help users streamline the process of collecting, transforming and organizing data from various sources.

“Successful connected industrial ecosystems depend on breaking down siloes and having access to the same set of trusted data,” said Caspar Herzberg, CEO of Aveva. “Their ability to do this depends on IT and operations knowledge. Aveva Connect brings disparate software systems together so that they operate together in cloud, on-premises or hybrid [a mix of on-premises and cloud deployment]. Connect is the gateway to an unlimited world of analytics from Aveva and third-party providers.”

Herzberg added that one of the key aspects of Connect is that “you don’t just see data but can interact with it.”

Cloud-driven connections

The technologies underlying Aveva Connect have been around for decades, noted McGreevy, “but interconnectivity via the cloud to collect, capture, share and analyze data has really developed in just the past few years. We’re building on our experience to digitally design new capital assets and scan existing ones to bring them into this connected system. This mirror image digital twin of the real world provides amazing opportunities we haven’t had before and leads toward industrial software’s increasingly highly connected and interactive capabilities. One of the subtle things about this shift—beyond capturing increasing amounts of data—is how do you do something with it. From interacting with SAP or setting a control point on the plant floor, that’s what we can do by leveraging our history and in-house domain expertise in addition to the insights from our thousands of system integrator partners.”

Kim Custeau, executive vice president of portfolio management at Aveva, added that three key aspects of Aveva’s strategy with Connect involve: protecting customers’ existing investments through an open platform, leveraging the company’s broad base of domain expertise and using the cloud to enact this. “By harnessing the power of our installed base and bringing it to the cloud, we can see, analyze and think about new problems we can solve. Our role is about creating that enablement. Some of the problems we need to solve we don’t know about yet but the capabilities of Connect enable us and our users to do that.”

Referencing Aveva customers already using Connect, Herzberg said, "Industry leaders are already unlocking 10% higher profitability, 3x return on investment and up to 20% higher sustainability performance. Yet the true benefits go beyond the numbers. Connected digital insights enables you to turn volatility into commercial opportunity by transforming industrial production into digital insights so that you can boost efficiency, resilience and sustainable impact.”

Key differentiators

Explaining how Aveva’s scope of vision has changed with the development of Connect, Herzberg said, “We went from putting the software we have on Connect to realizing that, for our customers to be successful, they need to have access to other suppliers’ software too. That why Connect—and our vision for it—is about open ecosystems.”

He said that several software packages from other companies will be on Connect by this time next year. “And analytics providers—even ones that compete with us” will be included in this, he said. “Our plan is to have thousands of companies’ technologies on Connect.”

This cloud-first approach represents a dramatic technology change for industrial software not just in terms of where and how data is stored and accessed but in the significant lowering of costs to access this software via SaaS (software-as-a-service). McGreevy pointed out that Connect is already enabling the delivery of its larger software applications to smaller companies. “For some applications we’re already delivering this through use of a small edge device connected to the cloud for analysis,” he said. “And the rate at which price points [for these technologies] are coming down is accelerating. Ten years ago, vibration analysis technologies could cost up to $250,000. Now you have access to even more advanced technology for $10,000-$15,000.”

Custeau added that this broader access to advanced software technologies means that data scientists will only be used for complex tasks in the near future. “We’ll all become data analysts because the tech is making it easier for users at all levels. When you have access to content in an easy-to-digest format, you can have more people applying analyses and developing more use cases.”

Aveva commissioned Forrester Research to conduct a Total Economic Impact study based on interviews with users of Aveva Data Hub (a key component of Aveva Connect). This research was designed to understand how Aveva customers are using digital insights to accelerate value, drive agility and unlock sustainability and efficiency gains. Combing the survey results to represent a composite organization showed that, over a three-year period, the “organization” saw an improvement in operational efficiency of 1-2%, resulting in cost savings of $405,000 and a return on investment of 466% in less than six months.

About the Author

David Greenfield, editor in chief | Editor in Chief

David Greenfield joined Automation World in June 2011. Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge and media experience to his position, David’s contributions can be found in AW’s print and online editions and custom projects. Earlier in his career, David was Editorial Director of Design News at UBM Electronics, and prior to joining UBM, he was Editorial Director of Control Engineering at Reed Business Information, where he also worked on Manufacturing Business Technology as Publisher. 

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