Uptake Names Digital Veteran Ganesh Bell as Its President

As a key player in the growth of GE Power’s Industrial Internet of Things business, Bell will now help the predictive analytics software startup go after the IIoT market.

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Industry has been seeing an increasing number of predictive analytics companies making their way out of the woodwork, trying to snatch a piece of the sizable Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market—one that could add more than $14 trillion to the global economy by 2030, if Accenture has estimated correctly. Though it’s not always easy to pick which of those companies will have a true impact on the industrial space, one startup that seems to be getting itself in an awfully good position is Chicago-based Uptake.

The latest splash from Uptake comes with the announcement that Ganesh Bell—GE’s first chief digital officer and a creative and innovative force in digital technology—will join the startup as its president. He will be responsible for scaling Uptake's products, go-to-market strategy, customer success and execution.

At GE, Bell led groundbreaking work in unleashing data to help the industrial sector optimize production. He was chief digital officer of GE Power and also CEO of GE Power Digital, and was instrumental in building GE’s digital transformation business through digital twins and the company’s Predix platform. While at GE, Bell was named No. 11 on Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2017. Prior to GE, Bell was chief products officer and executive vice president at ServiceSource, and has held leadership positions across platforms, analytics and applications at SAP, PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Ganesh and me to leverage our strengths and accelerate Uptake's growth in this trillion-dollar industrial IoT market. By staying true to our founder-led vision while adding a globally recognized and impactful leader, we will prove that our collective efforts are greater than the sum of the parts,” said Brad Keywell, co-founder and CEO of Uptake. “Together, we will continue to assemble the best talent to deliver the valuable and impactful outcomes our industrial customers need.”

As Uptake takes on GE in the predictive analytics space, Bell isn’t the first high-level GE employee to make the move over to the startup. In October, Uptake brought on Michael Donahue, who’s held multiple c-suite positions at GE Power, and Tom Anderson, previously vice president of enterprise technology at GE Digital, as well as other c-level positions throughout the organization. With a strong focus on the energy sector, Uptake has also snagged employees from key renewables companies, including DNV GL’s wind business.

Uptake leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop software that makes global industry more reliable, productive, safe and secure. Bell’s experience in helping define the IIoT sector will be critical as Uptake expands its global presence across eight industrial sectors.

“I’m fortunate to join Uptake at what is a seminal moment for the world’s industrial companies,” Bell said. “Software is the driving transformational force for industrial companies in an increasingly digital world. Uptake’s Industrial IoT platform is unique in its core of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. This allows our applications to deliver disproportionate value in the industrial markets we serve.”

Update was founded in 2014 by Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, two of the founders of Groupon, and has been making a name for itself as a thought leader. The company was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer for 2017; listed among Gartner’s Cool Vendors in IoT Solutions, 2017; and, just this month, was named to the Constellation ShortList for Customer Experience Internet of Things (IoT). Also in 2017, CNBC ranked Uptake No. 5 on its annual Disruptor 50 list and Forbes put Uptake at No. 22 on its Cloud 100 list.


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