Things are coming together at Invensys Operations Management (IOM), the new alignment of businesses at Invensys plc (www.invensys.com), the London-based automation conglomerate. Formation of the IOM unit was first announced on May 14, with the additional announcement on June 8 that Sudipta Bhattacharya—formerly president of the company’s Wonderware automation software unit—has been named chief executive officer and business president of the new IOM division.
IOM, to be based in Plano, Texas, brings together Foxboro, Triconex, Avantis and SimSci-Esscor, collectively known as Invensys Process Solutions (IPS), along with Wonderware and Eurotherm. And the key phrase is “Operations Management.” That is the unifying theme of the new organization. Significantly, Bhattacharya personifies that integration with experience both in the process control world and in enterprise software, having spent five years at enterprise software giant SAP AG prior to joining Wonderware in 2007.
All for one
Bhattacharya took some time out recently to talk with Automation World about the new IOM division, its direction and structure. It's obvious that he is moving rapidly to mold the new company into one unit. “There will be one product group, one common development, one single roadmap,” he said. Already in progress is the development of product management teams composed of people from all relevant groups within the company.
For the past few years, IPS seemed to be all about client services, while Wonderware was the software arm. The newer product group called InFusion was housed within IPS, but was a software-based offering with much Wonderware-derived content. The new IOM is focused on capturing the Operations Management space. According to Bhattacharya, enterprise resource planning (ERP) faces the customer with applications such as order entry and fulfillment, while manufacturing execution systems (MES) have been point solutions focused on step-by-step execution of production processes. Over time, managers have realized that they need the real-time information contained in production systems, but at the same time, they need the context that can only come from ERP. This need is filled by applications called Operations Management.
The core competency of IOM consists of sophisticated control and safety products and solutions, said Bhattacharya, and these will receive the bulk of research and development investment. This is augmented with hardware-agnostic software. The idea is to avoid locking customers within a one-supplier system, but to work with those customers to help them achieve the goals they are seeking.
Bhattacharya plans to strengthen the existing distribution and system integrator channel that primarily exists within the Wonderware ecosystem by providing them products to sell across the former company boundaries.
IOM will continue to operate regionally. The regional functions will be led by members of the new Invensys Operations Management executive team, which are Steve Blair (North America), Ricardo Agostinelli (Latin America), Nabil Kassem (Asia Pacific and Middle East) and Stuart Batchelor (interim leader, Europe, Russia, Africa).
Blair has been President of IPS North America since August 2007. He has been with IPS since May 2003 and has held numerous Invensys roles, including sales and marketing director for IPS (UK) Ltd, vice president of Project Operations EMEA, and vice president of Sales in EMEA.
Agostinelli joined Foxboro Argentina in 1979, working in various positions including delivery manager, manufacturing manager and sales manager. In 1990, he was promoted to managing director.
Kassem is a veteran of the oil and gas and the information technology industries. He joined IPS in 2005 as the vice president and managing director of the Middle East Region.
Batchelor has more than 30 years of sales, engineering and industrial automation experience. He joined IPS in 2007 after serving for more than two years as UK business development manager for Jacobs Engineering Ltd.