- 19 November 2003 13:34
Microsoft, Invensys Form Alliance for Intelligent Business,
Alliance Will Accelerate Development of Solutions Leveraging Invensys ArchestrA, Microsoft’s Platform and Products; Customers Such as SABMiller Already Benefiting
Today at ISA EXPO 2003, Microsoft Corp. and Invensys plc announced an alliance to combine Invensys’ strengths in process and manufacturing applications and expertise in key industry segments with Microsoft’s platform, technology and enterprise products. The alliance will drive a new generation of Invensys solutions to provide manufacturers with real-time visibility in their plant environments and supply chains.
Although Invensys has long developed solutions using Microsoft® technology, under the alliance, Invensys will tightly integrate Microsoft’s platform into the company’s future offerings. Microsoft also will help Invensys accelerate the development of its enhanced productivity tools, products and customer solutions with broad, horizontal appeal to the manufacturing industry and specific benefits for the hydrocarbons, power and utilities, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing segments.
“Our joint development, training and engagement model under the alliance will ensure we deliver solutions with the functionality, longevity, robustness and security that our customers demand,” said Leo Quinn, chief operating officer for Invensys Production Management. “The solutions will help our customers address many of the issues that are keeping them awake at night — such as speed to market, the diversion of investment to infrastructure issues at the expense of value-added applications, and the retention of intellectual property as more and more highly skilled professionals retire.”
The cornerstones of the alliance will be provided by more strongly linking Invensys’ ArchestrA architecture with Microsoft .NET and Microsoft’s Windows Server System™ integrated server software. Invensys solutions built on the ArchestrA architecture empower decision-makers to achieve their business goals without abandoning previous investments in automation systems, production processes or intellectual property. The ArchestrA architecture provides a common foundation for industrial automation solutions and can effectively integrate with all disparate systems in a plant. By working more closely with Microsoft .NET, Invensys solutions built on ArchestrA will be able to bridge all levels of the enterprise and take advantage of the unparalleled installed base of Microsoft products and productivity tools in the manufacturing environment.
“We believe this is going to be a successful alliance and a great example of how we’re continuing to work with market leaders that use our platform to build solutions that focus on critical areas for our manufacturing customers, such as providing real-time visibility into their plant floors,” said Charles Johnson, worldwide managing director of the manufacturing industry solutions group at Microsoft. “Invensys not only has the demonstrated domain expertise in a number of important vertical segments, but also one of the longest track records of successfully developing go-to-market solutions based on the Microsoft platform.”
For example, Invensys’ ArchestrA plant automation and information software architecture was designed from the ground up to take advantage of Microsoft .NET and to extend the life of a customer’s existing systems. In addition, Invensys is the world’s second-largest supplier of Microsoft SQL Server™ and was the first major automation company to incorporate Windows® operating system-based workstation applications into a large-scale process control system. In 1996, with the introduction of I/A Series on Windows NT®, Invensys was also the first major automation company to incorporate Windows workstation applications into a large-scale process control system.
More recently, Invensys was the first company to utilize Windows XP for process control system applications and the first to use Windows CE in an optionally redundant industrial module. And today, Invensys is announcing one of the first mobile manufacturing solutions that will run on Windows XP for the Tablet PC.
The alliance’s first goal will be to extend the Invensys ArchestrA architecture using Microsoft .NET to create an adaptive collaborative environment for easily and effectively integrating all production management systems from enterprise resource planning and warehouse management to customer relationship management. The end result will be a complete business framework based on Microsoft .NET and Web services for the manufacturing plant or process of the future.
On a different level, Invensys and Microsoft engineers also are working together closely to embed ArchestrA at the device level to create Invensys automation systems that are fully appropriate for mission-critical industrial applications.
The two companies anticipate that their alliance ultimately will do the following:
Drive solutions that provide real-time connections between shop floor, engineering, supply chain and product life-cycle management tools and enterprise applications
Maximize customers’ investments while increasing overall productivity
Increase uptime and asset availability for managing multiple sites, integrating with partners and optimizing complex supply chains
Prove that technology and solutions from Invensys and Microsoft will be robust, flexible, scalable and secure One customer already seeing benefits from Invensys and Microsoft working more closely together is the South African division of SABMiller plc, one of the world’s largest brewers. “With Invensys and Microsoft, we believe we are on the right path to achieving our operational goals for excellence across our brewing operations, but we are just taking the first steps,” said Thinus Van Schoor, automation manager at SABMiller. “We are encouraged by the results so far, like the significant cost savings from reduced engineering time and reuse of objects, and the way ArchestrA enables us to leverage standards and best practices. We also are pleased thus far with the ease of integration, and interoperability offered to other systems, as well as the overall flexibility.
“We have already captured a significant portion of our intellectual property in a library of ArchestrA objects, and we are making them available to all our plants,” Van Schoor added. “By leveraging the objects in our library, we can recognize significant savings. In fact, we are aggressively targeting engineering cost savings from reusable control modules, process specifications, and process classes or procedures.”
About Wonderware Wonderware is a business unit of Invensys Systems, Inc., and is the world’s leading supplier of industrial automation software. Founded in 1987, Wonderware pioneered the use of the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) operating system in HMI automation software for manufacturing operation systems. Wonderware powers intelligent plant decisions in real time. Based in Lake Forest, Calif., Wonderware has regional sales and development offices throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia to provide support to its network of more than 160 distributor offices. Wonderware has approximately 300,000 software licenses in approximately 100,000 plants worldwide, which is about 30 percent of the world’s 335,000 plants with 20 or more employees. For more information, visit the Wonderware Web site at www.wonderware.com
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
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