Schneider Electric banks on Internet of Things and academia collaboration to lead future growth

With the adoption of "connected devices" on the rise, energy management company Schneider Electric will be focussing on building its entire product portfolio to accommodate "smart technologies" and adopt an industry-academy collaboration strategy to further innovation and market opportunities.

The Euro 25 billion global company has shortlisted 100 universities and colleges across the globe to foster the partnership, which its EVP & chief technology officer, Prith Banerjee feels will help the company exploit the immense opportunity arising out of the Internet of Things (IoT).

It will also partner with industry players, start-up companies and others in this field.

The company in India is keen to rope in IITs, Jadavpur University and others under this programme.

As per studies referred by Banerjee, presently around five billion devices are IoT enabled which has a market impact of less than a trillion of dollars. However, this market, is poised to grow exponentially to around 50 billion devices having an economic impact of $19 trillion by 2020.

"However, industrial devices will account for 80% of the IoT market while the consumer devices will comprise of the rest 20%", he said.

Citing the potential galore, the company has selected to first focus on two verticals among five to lead its growth in the IoT dominated space.

"Primarily, we will be focussing to further grow our building management and energy verticals", Banerjee said.

The building management vertical contributes to around Euro 10 billion to its revenue while the energy segment fetches the company another Euro 4 billion. Other key segments include process automation in the industry, information technology and global solutions.

The senior official coming from a rich academics background said IoT is ushering a new business model where instead of direct sale of a product the revenue will come in from services and solutions while "guaranteeing a result" to the end-user.

The company is also considering enhancing its research capabilities at its R&D centre in Bengaluru which has around 1,500 employees.

With a global R&D spend of $1.2 billion led by a 12,000-strong team, its facility in Bengaluru is one of the key global innovation centre besides Grenoble in France, Shanghai (China), Boston (USA) and Monterrey in Mexico.


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