Menu
Hewlett Packard Enterprise opens app store for factories

Hewlett Packard Enterprise opens app store for factories

HPE offers a way to deploy a new manufacturing execution system with just six clicks (and a little integration work)

Credit: Stephen Lawson

Hewlett Packard Enterprise wants to make it almost as easy for production managers to deploy new software to the factory floor as to their mobile phone.

Its idea is to simplify the task of integrating new manufacturing execution systems with legacy ERP and PLM (product lifecycle management) systems using cloud-based deployment tools.

To do that, it plans to put modern hardware on factory floors, hooking it up to a cloud-based app store -- like a mobile phone for the factory, only bigger, as HPE Fellow Colin I'Anson put it.

Such a move would give production managers access to the latest IoT, machine learning, augmented reality and analytics technologies, potentially allowing businesses to create so-called "digital clones" of every item they produce.

These models record everything that happens to an item as it moves along the production line, and can help with inventory management, quality control, and rework of defective items.

That said, around two-thirds of the initial 60 apps in the store have nothing to do with IoT, according to I'Anson. "They are about how you run your factory," he said.

IT managers fearing that a factory app store could lead to an uncontrolled outbreak of credit-card cloud computing in a critical area of enterprise infrastructure have several reasons not to worry.

For one thing, although deployment of the applications begins with a visit to the Express App Platform -- Manufacturing aisle of the Cloud28+ enterprise app store, the apps deploy and run not in the cloud but on premises, in a rack full of HPE Simplivity 380 hyper-converged servers.

These can sit either in the customer's own air-conditioned server room or in one of HPE's modular data centers.

hpe express app platform manufacturing Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise says deploying a new manufacturing execution system from the Express App Platform -- Manufacturing store can be done with just six clicks.

For another, the starting price is probably over the limit for most corporate credit cards. You're looking at around half a million euros (US$585 million ) for an entry-level system running 150 or so operating system instances, including three to five years of proactive support, according to I'Anson. (HPE is only selling the system in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for now; global pricing and availability will be announced later this year.)

Another reason IT workers shouldn't fear being sidelined is that HPE wants to work through enterprise IT departments, not around them.

When those Simplivity servers are first set up, they are going to need internal IP addresses and network ports, and the apps they support will need access to existing corporate systems if they are to fulfill their promise. There's a lot more to getting the apps up and running than the "six clicks" HPE says it takes to deploy them.

After that, HPE hopes to keep IT and manufacturing staff out of one another's hair.

"The competence in a manufacturing department is at the system level. They will understand how to connect applications together; they will not understand the complexities of deploying an app into a manufacturing environment, and making sure that the right patches or whatever are actually in that box," he said.

HPE is offering to take on that ongoing patching and maintenance activity. "We'll put it in with three or five years of proactive support, so you don't need to be fiddling with the IT systems inside for that period of time," he said. "Its availability is better than that of the factory systems it's supporting."

Integration and support will be taken care of by Pointnext, the new name for HPE's technical services group. Despite recently selling off its enterprise services group to CSC, now DXC Technology, HPE still has around 25,000 service staff worldwide.

Going forward, HPE hopes to have not just IT teams on its side, but also the creators of factory tooling.

I'Anson envisions a day when a factory can be fitted out with a new production line and a rack of HPE servers to control it, onto which the necessary software can be downloaded, pre-configured by the tool maker itself.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments