RUEIL-MALMAISON, France — Schneider Electric announced the launch of its next generation EcoStruxure™ architecture and platform to deliver IoT-enabled solutions at scale for building, grid, industry, and data center customers. The enhanced architecture and platform is open, scalable and interoperable, connecting the three core layers of Schneider Electric’s technology stack, from connected products, to edge control, to applications, analytics and services. This next generation EcoStruxure delivers enhanced value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability, and connectivity of IoT-enabled operations.
As part of this launch, the company also announced that is establishing a new community with technology and consortium leaders, led by Microsoft and Intel, to maximize the benefits its customers receive of an IoT-enabled operation.
EcoStruxure enables Schneider Electric, its partners, and end-user customers to develop scalable and converged IT/OT solutions that deliver innovation at every level to an organization or enterprise. Leveraging connectivity and data to create controls and actionable business insights, with the combined power of analytics and closed-loop applications, Schneider Electric empowers customers and partners to augment operations to reach new levels of operational efficiency, sustainability, asset performance and people productivity. EcoStruxure fosters open innovation and interoperability and is developed in partnership with leading standards organizations and best-in-class technology leaders.
“EcoStruxure combines our history in pioneering in energy management, automation and deep domain expertise with data-driven metrics and analytics to help us maximize the value of the Internet of Things for our customers,” said Dr. Prith Banerjee, Chief Technology Officer, Schneider Electric. “EcoStruxure gives our customers the platform, architecture and roadmap to quickly and easily implement IoT in an enterprise, extending the benefits of IoT beyond the device layer to create a more intelligent, efficient and secure operation.”
Flagship technology companies enabling the next generation of EcoStruxure include:
- Microsoft: Schneider Electric leverages the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to deliver its digital services, apps and analytics. Azure is the cloud backbone for EcoStruxure, easing technology development on the platform. “Schneider Electric depends on Microsoft Azure IoT technology to rapidly scale public, private and hybrid cloud solutions,” said Sam George, Director, Microsoft Azure IoT at Microsoft Corp. “We’re committed to working together to deliver new digital services that leverage their vast domain expertise in targeted end markets.” One such digital service, Conext 2 Advisor, is a secure monitoring and control solution for managing and optimizing the performance of solar power plants, and is delivered as an Azure cloud-based service, accessible on computers or mobile devices.
- Intel: Schneider Electric leverages Intel’s smart Field Programmable Gateway Arrays (FPGA) devices to power its sensors and devices, networks and the cloud. Intel’s FPGAs enhance the performance, power and flexibility of the EcoStruxure architecture to enable smarter operations.
New partnerships are also continually emerging with specialized technology providers like Zuora and global industry leaders like Panasonic, both of which further enable the delivery of new technology, new services, new business models, and more service-oriented value for customers.
The company is also further establishing its innovation community for each of its end markets. Each community includes open access for an ecosystem of developers and data scientists, as well as hardware and service partners to create or co-create solutions and applications for EcoStruxure.
These communities include the portfolio of companies involved in the company’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program, including Planet Ecosystem, Digital Lumens and OhmConnect that have already begun to integrate their IoT solutions into the EcoStruxure architecture and platform.
Delivering Innovation at Every Level of the Technology Stack
EcoStruxure is organized around three layers of technology innovation:
- The first layer builds on Schneider Electric’s core competency in developing connected products with embedded intelligence, such as sensors, medium and low voltage breakers, drives and actuators.
- The Edge Control layer gives organizations the critical capability to manage their operations on-premise as well as from the cloud depending on their needs. This includes connected control platforms with remote access, advanced automation and operator override capabilities. Local control and firewall protection is included to maximize the benefits especially for mission-critical applications.
- Schneider Electric’s focused investment in R&D and product development in the critical areas of software, analytics and services, coupled with the integration of recent acquisitions such as Invensys, Telvent and Summit Energy forms the third layer of the stack – a portfolio of apps, analytics and services. EcoStruxure enables the most extensive breadth of vendor-agnostic apps, analytics and services on open IP protocols in order to work with any hardware, system, or control.
“Our innovation technology stack is critical to our open innovation approach, designed to deliver the most innovative IoT-enabled solutions to our customers,” added Banerjee. “Introducing a comprehensive suite of apps, analytics and services built on the capabilities from within Schneider Electric and our network of partners and developers, enables our customers to benefit from open, interoperable and future-proof solutions that maximize the value, performance, reliability and efficiency of their entire operation and enterprise over time.”
Innovation at Every Level: Delivering Advanced Platform Capabilities
EcoStruxure is designed to meet the core customer challenge of implementing IoT solutions seamlessly, cost-effectively and at scale. The redefined IoT platform bridges the IT/OT gap and connects the three core layers of Schneider Electric’s innovation technology stack to maximize value for customers.
The launch of the EcoStruxure platform provides a secure, IoT-enabled technology backbone with three core technology capabilities:
- Embedded connectivity and intelligence that enables smart sensing, embedded computing, IP networking and edge analytics
- A foundation for smart operations to serve as the building blocks for control, management, automation and optimization
- The infrastructure for cloud-connected digital services that enables the delivery of cloud-based connected apps, analytics, services, control and monitoring
“Our advanced platform connects the three layers of the technology stack through an elastic cloud backbone that leverages the full power of our partnership with Microsoft,” said Cyril Perducat, Executive Vice President, Digital Transformation and IoT, Schneider Electric. “The platform has become the foundation for smarter grids, buildings, data centers and industrial plants, enabling our customers to reach new levels of efficiency and sustainability and provides a path to maximize the power of their operational data.”
Innovation at Every Level: Future-Proof Reference Architectures
Schneider Electric delivers these efficiency and sustainability solutions to customers through a set of core reference architectures. The architectures build on the company’s deep domain expertise and portfolio and are tested, validated and tailored for its core end markets of Buildings, Grid, Industry and Data Centers, with even more specific architectures also available for industrial plants, industrial machines, and power distribution. The architectures give customers access to documented and standardized system reference designs that can be used in the implementation of interoperable, sustainable, efficient and connected systems.
“Smarter, more precise operations is the future for every industry,” said Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Systems, IDC. “Customers are looking for answers on how to best take advantage of today’s IoT-enabled digital world to be as differentiated, efficient and sustainable as possible. If you don’t have a ‘sense and respond’ model with listening, scalable, measurable, agile networks and systems, you won’t be able to connect and extract that value.”
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