Progress Software Corp., the Bedford, Mass., provider of tools for cloud and mobile application development, is jumping into the world of industrial internet of things, or IIoT, with its recent acquisition of DataRPM, maker of cognitive predictive maintenance technology software based in Redwood City, Calif. The move is intended to provide developers using Progress tools with a platform for building cognitive-centric applications.
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Cognitive computing, the computerized simulation of human thought processes, is growing rapidly in sophistication and use. According to a December 2016 forecast published by Grand View Research, the global cognitive computing market is expected to surpass $49 billion by 2025 -- up from just $8 billion in 2015.
The acquisition is a logical step for Progress, according to Matt Aslett, research director for data platforms and analytics at 451 Research. Combining application development and business rules management with predictive analytics will enable developers to create applications that leverage the intelligence generated by big data and IoT, he said.
"Cognitive computing is about applications that learn and then do something with that knowledge," said Yogesh Gupta, who was appointed as Progress CEO in October 2016. "Where industrial IoT is about devices or facilities that can each have hundreds or thousands of sensors, cognitive predictive maintenance technology is about predicting and preventing asset failures before they can happen."
In Gupta's view, the demand for applications able to leverage cognitive predictive maintenance technology is not solely a reaction to growing data volumes and velocities, but also about businesses that need to do better at minimizing business impact. "If you are a hospital with an MRI machine and have 20 procedures scheduled, you will have unhappy and maybe critical patients if that machine is not available," he said. "But, if you could predict two days earlier, that is a key business driver, and that is the nature of cognitive predictive maintenance."
Yogesh GuptaCEO, Progress Software
Adding the cloud computing factor to cognitive predictive maintenance technology permits faster analysis of a torrent of incoming sensor data, said Sundeep Sanghavi, co-founder and CEO of DataRPM. That, in turn, permits field service organizations to be notified and respond more quickly.
"What developers need to know is that cognitive predictive maintenance is much more than just a cloud application," Sanghavi said. "It's about understanding everything in the chain -- from the thousands of sensors that collect status data to the systems and networks that gather, stream, collate and forward that data to the applications for real-time analysis. It is very challenging."
Under terms of the acquisition, DataRPM will offer its cognitive predictive maintenance technology for IIoT under the Progress banner. Integration of DataRPM's technology into Progress' existing portfolio of application development tools is underway, with a revamped lineup of offerings slated for availability later this year.
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