Microsoft, PTC, and IBM Planting Their Flag in Germany to Drive Industrie 4.0 Strategies
Within the first few months of 2017, Microsoft, PTC, and IBM all made substantial investments to bolster their IoT presence in Germany. In April, Microsoft opened its third global IoT laboratory in Munich, joining the company’s other IoT labs in Shenzhen, China, and in its U.S. headquarters in Redmond, Washington. In March, PTC announced that it was partnering with McKinsey & Company to create a global network of Industrie 4.0 Digital Capability Centers, with the first one opening in Aachen, Germany on March 30. In February, IBM Watson Group opened its US$200 million IoT headquarters in Munich and announced new business ventures with Visa, Bosch, and BMW. These investments and initiatives are all aimed at advancing Industrie 4.0 strategies that drive a new, connected era of industrialization. However, they also serve as an indication that German manufacturers are in a somewhat better position to implement IoT solutions such as factory automation and smart manufacturing than their U.S. counterparts, due in part to substantial support from both the private and public sectors.
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