Schneider Electric to acquire InStep Software

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, has entered into an agreement to acquire InStep Software, of Chicago, Illinois, a leading provider of real-time performance management and predictive asset analytics software and solutions. It is the latest acquisition from the company’s growing Software business and deepens its presence in the power and energy market. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to customary regulatory and other closing conditions. Financial details were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Chicago, and founded in 1995, InStep provides two primary real-time performance management and predictive analytics software solutions: eDNA historian software collects, stores, analyzes, displays and reports on real-time operational and machinery sensor data: Prism predictive analytics software monitors the real-time health and performance of critical assets by using advanced pattern recognition and diagnostic techniques to identify subtle deviations in operating behavior that are often the early warning signs of imminent failures. The company also offers the EBS energy management software, which helps universities reduce their utility costs by analyzing energy consumption and streamlining the utility billing, cost allocation and reporting processes.

“Acquiring InStep Software is indicative of our commitment to delivering game-changing technology and powerful new solutions that improve efficiency, manage risk and drive higher levels of customer value,” said Ravi Gopinath, evp of the Schneider Electric Global Solutions software business. “They have a proven, experienced team who are dedicated to helping their customers achieve new levels of value, performance and profitability, and we are delighted to welcome them to Schneider Electric.”

eDNA software strongly complements the Schneider Electric Wonderware Historian software, and Prism software enhances their industry-leading information and asset management software offerings. Many of the world’s most successful companies use InStep software products to manage and analyze the rapidly growing amount of real-time operational and machinery asset-health-related information, but its solutions also complement the Schneider Electric offerings in several other industries, including food & beverage, consumer packaged goods, metals & mining, life sciences and water & wastewater.

“As with other recent acquisitions, InStep Software strengthens our portfolio in targeted industries and segments,” said Rob McGreevy, vice president, information, operations and asset management, Schneider Electric. “Their solutions give us additional, stronger data management and predictive analytics capabilities in the power and energy management industries, including power transmission and distribution, and will help us fulfill our strategic plans around Big Data, the Internet of Things and other emerging trends. With InStep, we strengthen our reputation as an industry game changer, and we are immediately more competitive in traditional process manufacturing, which fits with our overall strategy of improving our access to the utilities market in North America.”

“The emerging technologies for Big Data, analytics, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine and workforce mobility enable new means for improving process quality and equipment reliability while also reducing maintenance costs,” said Ralph Rio, research director at ARC Advisory Group. “InStep’s capabilities for predictive analytics leverage these technology trends and provide clear business value.  When combined with the strengths of Schneider Electric, we expect wider adoption in the power industry, and acceptance in a broader set of other industries where asset reliability and cost control are important.”

“Combined with Schneider Electric’s existing software offerings, our capabilities and expertise in the power and energy segment allow us to provide broader end-to-end visualization, asset management, operations and mobile solutions to our customers,” said John Kalanik, president of InStep Software. “Together, our software products will make it easier to bridge the IT-OT gap, empowering our customers to manage the increasing volume and complexity of their industrial operations. Our customers will continue to work with the same experienced InStep Software team, and we will continue to provide the same exceptional products and services they have come to expect and rely on. With Schneider Electric, our customers will be backed by a leading-edge global software company and our employees will have more opportunities to fulfill their potential for success.”

InStep Software will continue to be managed by its existing executive team, adding approximately 70 employees to the Schneider Electric operations in the United States.

Gary Mintchell, from the Schneider Electric bash (their Software Golbal Conference) in the US (Orlando), today additionally added to this release the following comments in his themanufacturingconnection.com blog:

“Schneider recently had announced a new extension to the SimSci product line. Now we have an acquisition. I take this to mean that Schneider has seriously decided to become a software company. I’ve never thought of the company as having a commitment to software.

Gopinath just used a word I used some time ago. Stability. These manufacturing software companies (Wonderware, SimSci, Avantis plus Foxboro, Triconex, etc.) under the instability of Invensys were threatened. Perhaps the stability of Schneider Electric will help these grow and prosper.”

– an interesting observation!

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