JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 5 : June 15, 2000

Contents :

  • GE & CISCO Partner on Industrial Networks
  • More on Invensys & Baan
  • Agilent gives up on Industrial Ethernet
  • Hot book : 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding
  • Automation & Marketing Discussion Lists

GE & CISCO form new industrial networks company

GE-CISCO GE Industrial and CISCO have formed GE-Cisco Industrial Networks, based in Charlottesville, VA. - the HQ of GE-Fanuc N.America. The new company will "assess, design and build network infrastructures for manufacturing plant floor and industrial environments that will enable enterprise-wide communication". (from press-release)

GE Cisco Industrial Networks combines GE knowledge in industrial applications with Cisco's Technology in Networking. The two companies have the largest valuation (market-capitalization) in the world today. This is the best indication to-date that Ethernet has arrived as an industrial network, linking the factory floor to the office.

Robert Old, Siemens Building Technologies, comments :
    Their objectives include "integration with existing factory automation and control systems" - which I've always thought was the hard part.

Jim Pinto : It will be interesting to see how GE-Cisco handles Fieldbus, Profibus, ControlNet, DeviceNet and the vast proliferation of industrial networks.

INVENSYS & BAAN - second take

InvensysInvensys In the last eNews, we featured the Invensys agreement to buy Baan and form a new, $2 billion Invensys Software and Systems (ISS) division. The plans are to cut about 1,000 jobs and after $400 million in restructuring charges, Invensys expects to achieve break-even for Baan in 12 months and return it to profitability in 24 months.

Observers noted that Baan is worth more broken up (about $4.80/share), than Invensys is paying for it (about $2 less) and there has been much flack in the financial community from the institutional investors in both companies about this. The deal will most likely go through - but many feel that the depth of the crisis means that Baan's days of being in the same league as SAP, Oracle or JDE are over.

The "first take" from well-respected Gartner-Group says (extracts) :

    The deal benefits Baan, its discrete manufacturing ERP customers and Invensys. With Baan a part of its new ISS division, Invensys takes a large step forward with its “sensor to boardroom” strategy. Baan is selling at or close to the best price it could have hoped for and gets the satisfaction of knowing that its core products will continue to be developed. Baan's manufacturing customers can breathe easier given the renewed viability of Baan's core products (ERP and manufacturing supply chain planning, or SCP). Invensys’ financial strength, discipline and previous acquisition experience bode well for a renewed, financially stable Baan to emerge.

    But Invensys' core competency of addressing manufacturing operations within the enterprise is not well aligned with the demand to deliver interenterprise solutions. Thus, Baan customers should expect future e-business capabilities to be delivered later than Baan's competitors. While Invensys has said publicly that it will not sell the Baan customer relationship management (CRM) subsidiary, through 2003 Invensys will struggle to make Baan CRM competitive. Overall, Baan customers can expect fewer leading-edge technological developments and functional enhancements outside of discrete manufacturing.

Agilent gives up on industrial Ethernet

The following is a "Discontinuance Notice" from Aligent, till recently Hewlett-Packard, now a spin-off with Test & measurement focus.
    "This letter is an update to users of Agilent BFOOT-66502 and BFOOT-11501 modules. I'm sorry to say that, after a careful re-assessment of the slow-to-develop distributed measurement and control market, Agilent has determined that there is insufficient demand for these devices. As a result, Agilent is discontinuing these products with immediate effect."

Bob Nickels, Honeywell Sensing and Control asks :

    "Is Agilent just ahead of their time? Or, is Ethernet a great solution for linking controllers, and maybe even for remote I/O, but will never become the technology that will "put sensors, actuators, instruments, and machines onto Ethernet networks and the Internet.?"

Jim Pinto responds :

No, Agilent was NOT ahead - fairly right on. My opinion is that there is simply not enough volume in the industrial automation business - at least, not when compared with other markets. Ethernet will become a large part of industrial automation networks, but embedded with other protocols with good connections to TCP/IP and the Internet. All industrial networks already have, or will have, Ethernet options, which will become mainstream.

Dick Caro, Vice President of Automation Research and industrial networks guru, comments :

    "While the work on BFOOT to implement IEEE 1451, was technically sound, it competed directly with developing international standards such as Foundation Fieldbus and Profibus. Most of 1451's benefits are offered by the function blocks and profiles of these standards, OPC, and the profiles which are also part of Ethernet-IP, recently announced by ODVA and ControlNet International."

Hot Book : 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding

Ries - The 11 Laws Al Ries, the Marketing guru (classic : Positioning - the Battle for Your Mind) and his daughter and now co-author, have come up with a new book (May 2000). The 11 "immutable" laws are counterintuitive and debatable, but nevertheless make excellent marketing sense. Only history will tell us if these laws are truly immutable, but one thing is certain now: there's not a paragraph that isn't provocative in some way. Read it! Or, you might like to listen to an audio-tape in your car - good way to absorb this excellent marketing discussion.

Join an eMail discussion list TODAY!

There's a vast, connected world out there, with people who have interests and problems similar to yours, waiting to discuss them with you and help with their views and solutions.

Most discussion lists are free - you subscribe very simply and automatically get messages in your inbox on a variety of topics. You can simply "lurk" - or send in your own questions or answers with a simple email that is broadcast to all the other subscribers. You'd be surprised how interesting and useful it can be. For me, some of the best news and solutions come that way.

Hey, if you're busy and your inbox is full, you can simply delete the unwanted messages. Or, you can simply "unsubscribe" for a while, and "subscribe" again. Try it - you'll enjoy e-meeting a lot of people with common interests.

The following are my two favorite e-lists:

If you're an Engineer in the Automation business, you should join the Automation List, run by Ken Crater, Control Technology. To subscribe to the Automation List , send an email with subject "subscribe" (no quotes) to :


If you're a Marketing maven, join the Marketing List, run by Prentis Hall at The Industrial Marketing Practitioner. To subscribe to the Marketing List, send e-mail with subject "subscribe" (no quotes) to :



The JimPinto.com website is almost completely hooked up. Pleeease, take a look, browse around - eSpeak to me!

If you have comments or suggestions for Growth & Success News, please contact Jim Pinto at Click Enews@JimPinto.com. I'd like to e-hear from you. And please send your tips and alerts - or air your news, views and stews.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

To subscribe to the E-news list just click here : Sign up for regular hot news, views and stews
Note : Your information will never be used for anything else, or sent to anyone.

To be removed send a blank email message to ClickeRemove@JimPinto.com with subject line "Remove".

Stay in e-touch!


Return to eNews Index Return to eNews Index

Return to Jimpinto.com Homepage Return to JimPinto.com HomePage

If you have ideas or suggestions to improve this site, contact: webmaster@jimpinto.com
Copyright 2000 : Jim Pinto, San Diego, CA, USA