General Electric said its GE Digital would sell a majority stake in ServiceMax, a provider of software productivity tools for field service technicians, to private equity firm Silver Lake, for an undisclosed amount.
GE will retain 10 percent equity in ServiceMax, a business it acquired for $915 million in 2016.
GE Digital confirmed that its CEO Bill Ruh has decided to depart GE to pursue other opportunities.
ServiceMax and GE Digital have entered into a reseller agreement to ensure collaboration to serve their joint customers, including GE’s industrial business units.
GE spent more than $4 billion building up its digital business and aimed to become a top-ten software company under former CEO Jeff Immelt, Reuters reported. GE last year narrowed the focus to its own industrial equipment.
ServiceMax has 400 corporate customers across dozens of industries. ServiceMax will focus on tapping the $34 billion Field Service Management software market opportunity. GE Digital says the majority of the 39 million field technicians globally who install, maintain and repair machines do not currently have access to any Field Service Management software such as ServiceMax.
Silver Lake has invested in enterprise technology leaders such as Broadcom (then Avago Technologies), Cast & Crew, Dell Technologies family of businesses including Pivotal, SecureWorks and VMware, GoDaddy, NXP, Red Ventures, Skype, SolarWinds and Unity.
GE in IIoT software business
GE also announced plans to set up a company focused on building a Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software business under a new CEO and an independent board. The company will start with $1.2 billion in annual software revenue and an existing global industrial customer base.
The new organization with a new brand identity aims to bring together GE Digital’s IIoT solutions including Predix platform, Asset Performance Management, Historian, Automation (HMI/SCADA), Manufacturing Execution Systems, Operations Performance Management, and the GE Power Digital and Grid Software Solutions businesses.