How visiting GE Digital in Paris has changed my vision.
If you would like to know how the world will change in the next couple of years, then this is going to be quite an interesting story. Before I start telling you this amazing story, I would like to thank Kevin Griffin (Chief Information Officer, GE CAPITAL) for introducing Benoit Bouché (Chief Operating Officer – GE Digital European Foundry). And Benoit, if you read this, I significantly appreciate the fact that you took some time to show me GE Digital’s amazing office in Paris. For those who do not know him, he is the operation manager for the Foundry in Paris.
So to start, I arrived on Tuesday at my hotel in Paris for a training course. The weather was amazing, the sun was shining and people were sitting along the canal having a couple of drinks. I like to indulge myself in a social environment. And whenever I have a short chat, I always think about how we can make life much more efficient and effective. So I suddenly came up with the idea to visit the amazing office of GE Digital which is located in the heart of Paris.
Hold on a second, I thought to myself. Do I know someone that works in that office? Absolutely not! So, how am I going to visit that place? My burning desire to see how the future of General Electric looks like was enormous. So, the mission was set. Before going back to London, I wanted to visit the Foundry in Paris.
I took one step back. If I do not know someone directly, maybe I can indirectly get in touch with a GE Digital employee. Ring! Something came up in my mind. I thought let me contact Kevin Griffin, maybe he knows someone in the business. Although it was like shooting in the dark, I had nothing to lose. I contacted Kevin Griffin. I must say he is always available for you regardless of his tight schedule. And guess what? He knows a former colleague who moved to GE Digital, Benoit.
As you can see, it is not always what you know, but who you know that helps a lot! Once Kevin introduced me to Benoit, I called him to confirm the day and time to visit the Foundry. Voilà! The appointment was scheduled for next morning 11 AM! Come the day of the appointment, when I exited the metro station, Quatre-Septembre, I saw this gorgeous classic building, but when I went inside it was the complete opposite, it was modern. Benoit welcomed me at the reception and my private tour at GE digital started. The interior design used is the latest cutting-edge technology available in the industry.
Imagine, you work in an environment where coffee is selected via the tablet. What is interesting is not the tablet but the motivation behind the process. The operation manager can exactly see the most preferred coffee or the most popular time for a coffee.
Imagine, you have thousands of young and driven people developing as well as programming applications that collects data from big machines such as jet engines, wind turbines etc.
Imagine, you have thousands of problem solvers that analyze data and provide you solutions for higher productivity that increases your revenue and decreases your cost.
Imagine, you have a program telling you – instead of you telling the software – what to do in order to optimize your productivity.
And so on. You get the idea.
I felt nothing short of awe at the marvelous technology that was being applied and developed at GE Digital as I left after the tour. And my key takeaway was that DATA has become the most powerful weapon in the world. If you would like to be competitive in the market regardless whether you are a BIG multinational or SME, it is important to digitalize your organization. The same applies to individuals. If you would like to add value to your organization, explore the digital space and see how you can benefit from technology.
It was indeed a brief but meaningful tour that opened my eyes and mind to the endless possibilities the future of technology holds. I can’t help but appreciate the experience and say “It was worth it.”