It seems that important tech market events come in waves, and in the area of Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled Industrial Internet, a wave of announcements seems to be occurring.
After the announcement by General Electric indicating intent to auction-off portions of its GE Digital business unit, rival Siemens has responded with an acquisition announcement.
The European based industrial conglomerate announced an agreement to acquire Boston-based IoT Cloud platform provider mendix for the sum of €0.6 billion ($730 million) in cash.
Mendix describes itself a low-code Cloud platform and embeds its services in existing IBM and SAP Cloud services. Founded in 2005 in Rotterdam, the technology provider subsequently moved corporate headquarters to Boston. The company markets itself as fastest and easiest platform to build and continuously improve mobile and web apps that provides a comprehensive, integrated set of tools for the entire app lifecycle. Essentially, the company’s software is designed to make it easier for non-developers to build applications.
According to the announcement, mendix will retain its branding and staffing, while Siemens will continue to invest in the company’s independent product roadmap. Mendix will further become a part of the Siemens Digital Factory Business, with the Mendix platform deployed across other Siemens divisions. Indications are that the entire Mendix team will be retained and continue to be structured and operate as it does today, headquartered in Boston. The CEO of Mendix will report to Tony Hemmelgarn, CEO of Siemens PLM.
Writing on the mendix company blog, CEO Derek Roos indicates:
Our two teams first met over a year ago and what started as a discussion about a strategic partnership, gradually evolved into a much bigger vision. The more time we spent together, the more we realized how our visions were aligned.”
Three strategic objectives were further outlined:

  • Accelerate mendix’ leadership in low-code by doubling down on R&D investments and global-based geographical expansion.
  • Combining Mendix and Siemens MindSphere to create the digital operating system for the physical world.
  • Together with a partner ecosystem, extend the mendix platform to develop world-class and deeply integrated industry SaaS applications.

Thus, in the course of a few days, GE elects to pare-down its Industrial Internet development business while Siemens elects to invest in an innovative start-up in hopes of picking up the slack.
This week’s announcement from Siemens adds more interest to the pending auction of GE Digital assets.
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