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Cloud and Automation Poised to Create Disruption, Opportunity

President and CEO of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) talks to customers and partners at the Connected Symposium
Cloud computing and automation are poised to have tremendous impacts across industries, creating disruption but also opportunity for new solutions, John Waldron, president and CEO of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) told customers and partners at SPS's first-ever Connected Symposium.

Held in Charlotte, N.C., the event brought together leaders from SPS with executives from customers and end-users to discuss use cases for deploying the Internet of Things and how to harness data, as well as to showcase new connected solutions SPS is developing for the supply chain and worker safety.

The Cloud
“The cloud is probably the single biggest disruptive influence that IT has seen since its beginning,” said Waldron. “The cloud creates hyperscale computing capabilities at very, very low cost.”

Waldron said for years many in business have seen the cloud as an option. “We're getting to the point where it is not optional anymore,” he said, “and you will be left behind if you are not thinking about the cloud as a capability, a strategic asset, the way you deliver software, outcomes [and] Connected solutions.”

Waldron said he believes that one of the most exciting ways the cloud will bring value is using “community force multipliers.”

“These are software environments that the cloud enables whereby you can really get this multiplication effect of data and usage sharing that we have never seen before,” he said. Waldron noted as an example, Honeywell's purchase of Movilizer, a company that allows customers to access data in the enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems such as SAP and leverage that data for field service or delivery, allowing many parts of an organization to leverage greater amounts of data simultaneously.

Waldron said community force multipliers can remove frictions in traditional supply chains and create new capability. “We are investing to take advantage [of this],” he said.


Speaking on automation, Waldron said that the coming wave of productivity from automation will outstrip all of the gains from other big technology advancements in recent history such as the steam engine, computing and early robots.

“Machine learning, automation, artificial intelligence -- the modern technologies that we read about -- they are absolutely going to transform what we do today,“ said Waldron, “This enables technology to improve itself. That's never been possible before today.”

Waldron said previously, improving performance in a machine used to require humans. “AI, robotics, machine vision &endash; these technologies really allow these systems to improve themselves over multiple generations. Again, we are investing in this as well.”

Four Areas of Focus for SPS
Waldron also touched on the four areas where SPS is focusing its efforts today, leveraging cloud, automation and other technologies: Connected Worker, Connected Workflow, Connected Warehouse, and Sensors.

He also noted Honeywell's unique position.

“We have 100 years of domain expertise in vertical markets like industrial process controls, aviation, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitals, retail and several others,” said Waldron. “We have deep expertise and huge install bases ... What we are trying to do is take our domain expertise, our installed bases and make them visible, connect to them.”

To view John Waldron's opening remarks at the Connected Symposium, please visit:

Eric Krantz
Safety and Productivity Solutions