AVEVA says it’s in talks to acquire OSIsoft

Aug 10, 2020 | Hot Topics

It’s been rumored for a while that Schneider Electric is thinking about acquiring OSIsoft; today AVEVA said in a press release that it was in talks for the deal. (Schneider Electric owns most of AVEVA.)

If you’re just tuning in to this news, OSIsoft makes PI (Plant Information Systems), one of the most widely-used data historians and aggregators, and forms the basis for Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure. EcoStruxure grabs data from all of the energy monitoring and delivery systems in a building or factory, for example, and puts them into a PI, as a common storage management platform. Once it’s in there, apps like SE’s EcoStruxure Smart Metering Advisor (for utilities) can analyze and tune the system and its components. SAP is another OSIsoft OEM, and I’m sure there are many others, too.

OSI originally stood for Oil Systems, Inc. but today the company has customers across asset-heavy industries including oil and gas, utilities, chemicals, mining, water, pulp & paper, transportation, data centers, food and beverage, and other types of manufacturing. OSI says that PI is used at over 19,000 sites to track operational data, from “225+ interfaces [in] multiple formats”. See the whole list here.

So, why do this? Schneider Electric’s interest in controlling the solutions needed to fill out its EcoStruxure vision just makes sense — though the speculated $4 billion price tag would make it an expensive acquisition if that were the only reason. But add in all of the OSIsoft customers who use other tools to manage their assets – now we’re talking something worth adding to the portfolio. And then, why AVEVA and not as a standalone, like RIB? My opinion: AVEVA knows how to manage software and what’s needed to connect into its plan to cover the waterfront from concept to operations, with both live and historic data in its digital twins. OSIsoft is a business still run by its founder, and perhaps these rumors are about an exit (I KNOW NOTHING); if the current management won’t be around for long, it makes more sense to plug the acquisition into an existing, well-run business than to leave it alone, as Schneider is doing with RIB.

AVEVA cautions that these talks may come to nothing but it’s an interesting thing to speculate on, no?