ABB is named Frost & Sullivan's 2017 Company of the Year thanks to its visionary innovation embodied by its distributed control system (DCS) offering and its impact on customer performance. The award recognises ABB's digital leadership, not only when compared with other industrial automation suppliers, but also against non-industry peers. The award highlights how ABB meets customer needs for improved performance in tough market conditions, at a time when process and power industries' production assets have never been larger or more complex.
Frost & Sullivan states that ABB's penetration and expansion in emerging markets have helped it dominate the DCS market with a 20.5 per cent market share in 2016. It notes that ABB's two closest competitors hold market shares of 15.2 per cent and 14.5 per cent. The Frost & Sullivan report states: "ABB has unswervingly led the DCS market across the power end-user segment. Its expertise in developing innovative solutions that match the needs of energy and energy-intensive industries like oil and gas, utilities, and mining operations has reinforced its significant global market share. ABB has the best and widest DCS portfolio across the industrial automation market. The organisation offers the customer-specific control platforms ABB Ability System 800xA, ABB Ability Symphony Plus, Freelance and Compact Product Suite."
Bernhard Eschermann, Technology Manager of ABB's Industrial Automation division says: "With our installed base of over 70 million connected devices and 70,000 control systems, and an annual investment of $1.5 billion in research and development, ABB is leading the digital transformation taking place across all process industries. We are uniquely positioned to create additional customer value by sharing best practices across industries while tailoring solutions to specific end-user needs. By partnering with ABB, customers have access to decades of proven, digital solutions which will help them achieve unprecedented improvement in productivity and performance."
Frost & Sullivan's market research analysts attribute ABB's success to its alignment with market Mega Trends and developing industry-specific DCS products to address the demands of different end-user market segments, thereby enabling them to create new opportunities and values for their customers. This, they say, has helped ABB stay ahead of competition and retain a leadership position in the DCS market. With market growth drivers such as advanced control strategies, software-based services, value-added services and lifecycle cost optimisation, ABB is well positioned to retain its leadership position. The Frost & Sullivan report concludes: "While many competitors have had flat growth in recent years, ABB continues to steam ahead and build on its existing installed base."
ABB's 2017 launch of the ABB Ability platform is commended for providing comprehensive, unified and cross-industry digital capabilities. This launch, together with the availability of more than 180 ABB Ability products customised for individual end markets, ensures ABB continues to set the benchmark for digitisation, enabling its customers to accelerate towards achieving operational excellence, says the award citation.
This is augmented by self-learning to harvest data better and do more with ABB than competing systems, which Frost & Sullivan says distinguishes ABB from the rest of the competition.
The report also praises ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centres for helping customers improve performance. This is achieved by connecting them instantly, 24/7, to ABB experts who use remote diagnostics and analytics to solve problems before they become failures. Likewise, ABB's lifecycle service policy which maximises the life of a customer's investment, and its one-of-a-kind third-party Value Provider Program with channel partners located near end-users to provide a superior experience, are applauded.
Also recognized is ABB's position as one of only two companies capable of acting as a Main Automation, Electrical and Information Contractor (MAEIC). Such a service cuts the cost, schedule and risk of new projects through single-source accountability. The latter is bolstered by digital innovations such as cloud engineering and configurable I/O channels which decouple software from hardware design, speeding up project execution and minimising the impact of late-stage design changes.
The award also recognises that, faster than many other automation vendors, ABB embraced the need to invest in start-ups as a way to foster innovation and scale up digital offerings quickly. The partnership with ABB and Microsoft, announced October 2016, is also identified by Frost & Sullivan as another way ABB is leading the way in nurturing a broader ecosystem of applications to drive digital excellence. Further information can be found at www.abb.com.
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