Following the Hortonworks Blog, we are lucky to have James Gold from SAP as next blogger in the Why I love Big Data guest partner series. James explains how customers experience is greatly improved via predictive maintenance in a connected factory.

JG Corporate Pic

James Gold, Director, Global Technology Partner Marketing, SAP SE
Jim is an enterprise software veteran who’s held a number of senior marketing and business development positions at large, mid-size and startup technology companies.  In his current position as Director of Global Technology Partner Marketing for SAP, he’s responsible for co-marketing, business development and co-innovation of key SAP strategic alliances, including Cisco Systems, Inc.  Previously, he held product marketing positions in support of SAP HANA Cloud Platform and SAP virtualization technologies. 
Prior to SAP, Jim worked in a variety of senior roles in partner and product marketing, business development and channel enablement.  He began his software career at IBM, and has worked at Intuit, LivePerson and Lithium Technologies, among others.Jim graduated cum laude from the University of Vermont, and has done graduate work in business and political science.


If you’ve spent much of your career in customer facing roles as I have, you know it from experience: whatever your business, there’s simply no substitute for a true customer advocate. It’s been said more than once that “the most important person selling what you’re offering is…your customer.” And with no shortage of vehicles to share product and service experiences, we all know that your customer’s opinion — positive or negative — can impact business like never before.

So what does this have to do with Big Data, Analytics, and Internet of Everything (IoE) – along with SAP, Hortonworks and Cisco? I hope you’ll stop by World of Solutions (1733) Connected Factory at Cisco Live to find out for yourself! You’ll see a powerful example of a Predictive Maintenance application that combines real-time and historical data about asset performance and repair to proactively prevent disruptions, increase manufacturing yield, reduce costs – and ultimately improve customer service.


Think about it: disruptions in your manufacturing process can have a profound impact on your product or service, and lead to highly disgruntled customers. By catching these disruptions before they occur, you’ll not only save costs and optimize your manufacturing yield; you’ll also have happier customers, since quality products and services will reach them more quickly. And you can potentially apply those cost savings to other parts of your business that can boost customer satisfaction even more, like R&D, loyalty programs and more.

So how does the Predictive Maintenance solution built on SAP HANA, Hortonworks and Cisco actually work? We provide manufacturers a complete end-to-end solution to proactively:

  • detect and diagnose emerging problems on the production line before they impact quality and yield;
  • initiate service orders;
  • identify and ship the right part;
  • schedule the required repair crews.

Our solution combines SAP HANA, the in-memory database and application platform from SAP; Hortonworks Data Platform, the only 100% open-source Hadoop data platform, for big data; and a Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure and Cisco ACI, the ideal combo of scalability and efficiency for this kind of mission-critical solution.


While I think you’ll enjoy our aerospace use case, it’s important to note that our demo can be applied to any kind of manufacturing process that leverages machine sensor data. We combine real time analysis of the streaming machine sensor data to immediately detect and correct emerging problems, by correlating the patterns detected with years of historical data — in order to accurately diagnose a potential issue, and proactively initiate the next best action to correct the issue.

In other words, our solution fixes the problem before it occurs – so your customer never sees it!

We’re proud to be showcased at Cisco Live among the endless possibilities to deliver on the Internet of Everything (IoE) opportunity. I look forward to meeting you, and to showing you how our solution can help you disrupt the disruptions, boost manufacturing yield, improve TCO – and ultimately lead to happier customers, and even more customer advocates. Safe travels, and see you in San Diego!





Jim McHugh

Vice President, Product and Solutions Marketing

Unified Computing Systems