1660240704356 Matthewwells

GE Digital offers free licenses during COVID crisis

March 23, 2020
"Our customers are on the front line of the toughest industrial challenges."

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, GE Digital announced it was offering free web-based remote-monitoring and control licenses to its industrial HMI/SCADA software customers. Positive stories are encouraging at this point, so we followed up with Matthew Wells, GE Digital VP of product management, to learn more. Take a look… 

Smart Industry: Describe this initiative in response to COVID-19.

GE Digital's Matthew Wells

Matthew: We are offering free remote-monitoring and control licenses to our iFIX and CIMPLICITY customers. The web-based solution gives plant operators and management teams real-time monitoring and control access to plant operations and performance over a secure-by-design connection such as VPN. This allows critical infrastructure to operate with a reduced crew on site, while being able to coordinate with their wider teams remotely.

By making this solution available for free to our 20,000 automation-software customers, we hope to make it easier for them to continue to provide vital services to our communities as we work together to slow the spread of the virus. By enabling mobile workers, industrial companies are better able to ensure the safety of their workers while continuing to serve their customers.

Customers can choose from solution options based on their company policies to securely connect to their production systems and execute tasks to keep their operations running.

  • Client option #1 is Webspace. This could either be a new Webspace server install or an increase on an existing client-license count. Access to your SCADA system is through a browser and a secure connection. Enhanced 256-bit encryption is available as an option.
  • Client option #2 is through RDP/Terminal Services. This could be a new CIMPLICITY Viewer or iFIX iClient Thin Terminal Services implementation or an increase on an existing client-license count
  • Client option #3 is a Thick iFIX iClient license, which requires you to implement an operational procedure to install the software and enable secure connectivity through VPN to your SCADA node in a control network.

Smart Industry: Why is GE Digital taking this approach?

Matthew: Our customers are on the front line of solving the world’s toughest industrial challenges. As efforts continue to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19, staffs in all industries are increasingly being asked to work remotely to ensure business continuity. We want to empower our customers to work remotely and continue to keep their plants running during this difficult time.

Smart Industry: Who can take advantage of this program?

Matthew: Any existing GE Digital iFIX and CIMPLICITY customers can take advantage of this program. Customers are encouraged to contact their GE Digital partner to get their no-cost temporary license. Mission-critical industries including water & wastewater production and distribution, food & beverage manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, and pharmaceutical companies are best suited to benefit from this.