Caterpillar has formed a new division, Analytics & Innovation (AI), which will be led by Caterpillar VP Greg Folley.
The division will bring together the people and resources that will foster a culture with innovation at the core, form a broad and connected analytics ecosystem, and manage strategic third party relationships with providers like Chicago-based Uptake, a start-up with which the company recently announced a technology and predictive analytics agreement.
Caterpillar says it will co-locate key employees with the Uptake team in Chicago to accelerate the work needed to create a platform that takes massive amounts of data, combines it with data science to understand patterns, and deploys information to save customers money, optimize performance and prevent unplanned downtime. The company is also placing resources in the Silicon Valley and has seeded money in a venture capital fund with the goal of investing in emerging technologies that could further enhance Caterpillar’s product and service development. All of these activities under the umbrella of the AI division will complement the work that thousands of Caterpillar employees are already doing around the world, according to the company.
“We know that technology and information are the drivers in almost every industry including ours; we have to continue pushing our company to be innovative - to imagine, create, and embrace the new and the different, and to be disruptive in our own way,” said Rob Charter, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for the Customer & Dealer Support (C&DS) division. “A huge opportunity for competitive advantage lies in the analytics and innovation space, and we have a unique opportunity to connect data from the broadest product line that cuts across multiple industries. We can transform the mountains of incoming data – from a single machine or engine, an entire job site, the supply chain, a shipping location and much more – into valuable information for our customers and suppliers more efficiently and effectively than anyone else.”