Service simplified: Axeda merges with Questra; promises next-gen remote service software

Axeda very recently consolidated its position as leader in the small but growing remote product services (RPS) market by acquiring No. 2 vendor Questra. The buy seeks to push Axeda into the nascent smart services market.

01/29/2009



Axeda very recently consolidated its position as leader in the small but growing remote product services (RPS) market by acquiring No. 2 vendor Questra . The buy seeks to push Axeda into the nascent smart services market.

Services are seen among product manufacturers as a significant new revenue stream and a critical component for greater competitive differentiation. RPS technology is used to proactively monitor the operation and performance of equipment, deliver remote diagnostics in the event of problems, and apply fixes remotely. It also facilitates equipment service processes when technicians have to be dispatched, ensuring that they have correct parts on hand.

Indeed, the market need for better equipment performance—i.e., more uptime, greater throughput—is significant, according to research out of Boston-based Aberdeen Group . In a recent survey, Aberdeen found that only 28 percent of companies reported providing customers with asset availability greater than 90 percent; with 16 percent reporting that assets at customer sites were available only about 50 percent of the time.

“The [Axeda-Questra] acquisition makes sense as the remote product services market is in its early-growth stage, with a lot of opportunity for continued growth,” says Sumair Dutta, senior research analyst for Aberdeen Group. “The technology helps in terms of customer satisfaction, asset uptime, and reducing costs. Given the economy we’re in, these are especially critical issues.”

Brian Anderson, VP of marketing for Axeda, concurs. “We saw an important opportunity to bring the [top] players in the market together, to bring the people and technology together to be the best in the market. And it gives us a platform to move into smart services in the larger machine-to-machine [M2M] space to solve larger problems.”

For Axeda and Questra, there is some overlap in their product portfolios, but there are important distinctions as well. While both have strong presence in the medical devices market, Axeda also has presence in high-tech, and Questra in product imaging and industrial manufacturing.

Axeda pushes an on-demand, easy-to-deploy Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model while Questra has its strength in service-oriented architecture (SOA).

Regarding partners, Axeda has a strong, established relationship with Oracle , with Axeda ServiceLink solution a component of Oracle’s service suite. Questra has been an integral part of SAP ’s Service and Asset Management solution, with both RPS providers benefiting from the big ERP vendors’ up-market presence.



Brian Anderson, VP of marketing for Axeda, says in a down economy, “Remote product services resonates more strongly for many companies.”

The merger brings the combined customer base up over 100, including front-runners like Abbott Laboratories, ABB, EMC, Diebold, Eaton, Phillips, Siemens, Samsung, and Pittsburgh-based Respironics , a $1-billion global equipment company that specializes in sleep and respiratory products. Its Critical Care Group develops and markets Esprit Ventilators used in hospital ICUs to aid patient breathing. Axeda’s ServiceLink solution is used to remotely upgrade unit software functionality. In the first year, the solution saved $1.2 million in optimizing the upgrade process, reduced Respironics’ field service visits by 20 percent, and cut 15 percent in overall service costs.

“In a down economy, remote product services resonates more strongly for many companies,” concludes Axeda’s Anderson. “Companies are trying to optimize their organizations for serving customers. If they can do it remotely, rather than putting people on planes, they can reduce costs. Optimizing service revenues when sales are down also keeps the bottom line from going the wrong way.”



Related news:


Retirement plan: Gerber Scientific shores up aftermarket service, addresses staff issues using Axeda software platform







The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Maximize ROI with integrated control system approach; Microcontrollers vs. PLCs; Power quality; Accelerate and rewire IIoT; Traits for excellent engineers
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Maximize ROI with integrated control system approach; Microcontrollers vs. PLCs; Power quality; Accelerate and rewire IIoT; Traits for excellent engineers
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Maximize ROI with integrated control system approach; Microcontrollers vs. PLCs; Power quality; Accelerate and rewire IIoT; Traits for excellent engineers
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me