ServiceMax joined industry partners GE and PTC in Detroit for the National Association of Manufacturer’s inaugural ‘Leading Edge’ executive forum Tuesday. The conference, hosted at GE’s Advanced Manufacturing Software and Technology Center, brought NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons, PTC CEO Jim Heppelman, CTO of GE’s Current Dave Bartlett and ServiceMax CEO Dave Yarnold together to discuss real-world implications of Internet of Things across the enterprise. Other panelists at the event included Paul Boris, Head of Manufacturing Industries, GE Digital and Michael Porter, Harvard Business School Professor and respected global IoT expert.


Timmons kicked off the conversation by noting that the IoT “is transforming today’s manufacturing – from processes to products.” He also laid out the mission behind NAM’s Leading Edge Series: “by 2020, 26 billion objects will be linked together by the Internet, which is why, through Leading Edge, we are pleased to bring together true industry leaders that are paving the way in innovation and thought leadership.”

Bartlett, Heppelman and Yarnold weighed in on IoT at the event. Heppelman focused his talk around futuristic technologies driving the IoT trend like augmented reality. Bartlett talked about software-driven developments connecting previously offline machines and manufacturing teams.

ServiceMax’s Yarnold centered his comments on how field service unlocks the IoT for the broader industrial world through real-world application with increased field technician mobility and asset connectivity.

“The Internet of Things fundamentally changes the relationship between manufacturers and their customers. It creates new opportunities, markets and value,” said Yarnold to the NAM-convened audience. “On top of that, the evolution of IoT across the enterprise is going to happen quickly – comparable to the software explosion of the early 2000s. Companies, manufacturing and otherwise, should consider connecting devices and machines soon to avoid having to play a costly game of catch-up in the future.”

The presenting executives were joined at the event by business leaders, manufacturing executives and industry analysts. For more info about NAM’s work with IoT and future Leading Edge executive programs, visit: