PTC to buy ColdLight for $105M

ColdLight’s Neuron predictive analytics platform will complement ThingWorx

Industrial services firm PTC yesterday announced plans to buy ColdLight, a company that specializes in predictive analytics of big data sets, for $105 million. ColdLight’s flagship product, Neuron, will become PTC’s “core data analytics platform”, according to the announcement.

This move builds on previous PTC acquisitions of ThingWorx and Axeda, two companies that focused, respectively, on application and connectivity platforms for the Internet of Things. Those deals expanded PTC’s capabilities to help its customers embed connected sensors into manufacturing and industrial equipment, and to tie that data into dynamic systems where managers can watch the entire operation in real time and machines can coordinate directly with one another.

Now, with Neuron, those systems can learn from sensor data to find patterns and correlations, especially around predicting equipment failures and anticipating maintenance needs.

“Sensor data by itself creates value, but that value is magnified dramatically when companies use predictive analytics” to inform decision-making, said PTC president and CEO Jim Heppelmann.

Part of the value PTC sees in ColdLight is that its platform streamlines the process of deploying forward-looking analytics software. A number of companies in the existing ThingWorx ecosystem already provide some kind of analytics (often real-time), and the current Axeda offering also includes ways to set up predictive maintenance features on a per-company basis. But Neuron offers a way of standardizing and simplifying the predictive models, which removes some of the adoption barriers. By encouraging more customers to make use of Neuron’s prognostication to foresee maintenance and service requirements, PTC hopes to be able to better promote its other services for managing equipment throughout each product’s lifecycle.

Related: Neuron