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Brilliance@Work: Wearable Technology Innovator Barry McGeough

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar people and their best practices at work. We’re kicking off 2017 by featuring brand, design and marketing strategy experts to help you “thrive in the new brand reality.”

Barry McGeough

Barry McGeough

FUSE 2017 presenter Barry McGeough is Group Vice President at the Innovation Next division of PVH, one of the world’s largest importers of apparel, which includes iconic brands Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, and Speedo. Barry’s extensive experience includes directing athlete and human biomechanics-inspired product development and innovation teams at Teva, The North Face and Speedo.

As a preview to his presentation, Barry shares his insights on the impact of collaboration and innovation on designing wearable technology:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What inspires your product development innovations?
Barry McGeough:
Everything from David Hockney and his approach to digital expression from an analogue perspective, to business leaders like Elon Musk and Kevin Plank who build worlds of business and product possibilities off the back of sheer audacity, to thought leaders like Malcolm Gladwell that challenge all our current ways of thinking conventionally. It’s all about being pathologically curious, finding the problems that vex us in life and the business of product and consumer experience, and using that curiosity to create the elegant solution.

PB: What role does collaboration play in the design-production relationship?
Sounds stupidly obvious, but collaboration is everything. At Innovation Next, we are now collaborating with everyone as we explore how connected apparel becomes part of the IoT. We are working with universities like NC State and MIT, confederations like Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), schools like University College London, Parsons in New York, Hong Kong Polytechnic, as well as being actively engaged in our partnerships in Silicon Valley, in the start-up community, and looking outside our industry into the Defense and Biotech industries. We even collaborate on industry-wide initiatives with our competitors.

Everyone should be empowered to be their creative best selves. The innovation process works best when it’s smart: when its goals are targeted, its desired outcomes are clear, and a path to success is defined. Innovation and the idea of investing in pure R&D research, while well known in industries like consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, and the auto industry, is very new to the apparel sector.

As such we are, all of us, from Under Armour to Adidas, defining what these investments could mean to us as we drive to bring relevant, practical solutions that help our brands build their unique competitive edge and drive revenue and profit. With the onset of fast fashion and the demands of an immediate gratification culture, we can no longer succeed using old go-to-market paradigms. We must now look outside our comfort zones and even outside of our industry to find these unique solutions. And that requires strategic collaboration.

PB: What are some notable products you’ve helped to create?

PB: What do you see as the next phase of wearable technology?
In the short term, we as an industry must solve for the problems of power generation and power storage before we can fully integrate apparel into the Internet of everything.

But if we believe as we do, as the World Bank does, that by 2020 there will be 8 billion people on Earth, and there will be 50 billion connected devices and 95% of the world’s population will be connected to the Internet, then we also must believe that in a world of smart everything, from cars to phones to thermostats to wearables, that no one will accept smart EVERYTHING and dumb clothes.

Our expectations for connected apparel will be commensurate with our expectations for functionality in all other areas of the consumer and connected experience. And who better to drive this than PVH, who make products in multiple brands that cover the human body every day. Connected apparel is a ‘how,’ not an ‘if,’ and we are building these gateway solutions today.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
My presentation will specifically discuss the intersection of innovation and biomimicry. As an alum of the outdoor industry, I have been fortunate to cross-pollinate the ideas put forward by Janine Benyus who wrote Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Naturethe primer for the concept of biomimicry, and use some of those concepts to build training aids that help strengthen Olympic athletes for one of the world’s most iconic brands. The inspiration we get for simple yet powerful solutions from the natural world is in its infancy. I will showcase how this insight inspires this and other industries.

Want to hear more from Barry? Join us at FUSE 2017. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in brand, design and marketing. Stay connected at #FUSEdesign.


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Brilliance@Work: Industrial Internet Expert Beena Ammanath

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar executives and their best practices at work. Throughout May, we’ll feature Data Science experts.

Beena Ammanath is Executive Director, Data Science at GE. She’s also a keynote presenter at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference on June 8-10, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Beena Ammanath

Beena Ammanath

As a preview to her presentation “Industrial Internet: Building the Digital Industrial World with Data Science,” Beena shared how GE is leading the Industrial Internet.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How is GE helping to shape the future of the Industrial Internet?
Beena Ammanath: The Industrial Internet presents incredible opportunities to connect the world of really important things, and ongoing digital transformation is changing all industries. With 50 billion machines expected to come online by 2020, the Industrial Internet’s impact on GE, our customers and the world is tremendous.

In leading the Industrial Internet, GE has transformed its business by building and deploying Predix, an Industrial IoT platform and opening the platform to non-GE assets. Predix – the world’s first and only cloud platform built exclusively for industry – is the foundation for our Industrial Internet offerings. It offers the strength, scale and security for industrial customers to use with industrial data.

We are actively deploying Predix across our business, IT, and manufacturing operations. We’re also working with many customers to use Predix to secure and monitor the approximately $1 trillion GE industrial assets deployed worldwide.

PB: What were some of the benefits GE realized from the Industrial Internet implementation?
BA: Big data and data analytics have brought about a radical change in how our operations do business. We utilize sensors and data processing in our machines to enable predictive maintenance and repair breakdowns even before they occur.

We’ve already seen a reduction of 10-20% in unplanned downtime in our own factories, as well as improved cycle time, improved customer service and reduced costs in the facility.

PB: What makes GE’s Industrial Internet offerings unique?
BA: Unlike general-purpose platforms, Predix is optimized to support industrial use cases.

Other platforms and companies lack GE’s deep domain knowledge of assets to enable anything more than general predictive analytics.

Predix was designed specifically to handle the velocity, variety and volume of industrial data from millions of machines, where other platforms remain focused on enterprise data.

Only Predix delivers the end-to-end security that satisfies strict data governance, privacy and integrity requirements – that support over 60 regulatory frameworks worldwide. Other platforms are slow and costly. Predix offers developers the tools to automate the “coding to deployment” cycle, where they may spend up to 80% of their development time integrating with other systems.

PB: What will people gain from attending your keynote at the Data Science conference?
BA: Attendees will gain a clear understanding of the Industrial Internet, the characteristics of Industrial Big Data and the kind of business outcomes we can achieve in the Industrial space leveraging Data Science.

Want to hear more from Beena Ammanath? Join us at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in data science and analytics. Stay connected at #MADSCONF.