Battle of the titans & why modular matters
Larry Desjardin- July 2, 2012
Here are the top three sporting events this summer, listed in order of occurrence:
1. UEFA 2012 Euro Cup (which Spain just won 4-0)
2. 2012 Summer Olympics
3. Test and Measurement Industry
Whoa! Test and Measurement? Yes, dear readers, that’s right. There is an epic contest for market share occurring before our eyes. The titans of T&M are slugging it out.
So what are the rules of the game? Essentially, the game consists of consecutive periods, called years, and the objective is to capture the most revenue dollars during each period. But like all sporting events, you need a scorecard to track it.
Fortunately, Jessy Cavazos of Frost and Sullivan recently published the results for 2011, which you can find here. In her summary she included a very nice table listing test and measurement companies in order of their electronic test revenue. You can see the details there, but essentially the scoring leaders are:
$3.4B Danaher (Tektronix, Keithley, and Fluke brands)
$3.3B Agilent Technologies
$1.0B National Instruments
Toss Rohde & Schwarz into the mix as a private $1B+ company, and you have the Big 6 Tournament. Also, waiting in the wings are companies like Anritsu, Yokogawa, Aeroflex, and LeCroy. Suffice it to say, there is more than pocket change on the line.
And what does this have to do with modular instrumentation? Everything. I’ve made some pretty bold predictions about modular instruments. I’ve even written about the coming modular disruption based on game theory and market equilibriums. If these do come true, the above scorecard gets scrambled. Big time.
And why did I say this was a sporting event for this summer? Simple. Because the two largest modular instrument events occur this August and September. First is NI Week, which occurs the first week of August in hot and humid Austin. NI is clearly playing a disruptive role in the industry with a pure modular + software strategy. They promise some big announcements this year.
Five weeks later is Autotestcon, appropriately held in enchanted kingdom of Disneyland this year. Autotestcon serves as the defacto modular event of the industry, where you will see new PXI, VXI, and AXIe products from across the industry. Traditionally the non-NI portion of the modular ecosystem keeps their powder dry until this event, then launches with a fury. Expect players like Adlink, Aeroflex, Agilent, Geotest, Pickering, Teradyne, and ZTEC to bring some action to this event. The pure box players won’t be sitting still either.
The announcements made at these two events will give us more insight into where the industry is going, and whether the coming modular disruption is fact or fiction. I’m betting on “fact”, but we’ll see.
I will be at both events, and will write up my thoughts and insights in this very column. I will also Tweet live updates and breaking news from @modularconx.
So grab a bag of popcorn and a cold drink and get ready to watch the premier sporting event of the summer.