More and more, we’re seeing the Internet of Things (IoT) become part of the fabric of business, helping converge an organization’s assets, data and processes with people and business systems. Today, this intersection is allowing enterprises to uncover new opportunities, create new business models and transform their operations – from elevators, to particle accelerators and washing machines – to become truly digital businesses.
Microsoft’s vision is to help companies thrive in this era of IoT, delivering open, scalable platforms and services that any company, whether startup or the most established global enterprises, can use to create new value, right now. Nadella mentioned our investments in the Windows 10 IoT operating system for devices, and equally with the Azure IoT Suite, we’re bringing together a variety of Azure services to help our customers accelerate their transformation to digital businesses.
Last April, we introduced a preview of the Azure Intelligent Systems Service, designed to securely connect, manage and capture machine-generated data from sensors and devices. The response was overwhelming. We quickly increased the number of participants accepted into the preview to broaden our engagement following strong customer interest, and we introduced trainings to help partners onboard solutions faster. If the Intelligent Systems Service was a starting point, the Azure IoT Suite is its evolution and maturation – a reflection of what we learned from the feedback provided by our customers and partners throughout the preview.
The Azure IoT Suite is an integrated offering that takes advantage of all the relevant Azure capabilities to connect devices and other assets (i.e. “things”), capture the diverse and voluminous data they generate, integrate and orchestrate the flow of that data, and manage, analyze and present it as usable information to the people who need it to make better decisions as well as intelligently automate operations. The offering, while customizable to fit the unique needs of organizations, will also provide finished applications to speed deployment of common scenarios we see across many industries, such as remote monitoring, asset management and predictive maintenance, while providing the ability to grow and scale solutions to millions of “things.”
Additionally, the Azure IoT Suite will provide a simple and predictable pricing model despite the rich set of capabilities and broad scenarios it delivers, so our customers can plan and budget appropriately. This approach is aimed at simplifying the complexities that often exist with implementing and costing IoT solutions.
The Azure IoT Suite will be released in preview later this year. I encourage you to get started today with the Azure IoT services already available – such as Azure Stream Analytics, currently in preview and generally available next month. Stream Analytics enables customers to process massive amounts of real time, incoming data from “things” and services to help predict trends and automate services or responses.
We’re also expanding the Quick Start program, free half-day consultations offered with partners and Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) to help qualifying customers identify specific business priorities, learn about Microsoft’s IoT capabilities, discover how others have benefited from implementing IoT technologies and scope a “proof of concept” unique to their business that can quickly grow into a solution ready for broad deployment. You can read more about Quick Start and other resources Microsoft is introducing to help businesses make IoT a reality here.
This week at Convergence, we are hearing from customers all over the world who are using Azure IoT services to transform their business. Take a look at this video to see what Rockwell Automation is doing. It’s a great example of the power of unifying streams of data into a larger body of actionable, predictive intelligence.
With these products and programs, we look to continue to help our customers transform their business. Stay tuned to this blog for more news about how we’re enabling companies to become digital businesses.