As we join more than 8,000 C-level executives from over 50 countries attending IoT Solutions World Congress 2016 (IoTSWC) in Barcelona this week, it’s amazing to think how far the Internet of Things (IoT) has come. Over the past 12 months, the industry conversation around IoT has moved from “Is this really possible?” to “How quickly can I get started?” Indeed, a recent IDC survey1 found that one-third of businesses have already launched an IoT solution, while another 43 percent are planning to deploy IoT in the coming year.
As enterprises increasingly embrace IoT, Microsoft’s rapid pace of innovation is continuing to accelerate. We’re all in on IoT, and this week we’re announcing new services and updates that take Microsoft Azure IoT and Windows 10 IoT to the next level. Our ecosystem of partners and customers are also generating fantastic momentum – and transforming their businesses with Microsoft IoT technologies.
Securing the Internet of Things
While IoT has always presented the possibility of unlocking unprecedented insights, for some businesses, concerns about security and privacy are a top concern and remain barriers to adoption. Indeed, by 2020, more than half of all large IoT implementations will require cloud-based security services to operate within acceptable risks, according to analyst firm Gartner.2
Our enterprise customers who have already deployed IoT tell us that the wide range of security features built into both Azure IoT Suite and Windows 10 IoT are one of the top reasons they choose Microsoft. Our ability to ensure devices are tamper proof and can be securely provisioned and connected to each other and to the cloud, ensuring data is protected when it’s created, processed, and stored are core to our commitment to security.
Today, we’re further enhancing our IoT security offerings with the new Security Program for Azure IoT. The program provides our customers with independently validated assessments from expert security auditors who develop, evaluate, and implement the most rigorous security models for the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite. Auditors participating in the program have the expertise to conduct end-to-end security audits, ensuring that each customer’s specific security measures are both sufficient and correctly applied. You can learn more about this program here.
In addition to an end-to-end security strategy, Microsoft continues to build the most comprehensive IoT platform on the market. Today we are announcing several enhancements to our cloud and device platforms that are designed to help partners and customers bring their IoT solutions to life quickly and easily.
With the Azure IoT Suite, we are announcing new features that help customers simplify how they monitor and manage their IoT solutions, including:
- New device management capabilities on Azure IoT Hub, which enables IoT administrators to organize, query, configure, and update the software, firmware and configuration between millions of geographically dispersed and cross-platform IoT devices. Introduced earlier this year, these feature enhancements will be available in November.
- New message routing capabilities on Azure IoT Hub, which make it simple to route device messages sent to Azure IoT Hub to specific endpoints in your IoT soluti
on. Message routing for IoT works like the email rules you may use in your office to route messages to different folders, instead of ending up with a cluttered inbox that you have to sort through. The new feature will be available in early winter.
- Enhancements the Azure IoT Gateway (SDK), which allows developers to easily build and deploy gateway intelligence tailored to their specific scenario. Microsoft is continuing its commitment to hybrid cloud and edge-based IoT solutions with the enhancement of our Azure IoT Gateway SDK. We believe that there is a balance in IoT processing between the ‘edge of the network’ and the cloud, which is why we are a founding member of the OpenFog Consortium. The Azure IoT Gateway SDK is an open source project and will be available to all Azure IoT customers in November.
- Introduction of the Grove IoT Commercial Gateway Kit, a new offering in the family of Azure IoT Starter Kits. Developed in partnership with Intel, the new kit brings together Intel IoT Gateway technology running Wind River Linux and the Azure IoT Gateway SDK for rapid prototyping in commercial gateway scenarios, such as connecting new and legacy devices, performing edge analytics, translating protocols, and filtering data on the gateway before sending data to Azure IoT Hub.
- Launch of the Azure IoT Certified device catalog, which helps customers choose the best partner devices for their IoT solution. Our Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT program now includes over 175 devices from 100 partners, all tested and verified to work with Azure IoT. The Azure IoT Certified device catalog enables easy searching and filtering for this huge set of devices so customers can quickly find a device that meets their needs.
These investments come in addition to our continued innovation on Windows 10 IoT, a family of products designed for smart, secure, connected devices that bring edge intelligence to IoT solutions. Edge computing is a key component of an IoT solution as it allows data analysis and action closer to the point of impact, and Windows 10 IoT powers the edge devices that bring IoT to life.
With the recent Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft has added capabilities to Windows 10 IoT Core, the operating system for small footprint, low cost devices — to bring the enterprise-grade security, management, and connectivity our customers expect from Windows to IoT devices. These updates include:
- Support for Windows Update, allowing customers to keep their devices up to date with the latest features and security updates easily using proven Microsoft tools and technologies.
- The ability to use the Windows Store to seamlessly update applications, simplifying application lifecycle management for customers and partners.
- The ability to manage IoT devices like other computing assets using leading management solutions, reducing cost and complexity in infrastructure management.
- Enhanced security between Windows 10 IoT Core devices and the Azure IoT Suite using the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 international standard to enable highly secure cloud apps.
Additionally, we made Windows 10 IoT Core available royalty free both online and through our distribution partners. Partners looking to ship IoT Core devices can go to windowsforiotdevices.com to get Windows 10 IoT Core and the license to commercialize your device.
Microsoft is committed to investing in technologies that simplify the lifecycle management of IoT and streamline the process of harnessing data for analysis from devices, at the edge, and in the cloud. In the months ahead, we’ll further enhance integration of the Azure IoT Hub Gateway SDK and Azure IoT Hub device management into our Windows 10 IoT products to provide a more seamless experience for our IoT customers.
Making the Digital Transformation Possible
As Microsoft IoT innovation continues, our growing list of partners is developing and deploying IoT solutions built with Microsoft IoT technologies – helping to obtain actionable insights never before possible.
In addition to our great ecosystem of partners at the show, eBECS, Cognizant, COPA-DATA Group, and Fujitsu will join us on the show floor to showcase powerful IoT solutions for collecting, analyzing, and visualizing sensor information using easy-to-use dashboards that help organizations make intelligent decisions.
These partners join several customers such as Emerson Industrial Automation, who is transforming business efficiency through its innovative IoT solutions. Emerson is integrating Azure IoT Suite and Windows IoT to build a control valve monitoring system that helps processing industries perform predictive analytics on control valves. By monitoring information from sensors attached to control valves, manufacturers ranging from chemical plants to food and beverage companies can detect and diagnose potential failures before they occur, reducing costs while improving productivity.
In the area of natural resource conservation, Stockholm start-up Eniga has created a sensing-as-service platform that building owners are using to measure and control warm water use. The service uses a Low Power Wide Area Network specification LoRaWAN gateway that’s integrated with the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub to connect all the sensors, allowing for the flexible management of millions of devices through Microsoft Azure. Using this service, smart buildings operator Stockrose is reducing water waste in 10,000 apartments across Stockholm by better measuring water consumption and making tenants accountable for the warm water they actually use. The service is expected to save Stockrose property owners 40 million euros within a 10-year period.
In the smart home space, German manufacturer Liebherr is using the Microsoft Azure cloud, Microsoft Cognitive Services and Windows 10 IoT Core to develop a new generation of smart refrigerators that change the shopping and meal planning experience for consumers. The refrigerators combine cameras with object recognition technology to identify and monitor stored groceries. Using a SmartDeviceBox connectivity module, users can dynamically update shopping lists and digitally interact with their refrigerator, creating an innovative grocery management experience.
These are just a few examples of the innovative ways our partners and customers are putting IoT technology to use. We’re excited about this week’s new developments, and look forward to sharing them with partners and customers attending the IoTSWC conference. If you plan to be there, be sure to stop by the Microsoft booth, located in Fira Gran Via Hall 1, Booth 451, and join us for our keynote “Creating the Internet of Your Things” from 9:30 to 10 am CET this Thursday or at one of our six breakout sessions and panels. Recorded sessions will be available for playback here.
For more information on how the power of IoT can transform your organization, visit www.InternetofYourThings.com.
1IDC Press Release, IDC’s 2016 Global IoT Decision Maker Survey Finds Organizations Moving Past Pilot Projects and Toward Scalable Deployments, September 21, 2016
2 Gartner, Predicts 2016: Security for the Internet of Things, 09 December 2015