Internet of Things Microsoft Internet of Things Blog Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:01:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 77982353 Azure IoT turbocharged with new Azure Stream Analytics features Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:00:32 +0000 Read more »]]> IoT solutions must monitor real-time data coming from devices and take action when troubling patterns are found. This capability is referred to as “stream processing,” and at the scale of IoT, customers need a robust and scalable solution. Many of our Azure IoT customers use Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics to meet these needs, and with its recently announced features, Azure Stream Analytics can help customers take their IoT solutions to the next level:

  • Native support for geospatial functions helps developers build solutions for connected car, connected fleet management and related “things that move” scenarios. More than 100 customers including NASCAR have already been using these geospatial capabilities in preview to define geographical areas, evaluate incoming geospatial data for containment, proximity and overlap, and generate alerts or easily kick off necessary workflows.
  • Custom code with JavaScript now enables more advanced scenarios. Customers can write their custom code in JavaScript and easily invoke it as part of their real-time stream processing query.
  • Low-latency dashboards offer an improved experience for solutions built using Azure Stream Analytics. High-volume, streaming data analytics can now be output to Microsoft Power BI with significantly lower latency.
  • Job diagnostics logs simplify self-service troubleshooting. Customers now have a systematic way to deal with lost, late or malformed data — and to investigate errors caused by bad data.
  • Visual Studio integration with Azure Stream Analytics is also available in public preview.

Read more about all these new features, or for more information on how IoT can transform your business, visit

Leveraging Microsoft’s Connected Field Service capabilities to transform your business Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:00:40 +0000 Read more »]]> Digital transformation is causing tremendous shifts in how manufacturers do business. Leading firms are moving toward selling services instead of products[1], turning what used to be an expensive operation – fixing failures in the field – into the cornerstone of a successful, high-margin business.[2] This approach, known as servitization, decreases operational costs, creates new, recurring revenue streams, and enables manufacturers to differentiate their offerings from competitors’ solutions. But shifting from a “product-based” to a “service-based” business isn’t just about improving profits – it’s also about providing customers with better outcomes, greater reliability, and reduced risks. For more and more manufacturers, servitization is essential to embracing digital transformation and generating new value for themselves and their customers.

Connected Field Service enables a seamless shift to successful servitization

With Microsoft Connected Field Service, a fully integrated IoT enabled “field service” solution that leverages Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service, it’s possible to transform service from a siloed source of cost into a consistent profit driver. Connected Field Service enables companies to easily and successfully navigate the five key steps to servitization, which can dramatically improve first-time fix rates, reduce onsite appointments, increase profits, and enhance customer outcomes. Here, we’ll walk through the basics of how companies are embracing servitization via Connected Field Service:

1. Utilizing quality field service management software is the critical first step for every organization. Great software enables companies to enhance the management and delivery of their services to a diverse set of customers. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service and it’s advanced field service capabilities, it’s easy to integrate scheduling and routing, inventory, invoicing, training and knowledge, customer information, and more. The best field service management software goes a step further into optimization, maximizing appointments per day, and improving customer satisfaction and organizational productivity. It also boosts first-time fix rates by aggregating and distributing critical data so that individuals across the organization have access to the latest insights from the field.

2. Connecting smart devices and assets to field service software enables companies to leverage the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technology to enhance operations. Leveraging IoT connectivity is where operational productivity begins to escalate quickly.  With this approach, many issues can be repaired remotely and with minimal human intervention, resulting in cost savings and ensuring that technicians are sent only when necessary. Achieving these benefits requires seamless integration of IoT technologies with Connected Field Service. Using software like Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and Dynamics 365 for Field Service, companies can quickly and easily connect devices and start using IoT data to make more intelligent service decisions.

3. Integrating service across an entire a company provides field service organizations with a true competitive advantage. A single platform gives technicians the ability to identify opportunities in the field and request follow-up from sales – uniting field service, customer service, and the sales organization. It also ensures that technicians have a full 360-degree view of customer cases so they have all relevant information before they arrive on-site, increasing the first-time fix rate. A comprehensive service approach is more than just collaboration between different business units – it’s a mindset of ensuring a continuous, cohesive customer experience and empowering employees to gain visibility into the entire customer journey.

4. Leveraging machine learning is critical to field service because it enables predictive maintenance  – fixing problems before they arise or can cause disruptions. Machine learning can deliver benefits in many related scenarios as well. For example, by applying insights from machine learning, firms can order inventory more efficiently, schedule technicians more effectively, and understand which products are out-performing and under-performing, and why. But the primary application of machine learning – empowering companies to know when service is needed via predictive maintenance – provides a tremendous competitive advantage when it comes to reducing costs and maximizing field service efficiency.

5. Enabling field service to power innovation is another example of how field service can help firms differentiate themselves. Product and service innovations come from customer insights, from the actual use of products and services beyond the feedback customers volunteer.  The tribal knowledge of field service technicians can also be used to uncover trends and best practices – using smart devices and machine learning to capture, aggregate, and analyze field service technician’s repair notes, firms can enable the wisdom and expertise of their employees to power ingenuity. Connecting a 360-degree view of customer interactions across channels, product telemetry from connecting smart products to field service, and observations from service technicians gives field service organizations multiple new catalysts for innovation. With those powerful insights, service organizations can transform many maintenance problems into predictive, preventive solutions.

Get started today

Microsoft is helping manufacturers embrace digital transformation and compete in the age of servitization. Businesses that want to stay competitive can’t afford to wait – one out of every four field service operations is already generating new revenue from servitization. Learn how you can expand your services and enhance customer relationships with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service, Microsoft IoT Connected Field Service capabilities, the five steps to successful servitization, and Microsoft Azure IoT Suite can transform your service organization today at

[1] Aberdeen Group, State of Field Service Market

[2] Aberdeen Group, Service Revenue: Unearth an Untapped Stream of Dollars


How to assess IoT security from end to end Wed, 15 Feb 2017 17:00:46 +0000 Read more »]]> As businesses around the world look to adopt IoT or expand their deployments, security may have never been more top of mind. Recent news of hackers using sophisticated malware like Mirai is a reminder that actively addressing these issues is critical to businesses.

Yet as the threat landscape is always changing, security is not so much a destination to be reached as it is a continuous journey, according to Microsoft’s Arjmand Samuel, a principal program manager for IoT. Addressing the wide-reaching challenges of security in the age of IoT requires participation from the entire technology ecosystem — from cloud providers to hardware manufacturers and solution developers to the companies that ultimately operate the system.

This week at the RSA Conference 2017 in San Francisco, Samuel will host a theater session discussing ways to foresee and overcome difficulties around designing, developing and deploying IoT infrastructure.

The session will explore new complexities introduced by recent security threats and detail the top security concerns that IoT solution providers, partners and customers should be focused on today. Samuel will also discuss the Security Program for Azure IoT, which brings customers together with trusted security auditors and Microsoft security specialists to evaluate IoT solutions end to end and identify security priorities, vulnerabilities and effective mitigations.

For more information on how IoT can transform your business, visit

See the Internet of Things in Action With Microsoft Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:00:54 +0000 Read more »]]> At Microsoft, we believe that one of the most important trends for improving your business is the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s a cornerstone of digital transformation that is driving real value across industries, helping the enterprise reduce cost and create new lines of business. But IoT isn’t one “thing.” It’s about an ecosystem of devices, the data they generate, and the opportunity to draw insights and take action based on analysis of that data.

But IoT is complicated, and presents a range of opportunities and challenges that can make it difficult to get started. So Microsoft has joined forces with the online tech publication ReadWrite to host IoT in Action With Microsoft, a two-day event of thought leadership and technical know-how designed to educate and foster collaboration among hardware manufacturers, distributors, packaged software providers and systems integrators.

Please join us in San Jose, California, USA, at the Fairmont Hotel March 21–22, 2017, for a unique opportunity to learn more about what it takes to build a world-class IoT solution. You’ll be joined by industry experts including Dr. James Whittaker, Microsoft distinguished technology evangelist; Tom O’Reilly, general manager, OEM Embedded; Carl Coken, Microsoft general manager, account technology specialist; Trevor Curwin, editor in chief of ReadWrite; and a host of speakers providing insights around cloud economics, the business value of IoT solutions, device-to-cloud security, and sharing real-world examples of how businesses have successfully built and monetized scalable IoT solutions.

For more information on the full two-day agenda, and to register for the event, please visit the IoT in Action With Microsoft registration site.

If you can’t be in San Jose in person, catch all the updates from the stage via Twitter using hashtag #IoTinActionMS! And for more information about how IoT can help your business, visit

How IoT and AI are transforming cars with intelligent mobility Thu, 09 Feb 2017 17:00:05 +0000 Read more »]]> Buy a new car, and you’re really buying a datacenter on wheels. By 2025, 100 percent of new cars will be connected cars, up from 35 percent today. And by 2030, 15 percent of new cars will be autonomous — and all will send, receive and analyze vast amounts of data.

As Microsoft’s principal group program manager, Doug Seven is working alongside the automotive industry to transform the everyday experience of driving through the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). Seven shared his insights on the industry’s rapid innovation in a keynote address this past week at DesignCon 2017 in Santa Clara, California.

If you weren’t able to attend the show, Seven’s keynote on “The Internet of Things That Move – Connected Cars & Beyond,” described how automakers and OEMs can evolve their offerings with advanced technology, from high-speed connectivity to the car, new models of car usage and ownership, and autonomous driving. To meet these demands, developers need strong cloud-based assets, global capabilities and enterprise B2B tools that deliver end-to-end solutions wherever people drive.

Seven spearhead’s Microsoft’s engineering team for mobility services, including the Azure-cloud enabled Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform  and location-based services enabled by partners such as ESRI, TomTom and HERE. The Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform is an agile platform for the automotive industry designed to empower manufacturers to create custom, connected driving experiences. It aims to address five key priorities: telematics and predictive maintenance, productivity and digital life, intelligent and contextual navigation, customer insight and engagement, and helping build autonomous driving capabilities.

Maximizing the combined capabilities of IoT and AI can unlock new business models for the industry and improve travel experiences for passengers. Autonomous cars equipped with telematics, sensors, infotainment services, navigation, cameras, radar and more will use AI to understand the world around them, make decisions and engage with passengers.

For more information, read our blog post about how the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform can help automakers transform cars.

Lead image citations:

Gautham Nagesh, “Mary Barra’s Road Map for GM Centers on Customer Data, Connectivity,” Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2015,

“Consumer interest in connected cars gaining speed in top markets,”, May 23, 2016,

Paul Gao, Hans-Werner Kaas, Detlev Mohr, and Dominik Wee, “Disruptive trends that will transform the auto industry,” McKinsey & Company, January 2016,

Zachary Shahan, “7 Global & UK EV Charts Via @POD_Point,” Clean Technica, March 20, 2016,

“Safety Technologies,” NHTSA, 2016,

IoT White Paper: How OEMs and ISVs can lead the way in digital transformation Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:00:54 +0000 Read more »]]> Smarter, cheaper, always-connected devices are driving a faster and faster pace of change in technology. Coupled with ever-shifting consumer demands and the need to remain competitive, businesses in every industry are embracing digital transformation.  The Internet of Things (IoT) is fueling that transformation, starting with devices that collect and process data at the place where business gets done—where customers engage with a brand, employees are empowered with information and tools to execute their mission, and where operations run at peak performance.

This represents a huge opportunity for enterprises. Industry analysts predict an average $100 million increase in operating revenue for leading enterprises.[i] Major industries are projected to realize gross margin increases of 55%, mostly driven by edge computing with connected devices, applications, and analytics.[ii] Progressive organizations are taking advantage of amazing technological innovation to transform their business and stay on the leading edge of market demands.

It’s a massive opportunity for OEMs and ISVs. Analysts calculate there will be more than 30 billion connected devices by 2020,[iii] creating a $1.7 trillion market for devices and applications.[iv] Gartner predicts spending on IoT hardware will exceed $2.5 million every minute with 1 million devices bought and installed every hour.[v] Capitalizing on this opportunity can be immediate. By building on technologies that customers already have, connecting current devices, unlocking existing intelligence and integrating new smart devices that bring intelligence to the edge, OEM’s and ISV’s can provide customers with access to actionable insights; enabling them to proactively respond to rapidly changing market demands.

In our new whitepaper, The IoT Enterprise Digital Transformation, we offer insights into this once-in-a-generation opportunity for OEMs and ISVs to reinvent their business, products and services. Instead of making one-time devices, they can package their goods with ongoing digital content and services, connecting them with other devices and data to increase their value and create new revenue streams.

Find out how:

  • IoT is empowering digital transformation across industries.
  • OEMs and ISVs can capture the IoT opportunity by becoming digital transformation experts.
  • Pervasive connectivity and smart devices are fueling transformative innovation.
  • Insight-driven tools can provide a 360° industry wide view that helps engage customers, empower employees and optimize operations.
  • Collaboration across the digital ecosystem is driving growth in every sector.

Whether evolving an existing device, bringing an innovative concept to life or looking for ways to extend their reach into new markets, this while paper sheds light on what’s possible for and why it’s imperative to start the transformation now.

[i] IDC, 2016

[ii] McKinsey, How IoT Can Support A Dynamic Maintenance Program, 2016.

[iii] Andrew Burger, “IDC: Internet of Things Base to Reach 30 Billion in 2020,” Telecompetitor, November 7, 2014,

[iv] Steven Norton, “Internet of Things Market to Reach $1.7 Trillion by 2020: IDC,” WSJ, CIO Journal, June 2, 2015.

[v] Daryl C. Plummer, Martin Reynolds, Charles S. Golvin, Allie Young, Patrick J. Sullivan, Alfonso Velosa, Benoit J. Lheureux, Andrew Frank, Gavin Tay, Manjunath Bhat, Peter Middleton, Joseph Unsworth, Ray Valdes, David Furlonger, Werner Goertz, Jeff Cribbs, Mark A. Beyer, Alexander Linden, Noah Elkin, Nick Heudecker, Tom Austin, Angela McIntyre, Fabio Chesini, and Hung LeHong, Top Strategic Predictions for 2017 and Beyond: Surviving the Storm Winds of Digital Disruption, Gartner, October 14, 2016,

Making it easier to get started with IoT Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:00:55 +0000 Read more »]]> The Internet of Things (IoT) is, in many ways, like “the cloud” was nearly a decade ago: Everyone’s talking about it. Some businesses and consumers have already begun embracing it wholeheartedly. Others want to understand it better than they do. And many find the whole idea a bit overwhelming and aren’t sure where to start.

We bring some clarity with a new article, “IoT: It’s Easier Than You Might Think,” where our team of experts help to cut through the hype around IoT. You’ll get down to brass tacks with simple, straightforward advice that:

  • Explains how IoT can equip you to make better business decisions.
  • Lays out a series of proven steps to help you easily get started with IoT.
  • Shares best practices to keep your IoT journey on the right path for long-term success.

Bringing IoT into your business doesn’t have to be difficult, and it certainly doesn’t have to happen all at once. By taking a measured approach, you will get the best value from IoT. And soon you’ll see how it has the power to transform the way your company does business – giving you better access to information and helping you gather new insights that can make your business more competitive.

Read the full article for more on how to get started with IoT. And to learn more about how IoT can transform your business, visit

Azure4Research program announces winning IoT solutions Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:00:02 +0000 Read more »]]> Research thrives on data – from gigabytes to terabytes and even petabytes of data, depending on the field or institution. Yet many researchers lack access to the computing power and analytical tools to unlock the insights hidden in these mountains of data.

That’s why Microsoft started the Azure4Research (A4R) program in 2013, which brings together forward-leaning research and pioneering applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the market. Six times a year,  Microsoft invites researchers and educators at top research universities to apply for free Azure cloud computing resources, including the Azure IoT Suite, which provides an easy-to-use platform to connect devices to the cloud.

The latest round of A4R winners represent innovative leaders in areas such as climate research, industrial automation, electrical engineering, and green building technologies. Highlights of the winning IoT solutions include:

  • The Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) at Sheffield University will explore the collective use of wireless sensor nodes and cloud-based predictive analytics technologies to monitor the performance of machinery typically found in an industrial setting. Researchers will gain a better understanding of the design and performance limitations of wireless sensing and inspire engineering students about the potential of IoT.
  • The Tennessee Technological University (TTU) College of Engineering will continue its IoT Platform for engineering, education and research program (IoT PEER), a testbed for education, exploration and research of IoT, based upon Arduino, Raspberry PI and Zigbee technologies. Ongoing projects are focused on the areas of fisheries revitalization and management of 3D printers and projectors in the classroom.
  • The University of Liverpool School of Environmental Science is conducting a feasibility study for developing a software service in the cloud that would streamline the development of cross-platform apps for generating climate data. Once completed, researchers will have developed a cloud-based service that consumes various data sources and connects with a variety of apps; a functional model for using apps, algorithms, sensors and open data services to disseminate research data; and a functional prototype demonstrating the value of the framework.
  • The Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) at Harvard University Graduate School of Design is focused on developing new processes, systems, and products that will transform the building industry. As part of the upcoming CGBC HouseZero project, an existing three-story home will be renovated and equipped with a range of technologies, including building automation, data visualization, augmented reality, embedded sensors, machine learning and data analysis.
  • Queen’s University is researching how to simplify the development and effective use of IoT systems. For this project, researchers will assess the needs of IoT developers and customers, and develop a prototype service that: identifies a customer’s needs, provides a list of relevant services upon which the solution to their need is based, and automatically configures the individual apps that make up the solution.
  • The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University is researching how data visualization and algorithms could lead to improved management of the generation and distribution of electricity across power grids. Part of the research will involve the use of high performance computing resources to simulate of a power grid containing as many as 100,000 buses.

Winners received a grant for Azure cloud platform resources and infrastructure that enable powerful predictive analytics and management of IoT sensors and devices and see their project to fruition. In return, winners will develop case studies and curriculum for hands-on projects and make them freely available to the academic research community through publication and sharing platforms.

Researchers who solved data-intensive challenges submitted their proposals, and IoT experts from Microsoft Research chose the winning entries. A4R is funded and managed by Microsoft Research.

For more information on how Microsoft IoT can transform your business, visit

Webinar: Expert insights and real-world success stories show how IoT can help to transform your business Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:00:06 +0000 Read more »]]> The Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling digital transformation and driving new business value in companies of all sizes, across multiple industries. By connecting people, assets, processes, and systems, IoT helps business leaders make better-informed decisions that improve efficiency, cut costs, generate more revenue and elevate customer experiences.

Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 10:00 AM PT/ 1:00 PM ET for the webinar: Digital Transformation and the Internet of Things. Through real-world examples and customer success stories, Microsoft Azure IoT marketing leader Peter Cooper will show you how IoT technology can benefit your company. We’ll also share IoT best practices to help you get started on the right path and ways to navigate the stages of an IoT solution to maximize value.

Register for the webinar here. And to learn more about how IoT can transform your business, visit

Unmasking the real value of IoT Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:00:43 +0000 Read more »]]> If you’ve been following the news around the Internet of Things (IoT), you’ve likely heard pundits singing its praises, talking about all the ways IoT technologies can drive business transformation. “At Microsoft we believe in the tremendous potential of IoT, but we also hear from our customers that realizing the benefits of IoT quickly can be a business challenge.”

In Unmasking IoT: The Real Value Behind the Hype, we help business leaders understand the true value IoT can bring. It illuminates some of the ways IoT is being used across different industries and answers questions like:

  • What can IoT do for my business?
  • Should I be worried about IoT security and privacy?
  • How do I make IoT safe for my business?
  • How do the different IoT vendors stack up?
  • And what is the business case for a connected washing machine, anyway?

This article will help you explain IoT to your colleagues and customers – and even reveal some ways you hadn’t thought of that IoT can help you uncover new business value.

Read the full article for more on the value of IoT. And for more information on other ways IoT can transform your business, visit