Microsoft recently (February 4th) launched the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, which helps companies to encourage “communication” between connected devices and various cloud-based solutions. Why the investment and focus on IoT from one of the biggest tech giants? It’s all about the potential market size, which is predicted by Gartner to reach 25 billion connected things by 2020.
The benefits are that companies can now analyze, store, and inform decisions based on IoT data. The IoT Hub bridges from device-to-cloud and cloud-to-device for a seamless flow of data. It helps companies control remote monitoring, asset management, and predictive maintenance under one solution, allowing the intermixing of the data to find new insights. For current Microsoft customers, it is simple to now integrate IoT-derived data into other current programs, offering a completely new layer of context and immediacy to business information.
Need a real-world example of how IoT and the cloud are coming together? Consider the work Microsoft did with KUKA Systems Group, a company that provided robotics for a Jeep Manufacturing facility. They worked together to connect more than 60,000 IoT devices and robots within a highly automated plant. The backbone of the system was Windows and SQL Server that effectively connected all of those devices with the factory’s robots. The results were impressive as the plant was able to produce car bodies in less than two minutes and it enabled 24-hour production.
Why Your Business Needs an IoT Strategy?
If you have physical assets, then it’s likely you will need to implement IoT in the future. And the scope of IoT’s benefits goes beyond manufacturing and smart thermostats into retail, travel, and a host of other industries. There are many “things” in the world that businesses rely upon, and connecting them with data will provide avenues to better learning and efficiency.
Thankfully, implementation of IoT can be an incremental process – for example you can start with the areas of business such as operations that can bring fast returns. It is recommended to choose an area that has the biggest potential impact, for example a retailer can connect mobile devices to product data for real-time inventory management. Microsoft works with a company called ICONICS that is taking this incremental approach. The company offers virtualization and infrastructure planning services, and began with Microsoft and IoT by first implementing IoT to cut the summer operating costs of a school building. They focused on this problem until it was perfect, and then used it as a test case for other initiatives.
By implementing these types of strategies over time, you’ll quickly see the benefits including efficiency gains, agility, and new ways to innovate that were previously not possible.
Techblocks can leverage its deep experience as a Microsoft partner to help companies get the very most out of IoT initiatives. We can guide you on; building upon existing assets and devices, using Microsoft’s preconfigured solutions for fast deployment, offer the right analytics and other tech tools from the familiar and trusted Microsoft suite.
Have questions about how you can add Microsoft-powered IoT to your business? Talk to an expert consultant at Techblocks about transforming your “things.” Visit www.tblocks.com to learn more.