ATLANTA: Microsoft has revealed the Azure IoT Suite, a cloud-based platform designed to help businesses manage data and build services on top of the Internet of Things (IoT).
In a keynote speech at Convergence 2015 in Atlanta on Monday, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella explained how the Azure IoT Suite has been designed to help companies adapt their business models to the rapid growth of IoT and cloud.
"The one thing that's going to happen with this explosion of internet-connected devices is the explosion of data that will rendezvous with the cloud," he said.
"The most interesting thing starts to happen once you have all that data; it is the transformation in the business model around these links.
"You're going to provide SaaS [software-as-a-service] services that go along with your services and devices."
Nadella expects businesses that serve customers in sectors that rely heavily on sensors, such as healthcare and manufacturing, to become software businesses that provide services and apps that make use of IoT data.
"Every one of these businesses now is going to become a software business, where you are going to reason about all this data, you're going to build applications, you're going to do things like advanced analytics and predictions," he said.
"That transformation is what's going to change the economics of your business."
Nadella said Azure IoT Suite is designed to play a central part in this IoT-led transformation by giving businesses a single platform on which to build SaaS applications.
"Our aim is to bring the power of the Azure cloud and data platform together so you can drive the transformation of your business going forward," he said.
The Azure IoT Suite not only gives users a cloud-based IoT platform, but will also provide access to tools that allow predictive maintenance, asset management and remote monitoring to be carried out within the cloud.
Azure Steam Analytics will be a core part of the suite, providing real-time data from a multitude of connected devices. Azure Steam Analytics will be released in April, both as a standalone service and part of the Azure IoT Suite.
The Azure IoT Suite is the latest chapter in Microsoft's push into the IoT arena, which started with the launch of the Microsoft Band wearable.
Microsoft will face competition from HP, which also offers an IoT platform, though the company is specifically targeting communication service providers.
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