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Internet of things (IoT) – A cultural and business model transformation

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Internet of things (IoT) – A cultural and business model transformation

At the Convergence 2015 Barcelona conference Steve Fox, Senior Director of Microsoft’s worldwide Azure Apps and IoT practice, presented some thought-provoking case studies showing how the Internet of Things (IoT) has improved business processes and aided intelligent decision making. Focusing on the increasing popularity of IoT in everyday business, Steve highlighted how IoT has evolved from a trend to facilitating real business processes to solve problems.

Not only is IoT increasing in business as Gartner predicts 25 billion connected devices by 2020, but also in terms of monetary worth, with IDC predicting that IoT spend will total $1.7 trillion by 2020.

Steve highlighted several case studies throughout the presentation which illustrated how IoT can support problem solving, many of the companies mentioned have used Internet of Things in a way that is transferable to many other industries. Let’s take a look at a few…

Rockwell Automation – Predictive and preventative maintenance with Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite

Working in the oil and gas industry means many valuable capital assets are widely distributed, Rockwell Automation are using Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite to bring data from even the most remote devices, feeding data to the cloud to drive business insights through remote monitoring and remote trouble shooting; allowing the company to acquire operational intelligence. Doug Weber, Business Manager of Remote Application Monitoring stated “…with sensors, software and the cloud, these disparate assets can become part of a connected enterprise, powered at its core by a rich flow of data.”

Benefits – Internet of Things 

  • The automation of data collection and analysis reduces downtime and costly maintenance whilst increasing productivity
  • Bringing together a global supply chain with real-time insights accelerates business growth through a highly scalable cloud solution
  • Internet of Things drives innovation, builds a completive advantage and ultimately provides “…a better fuelling experience for drivers.”

The full case study can be read here.

EnBW – Powering smart cities through Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite, cloud based monitoring with rich reporting

EnBW a German utilities company, are using street lamps fitted with smart sensors that can monitor the temperature, pollution, air pressure, humidity and the movement of people in and out of cities. The dashboard provides new insights from connected devices and visualisations to make smart decisions, through devices all over the world in every city connected using Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite. EnBW sensors also provide free Wi-Fi and smart energy to charge your car, sending real time data into Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite to be processed, stored and used to identify trends and provide additional services to cities.

Benefits – Insights from connected devices to make smart decisions

  • Measuring pollution (dust) levels and traffic levels; enables cities to re-route the flow of traffic at peak times in order to reduce these levels and improve efficiency
  • Smart lighting can save energy and increase efficiencies by detecting faults easily allowing for preventative maintenance
  • Wireless connectivity allows for the collection of data from people using Wi-Fi to identify where people are moving to, allowing city authorities to carry out more data-driven people management


Dartmouth Hitchcock – ImagineCare proactive and personalised health care based on Microsoft’s cloud-based Cortana Analytics Suite

Dartmouth Hitchcock use Cortana Analytics to remotely measure a patient’s mood (using face recognition), blood pressure, and heart rate to process actions based on these results. Not only do they gather telemetric data from patients but also other data indicating local temperature and reported flu outbreaks for example, enabled by the power of the cloud and Cortana analytics.

Benefits – Cortana Analytics for healthcare professionals 

  • Supported by machine learning and the big data analysis abilities of Cortana Analytics, the care provider can access real-time information about the patient’s current health and view predictive models to see how their health is likely to change in the future
  • A rise in a patient’s temperature, weight or blood pressure can be monitored so that the healthcare professional can regulate medication or recommend exercise or diet regimes
  • The system allows the healthcare team to be proactive with an easy to use dashboard alerting the team to any possible problems and providing smart insights, this enables clinicians to be more efficient with their time and resources, therefore reducing the cost of delivering services

Internet of Things (IoT) advancements

These are just a few example of Internet of Things in action, the functionality can drill much deeper down. IoT is not just simply connected devices and systems, but rather implementing big data analytics and models through the networked devices and apps. Steve reiterates that IoT needs to be approached from a business-use standpoint instead of just a technology rollout, “…in the context of the IoT, ‘grow as you go’ should be your mantra. We see that over and over. You will learn as you go and you will add additional elements as you go.”

Microsoft business intelligence solutions provide business insights from data of practically any scope, to provide business information from even the most remote of locations. Businesses can integrate data into existing business solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to facilitate optimal operational performance and improve core business processes to gain a competitive advantage. To find out more about how you can implement an IoT business strategy and the functionality of Microsoft Azure contact Prodware.

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