Microsoft has announced the launch IoT Central, a new service to manage a complete enterprise IoT ecosystem. IoT Central is being promoted as the first end-to-end IoT software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, that companies can use to develop smart products using connected devices.
IoT Central has the capability to deploy and manage IoT devices, analytics, networks, software, all integrated with the Azure cloud network. The new SaaS offering will be available along with the Azure IoT Suite Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) which allows users to customize solutions to meet their particular needs.
Microsoft expects that providing an easily implemented control center for IoT networks will help companies to drive digital business by creating new revenue opportunities and accelerating innovation, shortening the timeframe for bringing new products to market and lowering the barriers for creating IoT solutions.
IoT Central provides these features to customers along with enterprise-grade security features.
Microsoft also announced that it would expand Azure Stream Analytics to edge computing systems, allowing companies to analyze data at the point where it is generated, rather than having to transmit data to the cloud or to a data center.
Analyzing data using edge computing systems will provide clients with the ability to make faster decisions and adjustments using the data from IoT devices to maximize the efficiency and innovation of their own systems. Many connected device networks function best with close to real-time analytics and response which can be improved with functional edge computing closer to the IoT devices themselves.
In addition to IoT Central and the Stream Enhancements, Microsoft launched Connected Factory, a preconfigured solution in the Azure IoT Suite developed to connect factory devices to the cloud to drive operational efficiency, as well as the Azure Time Series Insights analytics service.
At the Hannover Messe conference, Microsoft and Micron Technology have also announced a collaboration for IoT security in industrial, automotive and consumer arenas. The new security solution uses a ‘root of trust’ hardware in Micron’s flash memory inside of the IoT device, creating a secure link between the connected device and the Microsoft Azure cloud.