Microsoft investing in IoT technology, partner ecosystem

Microsoft will be revamping its Internet of Things (IoT) strategy over the next four years by setting aside $5 billion to grow its partner ecosystem, develop a more intelligent edge environment, and build on existing products and services.

04/25/2018


Microsoft has outlined plans to invest in Internet of Things (IoT) technology by setting aside $5 billion to grow its partner ecosystem, develop a more intelligent edge environment, and build on existing products and services. Microsoft will be revamping its IoT strategy over the next four years. Although the software giant has been invested in the space for years, booming adoption and exponential growth—long predicted by analysts—means, in the company's own words, Microsoft is just getting started.

In a company blog post outlining the move, Julia White, CVP of Microsoft Azure, explained how fresh investment and R&D will make Microsoft ideally positioned to work with customers of all sizes and industries. "Our goal is to give every customer the ability to transform their businesses, and the world at large, with connected solutions," she wrote.

Investing at the edge

The company's $5 billion investment will be spread across IoT security, building tools and services for the IoT and the edge computing environment, and in continued growth within Microsoft's partner ecosystem.

"Today, we're planning to dedicate even more resources to research and innovation in IoT and what is ultimately evolving to be the new intelligent edge," wrote White. "With our IoT platform spanning cloud, OS, and devices, we are uniquely positioned to simplify the IoT journey, so any customer—regardless of size, technical expertise, budget, industry, or other factors—can create trusted, connected solutions that improve business and customer experiences, as well as the daily lives of people all over the world."

Developing a partner ecosystem

Microsoft acknowledges the importance of a partner ecosystem in delivering products and support to clients with differing needs.

"We're also getting a look into how both customers and partners overcome the specific challenges of building an IoT solution that harnesses massive amounts of data," White said. "Whether they're building products that transform the home, office, or factory floor, one thing remains clear: IoT is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort that spans cloud development, machine learning, AI, security, and privacy. Microsoft's Azure IoT suite allows companies to develop their own use cases and experiment with connected technologies. The platform was bolstered by the launch of Azure IoT Edge last year."

Microsoft's partner network already includes technology specialists Cisco and Hitachi and management consultants PwC and EY. It's likely the company's VC arm, Microsoft Ventures, will also make further investments in the IoT space as part of the strategy.

White concluded, "It positions us to support customers as they develop new and increasingly sophisticated IoT solutions, which few could have imagined just a few years ago. We can't wait to see what comes from our customers and partners next, and we'll have more to share throughout the year."

Malek Murison is editor at Internet of Business. Internet of Business is a CFE Media content partner. This article originally appeared here. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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