Microsoft Invests in Industrial IoT with Asian Partner Alliance
TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 11, 2017 -- One year after the launch of the IoT Innovation Center in Taiwan, Microsoft has boosted investment in the Industrial IoT with the availability of an OPC UA testing lab and extended support to customers and partners in Asia through its Federated Lab initiative to accelerate digital transformation and tap into the global market.
Microsoft held its second IoT Expo in conjunction with the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT). The two-day event, which began on September 11, was held at the Taipei International Convention Center. With a focus on Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology as an enabler in enterprise digital transformation, the event was attended by more than a thousand companies from 32 countries and featured an array of IoT showcases. Since the October launch in Taipei last year, the Microsoft IoT Innovation Center has helped customers and partners advance their digital transformation by facilitating in-depth engagement with IoT partners to create new connected business solutions.
"The IoT market is booming," said Davis Tsai, Vice President of Microsoft Greater China Region. "Microsoft is committed to supporting in-depth IoT ecosystem development in Taiwan and facilitating growth. The IoT Expo 2017 not only showcases cutting-edge products and solutions focused on the needs of smart cities, retail, manufacturing, and everyday life but also provides opportunities for enterprise to engage international solution providers to accelerate their digital transformation using the IoT."
The Industry 4.0 plan is part of Taiwan's "5+2 Major Innovative Industries policy," which aims to transform hardware to have cloud connectivity and AI capability, which will help to revitalize Taiwan's economy. "Government programs, such as the 'Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan' and 'Forward-Looking Infrastructure Plan,' advocate developments and transformation in the technology service industry in Taiwan," said Minister of Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Jong-chin Shen. "We're pleased to partner with Microsoft to setup the IoT Innovation Center in Taiwan as Asia hub to foster close collaboration with local and global partners by speeding up IoT solutions and deployment across different industries."
Microsoft helps Asian IoT partners and customers extend business globally with Azure IoT platform
Customers and partners are turning to the IoT to create new business solutions that help them address problems in new ways using data-driven insight on their journeys toward digital transformation. Microsoft has built a portfolio that supports the needs of all customers and enables everyone to access the benefits of digital transformation. For example, Azure IoT Suite is a customizable PaaS solution that is best used when managing a large number of devices and manufacturers seeking connected factory solutions which require highly customizable IoT solutions tailored to their complex needs. Microsoft IoT Central is a fully managed SaaS solution that is best used when you need to get started quickly with minimal IoT experience. Azure IoT Edge provides organizations with the capacity to do local computer processing. When combined with a PaaS or SaaS solution, edge processing allows for faster calculations and reduces the cost of data sent to the cloud.
"Microsoft has deployed Azure IoT across Asia," said Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jason Zander. "Our comprehensive IoT platform and global partner ecosystem help our customers create an actionable plan to develop, test, and deploy IoT solutions quickly. We are deepening investment in Industrial IoT and extending support to Asian customers and partners through the IoT Innovation Center in Taiwan to accelerate digital transformation in a key global market. With today's announcements, we are enabling more technical readiness for our partners and expanding security and scalability services to support new customers."
"Over the last 2 years, we have done extensive customizations to Azure IoT Suite and built a shared services IoT Platform on it with multiple vertical offerings -- Energy Management, Connected product management, Retail Beacons and Tatung Smart Appliances. We are happy to partner with Microsoft to enable smart living for our customers and serve as smart energy and green energy solution provider in Energy Transformation in Taiwan. Tatung can further improve our service level with our AI-powered proactive maintenance services and work with Microsoft to share the experiences globally ", said Mrs. Wen-Yen K. Lin, President of Tatung.
Bringing together the strengths of our two companies has made a significant impact on digital transformation for our customers this year - translating IoT technology into tangible and measurable business results. One customer in particular, WaterForce, was looking to meet the growing need for effective irrigation. WaterFore developed SCADAfarm as an integrated automation and information management platform built on EcoStruxure Industry and Microsoft Azure technologies. With more control and visibility into operations, farmers are reporting up to 50% energy savings in the first season," said Cyril Perducat, Executive Vice President, IoT and Digital Transformation, Schneider Electric.
On the first anniversary of IoT Innovation Center, Microsoft is deepening investment to set up Testing and Solution Development Lab for Industrial IoT
Since the IoT Innovation Center launched last October, there has been an initiative to enable a regional ecosystem. More than 70 percent of total certified devices for Azure IoT were contributed by Asian partners across heterogeneous OS and connectivity protocols. Partners were enabled to build vertical solutions including Connected Factory, Fleet Management, Smart Retails, Tele-Care, Home Automation, Energy Management, and Connected Vehicle by using Azure IoT Services and data analytics platform.
Moving forward, Microsoft will establish testing and solution development labs for the Industrial IoT to create powerful and thoughtful collaborations. For example, the lab will not only enables partners to build an OPC UA Gateway with built-in Azure IoT connectivity but also supports partners in validating Security, Interoperability, Robustness and Salability for OPC UA for compatible products and services. To jumpstart small and medium manufacturers for Industry 4.0, Microsoft is looking at accelerating industrial partners' OT/IT integration through the technical readiness program on Azure IoT and Microsoft's AI platform to boost manufacturing digitization. Furthermore, there will be extended support to industrial clusters in Asia through a federated lab alliance.
Stefan Hoppe, VP of OPC Foundation, said, "Microsoft's commitment to open standards, and specifically to the OPC Foundation, is absolutely amazing. Microsoft is clearly a pioneer and a leader in developing and bringing to the market the best technology that truly enables multivendor information integration and interoperability. It has been a pleasure to work with the Microsoft development team and witness how they are giving so many suppliers seamless connectivity to the Azure cloud through their development and commitment to providing open-source implementation of OPC UA technology."
Muhamed Ali Hajah Mydin, CEO of Penang Skills Development Center (PSDC), said "Industry 4.0 is changing the way we do business and Malaysia has to move quickly in order to stay ahead. Therefore, the strategic alliance between Microsoft and PSDC in setting up the 'Connected Factory Showcase' is very timely. We believe that together, we can help to propel the nation forward towards becoming a fully-digitalized society and economy by leveraging on our core strengths -- Microsoft's cutting-edge IoT technology and PSDC's unique and synergistic relationship with the Industry, Government, and Academia."
To build up strategic alliances to bring together engineering resources for developing vertical IoT solutions, the IoT Center is also operating through a "Federated Lab" model in which partners and customers can collaborate with other federated lab partners and optimally leverage Microsoft IoT technical readiness training including its Azure IoT Services, PCS, Data Analytics Platform, and Cognitive Services. In addition, design/development guidance, architecture reference, and industrial practices can be shared among all partners. Such joint-effort will enhance the IoT service value-chain and broaden global outreach through vertical IoT solutions.
Joe Poon, Group Chief Technology Officer & Managing Director (Smart City Solutions) at Surbana Jurong Private Limited said, "As a major player in smart city solutions in Asia, we at Surbana Jurong (SJ) are continuously searching for new technologies, especially in the IoT domain, that can be integrated into our Smart City in a Box Platform. We look forward to working with the other partners in the Microsoft IoT Innovation Center Federated Lab Program to develop new, value-added solutions for our customers worldwide."
The largest Microsoft IoT Expo in Taiwan is mapping out the future of IoT
Enterprises in Taiwan aspire to implement Industry 4.0 standards. There are 17 IoT enterprises joining the IoT Expo 2017 to exhibit technology applications and IoT practices in different sectors. Smart Manufacturing section includes Advantech, Moxa, Axiomtek, Winmate, and ADLINK. These enterprises prioritize smart factories to deploy IoT technologies in each node, across sector, and in the whole infrastructure. Automated machines and facilities are connected to Microsoft Azure cloud services and technologies to aggregate digital data and extract insights. When multiple sectors are connected, it is possible to thoroughly expand IoT applications and value-added services.
Smart City & Smart Retail section includes Avalue, IEI, Nexcom, Arbor, AAEON, AOPEN, and Askey, showcasing smart city applications, such as smart street lights and IoT systems, as well as LoRa IoT solutions, smartphone recycling inspection system, and cloud-based customer service systems. These solutions aim to understand customer needs via cloud and data, in order to attract more customers and increase sales. Smart Home & Smart Medical section includes Wiston, Tatung, Synnex, and Biomdcare. Parking space monitors can prove real-time availability information. Medical industry is another IoT key field. With clinical screening, Sarcopenia tests and healthcare IoT technologies, healthcare institutions can offer better systems for faster and more precise results. These conveniences involved deeply in our works of lives, and reduce energy consumption, enhance energy efficiency, and collect behavioral patterns.
The IoT Expo will provide opportunities for those who are keen to undertake enterprise digital transformation using IoT technologies, connect with global industry peers to learn about their digital transformation journeys, and network with top tier IoT solution providers. To view the complete agenda, please visit: https://iotexpo2017.azurewebsites.net/
For more information about the Microsoft Innovation Center, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/taiwan/IoT/
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