Microsoft IoT Central, a new managed software as a service (SaaS) solution, could help eliminate some of the complexity in enterprise IoT deployments, the company announced in a blog post on Thursday.
The big value behind Microsoft IoT Central is that it provides the management backend for IoT, eliminating the need for businesses to invest in custom solutions or grow their talent in-house, according to a video posted by Microsoft. The service provides the cloud connections necessary, through Microsoft's Azure cloud, to connect the devices.
The solution could be appealing to businesses that wish to pursue digital transformation, but may not have the cloud or networking expertise to fully do so. Or, it could help businesses with existing deployments expand their IoT footprint with less of an investment in infrastructure.
SEE: Internet of Things policy template (Tech Pro Research)
According to the video, customers can configure Microsoft IoT Central on their own, or with input from a Microsoft partner. The service also offers additional security features to keep data protected.
Microsoft IoT Central will be available alongside the Azure IoT Suite, an existing platform as a service (PaaS) solution Microsoft already offers. The new service will bring more options for deployments and "lower the barriers" for creating revenue-generating IoT solutions, Microsoft said.
More information about Microsoft IoT Central is coming in the next few months, but interested customers can sign up for pre-release updates here.
To improve industrial IoT, Microsoft also announced a new feature called Connected Factory for the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite. Connected Factory makes it easier to connect standard industrial systems to the cloud, with little to no configuration required, the post said.
The new Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning service makes it easier to enroll and register IoT devices, while Azure Stream Analytics and Azure Time Series Insights provide improved analytics and visualizations for IoT data.
Microsoft's new offerings speak to many of the challenges faced by organizations looking to embrace IoT. Microsoft IoT Central, and the related tools for analytics, are an interesting option for Microsoft shops that see the value IoT could bring, but haven't yet been able to justify the investment necessary to do it right.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Microsoft IoT Central is a new managed software as a service (SaaS) solution, that could help eliminate some of the complexity in enterprise IoT deployments.
- A new Connected Factory offering for Microsoft's Azure IoT Suite will also make it easier for factories to connect traditional industrial systems to the cloud to gain insights.
- Azure Stream Analytics and Azure Time Series Insights boost the analytics insights for enterprise IoT, and the Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning service makes it easier to enroll IoT devices.
- There will soon be more IoT devices in the world than people, security risks abound (TechRepublic)
- Microsoft launches 'IoT-as-a-service' offering for enterprises (ZDNet)
- 9 IoT global trends for 2017 (TechRepublic)
- Harnessing IoT in the Enterprise (ZDNet)
- 3 inexpensive steps to secure IoT (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.