Microsoft targets businesses with new IoT development offering

Microsoft launched an offering designed to help companies tap the internet of things.

The software giant unveiled Microsoft IoT Central, an SaaS (software as a service) product based on its Azure IoT Suite. IoT Central is aimed at enabling manufacturers to bring new IoT products to market more quickly and help them develop offerings that provide a better customer experience.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly becoming a critical aspect of doing business,” the company said on its IoT blog. “In the same way that web, mobile and cloud technologies have powered digital transformation, IoT is the next big catalyst.”

“Yet while IoT brings a new set of benefits for companies that want to keep an edge on their competition, it brings challenges too—IoT solutions can still be complex, and a shortage of skills makes it difficult for everyone to take advantage of this new innovation,” Microsoft continued. “Microsoft IoT Central will be available along with our existing platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution, Azure IoT Suite, which enables deep customization and full control. This new IoT SaaS offering has the potential to dramatically increase the speed at which manufacturers can innovate and bring new products to market, as well as lower the barriers to creating IoT solutions that generate new revenue opportunities and better experiences for customers.”

Early customers of Microsoft IoT include Sandvik Coromant, Rolls-Royce and ThyseenKrupp Elevator, ZDNet reported.

The industrial IoT is beginning to get legs, according to a report released this week by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, but many businesses aren’t ready for the era of ubiquitous connectivity. A BPI study found that while 52% of executives at large companies expect the IIoT to have a “significant or major” impact on their industry within three years, only 1.5% of them said their companies “have a clear vision with implementation well underway.”