Hello Cortana, will Microsoft overtake the IoT space ?
Back in May 2018, Microsoft invested 5 Billions USD into the Internet Of Things. The news was groundbreaking. With competitors products such as Google Home or Amazon Echo: i thought it was a dead end for them to enter in the market.
Every time I would go online: i was spammed with advertising. The format was changing but omnipresent. Just to name a few: re-targeting on Google Display network, Ads on YouTube and even big promotion panels at high tech brick & mortar shops.
There seemed to be no limit in product and marketing development
Google Assistant & Alexa soon had to be integrated into popular devices such as Bose or Jabra. In 2019, Amazon reported more than 100 millions devices with Alexa were sold against 1 billions installed Google Assistant on devices (mainly due to their integration with Android phones).
Features also expanded quickly. People can now ask their assistants to play their favorite TV Shows with Chromecast while precising a specific light to their Philips Hue. Trust me, the experience is amazing.
In that context, how could Microsoft catch up in the highly competitive IOT market ?
I must confess my blindness. As mentioned in "Did you mean Internet Of Things in B2B?" I was focusing only in B2C. Microsoft approach for IOT is all about B2B.
Microsoft provides devices & platform to build IoT applications. The core strategy is not to sell IoT finished solutions.
Microsoft IoT offering lies within its cloud technology and is named Azure IoT. Among its most popular services we find Azure IoT Hub & Central. We'll cover in a bit what can be done.
How does Microsoft market itself in B2B?
Microsoft puts in perspective three main customer challenges.
- Due to a ever changing scope in technology implementing IoT is complex. To tackle this difficulty, Azure Central packages solution accelerators for the most common IoT cases to get anybody up & running.
- Estimating a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) & Return On Investment (ROI) is hard. Azure IoT offers you the choice to go with a finished partner solution or a fully managed SaaS (Software-As-A-Service). In the second one, device pricing and the Azure Calculator Tools make costs predictions easier and reliable.
- Without appropriate safety measures: you could expose your company to vulnerabilities. Azure IoT is built with an end-to-end approach to cover the IoT security scope.
What about some business examples?
- Rolls Royce equips its air engines with thousands of sensors connected to Azure IoT. These generate terabytes of data aggregated into analytical dashboards. The dashboards deliver real-time insights on the engine performance. From these advanced analytics, Rolls Royce is now able to predict maintenance need, optimize fuel spending & avoid costly downtime and delays. They made a cool video out of that partnership: you can find it here
- The Alaska Department of Transportation geared up its vehicles with Skypack & Roadpack sensors. During their tour vehicles collect precise information about the weather . It enables a 72h accurate forecast thanks to Azure capibilities. These real-time insights are also aggregated into intuitive dashboards for management to use. The managers are able to pinpoint when it's the best time to put chemicals down the road to prevent roads slippery in case of snow.
If these two didn't ring a bell: there's 76 more uses cases you can go through here. Microsoft market penetration is huge. With Azure, Microsoft is already covering 95% of Fortune 500. IoT being on top of mind: you can be sure to see some of Microsoft popping out in every industry. It's still time to switch your personal assistant on your phone:
"Hello Cortana, will Microsoft overtake the IoT space ?"
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