Getting Started with the Predictive Azure IoT Suite

June 3, 2016 Luis Morinigo

The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is huge. According to recently published research from IDC, we will see the market grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020. By the same year, Gartner anticipates that over 20 billion connected “things” will be in use worldwide. Their projections make it clear: IoT is a world-changing technology that is rapidly gaining momentum.

It’s not just hype: at New Signature we’ve been getting so much interest in IoT solutions that we’ve built a new practice area around it.

What defines an IoT solution?

The concept of extracting data from devices and things is not new: for example, manufacturers have been connecting sensors to their machines for decades. They just kept the data local. The rapid adoption of enterprise cloud computing is now driving the next wave, where IoT is about connecting things to the cloud. However, moving data to the cloud is only the first step to unleashing the power of IoT.

The world of IoT is much more highly evolved than before. Not only can you take your data cheaply into the cloud, but you can also add the intelligence and learn from it. At New Signature, our definition of an IoT solution emphasizes the importance of the connection between IoT, Big Data and Business Intelligence. Today’s challenge is to access the power of analytics to make smart business choices.

IoT is about Predictive Intelligence: turning real-time data into actionable decisions.

Creating an engine for Predictive Intelligence

Here is how one of our clients, a global food company, is using predictive intelligence to save costs through an IoT solution. After connecting the major components and devices used in food production to the Cloud with the help of Microsoft’s Azure IoT suite, the next step was to integrate it with Microsoft’s Power BI solution to analyze the data. The goal was to measure variability in weight in one of their snack food items, which had turned into a cost factor. Creating a predictive intelligence solution with the Azure IoT Suite and BI helped our client realize a lot of efficiencies.

The use of an enterprise cloud platform such as Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite is the best way to maximize and analyze business data. It is critical to ensure enterprise-class security, as well as to enable integration with other applications. IoT is interconnected with Power BI, machine learning, scalable data stores, and this approach optimizes the impact that comprehensive data collection and effective analytics make on corporate productivity and growth.

Getting started

Many of the questions we are getting from customers focus on how to get started with IoT, and how to integrate a solution that is most effective for their business into an existing enterprise IT environment.

To get it right, here are three steps we recommend:

  1. Trial: Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite is free to try, and the website provides a tutorial and other resources. It’s a great way of getting a glimpse into what is possible by connecting devices to the cloud, setting up real time monitoring and, for example, adding machine learning for anomaly detection in real time or other pre-emptive problem prevention.
  2. Strategy: Work with a partner to develop the right strategy that integrates business goals with technology goals. As a full-stack Microsoft partner with competencies and expertise for Cloud and IoT, New Signature has a thorough command of the Microsoft technologies and platforms, including solutions such as Power BI and Azure Stream Analytics.
  3. Proof of Concept and Implementation: Build a comprehensive solution with Azure IoT Suite. Here is how we approached our engagement with the global food company mentioned above:
  4. We helped to scope and plan a Proof of Concept with their data and devices to demonstrate the feasibility of the solution. This let the decision-makers realize its value, and enabled the IT organization to start small and build up to a production rollout with limited resources and spend.
  5. The preliminary plan allowed our clients to learn from their data and make the right adjustments to the approach early on in the process.
  6. In the final step, we fully connected IoT with analytics from Microsoft’s BI solution to transform real time production data into the foundation for predictive intelligence and actionable business decisions.

A solution that’s right for you

The potential of the Internet of Things lies with the use of predictive intelligence and with Microsoft’s cloud platform; it is easier than ever to derive the best value from it.

Talk to New Signature about capitalizing on the power of the Azure IoT Suite for your business needs. Contact us today! We will help you to develop a strategy for proof of concept and then build it out, enabling you to collect and analyze untapped data for the best business results.

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