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Larry Cortana blog main_300-300As energy alternative products, markets, regulations and customer needs continue to evolve at an ever faster rate, power & utilities companies are increasingly focused on business insight and analytics to improve operations, protect and extend the life of assets, as well as proactively listen to consumers in order to become more agile and insight driven.

Today’s Internet of Things (IoT), with its advancements in sensors, devices, machines, connectivity and data insights, and unlimited computing capacity in the cloud, has become a powerful force in its ability to drive transformation both in performance and agility across operations, customer engagement, research & development, and community relations.

For more than a decade, Microsoft has been building an open, flexible, trusted cloud platform to help businesses leverage the power of their data. And it continues to make it easier and easier to address the new and emerging scenarios in Power and Utilities with the introduction of the Cortana Analytics Suite and the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite.

Cortana Analytics

Larry Cortana blog 2_300-300The Cortana Analytics Suite is a fully managed big data and advanced analytics suite that enables Utilities to transform their data into intelligent action by combining all the building blocks necessary to connect to data sources, ingest data, run analytics, and take action.

Data ingestion can use Event Hub which has a performance paradigm of one million messages per second, as well as a similar capability for device connectivity scale out. Data can be streamed into Azure Data Lake, and Stream Analytics can be applied to the inbound data channel.

The Cortana Analytics Suite also includes the Cortana Personal Digital Assistant, but with one important distinction. Enterprise data exposed to Cortana in the Cortana Analytics Suite stays inside the Enterprise.

The Analytics Suite includes AzureHDInsight, as well as Azure Machine Learning which can be used to derive intelligence and real value from the data.

Some of the scenarios where Utilities are applying Machine Learning are:

  • Grid Optimization
  • Grid monitoring / Energy trading
  • Power production planning
  • Power consumption forecasting
  • Anomalies detection
  • Demand / Supply forecasting
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • Theft prevention

Further information on the Cortana Analytics Suite is available here including reasons why Cortana Analytics is for you.

Microsoft Azure IoT Suite

If connection to your data is still a challenge, Microsoft has also introduced the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, our cloud-based solution with preconfigured solutions that address common IoT scenarios, so you can capture and analyze untapped data to transform your business. This suite includes the building blocks necessary to address Data Acquisition, as well as support analytics and action scenarios. Included in the IoT Suite is the Azure IoT Hub, which enables bi-directional communication and management of millions of field devices. Also available with the Azure IoT Suite are pre-configured solutions for Remote Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance which accelerate the time to deployment of these popular scenarios.

I also encourage you to review our IoT solution architecture, which shows you the common characteristics of an IoT solution that you might deploy using Azure services. A typical IoT solution requires secure, bi-directional communication between devices and a solution back-end that could use things like automated, predictive analytics to uncover insights from your device-to-cloud event stream.

Finally, customers and partners who are achieving high degrees of success with Cortana Analytics Suite are making some of their experiments available via the Cortana Analytics Gallery. Before launching on a new analysis project, these resources should be checked out to leverage the great work and success of your peers.

We look forward to helping you take advantage of these latest advancements to drive transformation in your business today!

LinkedIn: Larry Cochrane