Skip to content
Microsoft Industry Blogs

I just returned from Paris, where our good partner, Schneider Electric, hosted its world-class Innovation Summit. I was pleased to join our industry’s top entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders there to discuss how the latest energy trends and technology advancements are helping us to power the digital economy. You can watch our on-demand panel discussion here.

We talked about how, as many businesses are embracing, and even moving beyond Industrie 4.0, IoT will be the key to reinvigorating outdated power systems and fueling new opportunities in energy management as we face more and more demand on our resources.

At Microsoft, we are focused on minimizing our own environmental impact. We connected 160 buildings to our cloud to better understand how we could do just that. The results were outstanding! We saved millions of dollars, cut our energy bill by up to 10 percent and have improved building maintenance efficiency by being able to correct faults within minutes.

We are taking these learnings and sharing them with our customers and partners. Every day we work to help enterprises transform into digital businesses, and every day we focus on simplifying their IoT journey even further. It is our goal to ensure that any customer—no matter their industry or starting point—can create trusted, connected solutions that improve business experiences as well as our daily lives.

As part of this commitment, Microsoft just announced that we will invest an additional $5B in IoT over the next four years. This means we will add even more resources around our rich IoT research and development efforts, including security, and creating tools and intelligent services to develop for IoT and the edge, and growing our partner ecosystem.

This is significant. While we already have a strong history of deep IoT investments, this announcement signals our increased commitment to supporting our customers along their digital transformation journeys as we advance the digital economy.

One company that has been with us along the way for many, many years is Schneider Electric. Our 360-relationship not only brings benefit to our joint offerings but has also powered Schneider Electric’s own business transformation as they use Azure to drive innovation both internally and across their energy-saving, smart-space IoT solutions.

Schneider Electric’s flagship solution for empowering the digital economy is its EcoStruxure™ architecture. EcoStruxure uses the full capabilities of the Azure cloud platform, including Azure Machine Learning and Azure IoT Edge, as well as next-generation capabilities like mixed reality, to bring new levels of decision making capabilities, productivity and efficiency.

By taking advantage of Azure, Schneider has created a flexible platform that extends to numerous projects around the world, many of them in remote locations with extremely limited resources. For example, in Nigeria, Schneider Electric collaborated with Microsoft and the Lagos State Electricity Board to help solve the country’s power challenges by providing sustainable solar power to more than 200 schools and clinics. Conext Insight, Schneider Electric’s monitoring system for optimizing solar power plants, uses Azure IoT Suite to connect systems to the cloud for monitoring, diagnosing, and real-time tracking of energy use patterns. Workers can spot trends or declining performance and initiate preventive maintenance. Similar projects have also been initiated in China, India, and Southeast Asia.

Schneider Electric solutions also play a key role for oil and gas companies that may have thousands of pumps spread over a large geographic area. With increasing market pressures like the volatility of oil prices, efficiently managing all of these pumps is key to business success. Schneider’s Realift Rod Pump Control uses Azure IoT Edge and Azure machine learning to give Realift the ability to analyze readings from various pump elements and sense patterns that indicate a possible failure.

The work we are doing with Schneider Electric to make IoT more valuable and fuel our customers’ digital transformation journeys is exciting. It is invigorating. It is critical to accelerating transformation at-scale across businesses, industries and economies.

By leveraging the power of IoT, machine learning, predictive analytics and the cloud, Microsoft and our partners are paving the way for smarter buildings and infrastructures that reduce overall energy consumption and costs, and ultimately, deliver greener and safer cities.

I invite you to join Microsoft at Hannover Messe 2018, where you can see these innovations in action from Microsoft, Schneider Electric, as well as a host of our many customers and partners  that are driving breakthroughs for the industry.

As we look to the future, our cumulative investments in IoT and rich partnerships will continue to ensure that our customers are well-positioned for the digital economy and that our world is powered for a more sustainable future.

Twitter: @Caglayan_Arkan

LinkedIn: Çağlayan Arkan