Wednesday, 16 March 2016 10:42

NEC joins Azure IoT partnership


Technology services company NEC Australia has joined Microsoft's Azure Internet of Things (IoT) partnership.

NEC Australia and Microsoft will co-develop IoT solutions for a range of markets including manufacturing, retail, health and transport. Areas of interest included public safety, transport, asset management, health, remote monitoring and predictive maintenance.

The Azure IoT Suite simplified the development of applications that collect, analyse, store and visualise data from billions of IoT devices. The suite can be integrated with Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Storage, Azure DocumentDB, Azure Web Apps, and Microsoft Power BI.

Microsoft also offers a gateway service - Azure IoT Hub - to help secure, provision and maintain IoT devices, and allow them to communicate with each other and with services in the Azure cloud.

"When we started our work on IoT we were looking for a platform that was cost effective, scalable and that would allow us to go to market quickly," said NEC Australia head of research and development Gordon Gay.

"We look at business challenges faced by our customers in health, enterprise and government and ask ourselves 'Is there a better way of solving it than the way they are currently doing things?'

"Often we solve not the perceived problem but the underlying problem. In some cases this innovative approach leads to new business models for our customers."

Previous NEC Australia IoT projects have been in areas including remote patient safety and manufacturing.

"Companies like NEC are reaping the benefits of the endless possibilities being offered by this new technology. They are envisaging solutions and creating products that solve problems that some customers aren't even aware that they have," said Microsoft Australia IoT lead Lee Hickin.

"IoT opens up customer scenarios that offer exponential benefits to organisations, and the companies that understand that potential are gaining a distinct commercial advantage."

NEC and Microsoft have been collaborating in various areas for 30 years.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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