Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

MS, Nokia join on IoT, 5G, AI

William Payne
November 14, 2019

Microsoft and Nokia have announced they are working together on IoT, AI and cloud computing. The collaboration will combine Microsoft's Azure-based IoT, AI and compute services with Nokia's LTE/5G private wireless, IP, SD-WAN and IoT connectivity services. Target markets include industrial automation, enterprises, and CSPs serving enterprise customers.

BT has become the first global communications service provider to offer its enterprise customers a managed service that integrates Microsoft Azure cloud and Nokia SD-WAN solutions. BT customers can access this through a customer automated delegated rights service, which enables BT to manage both the customer Azure vWAN and the unique Agile Connect SD-WAN, based on Nokia’s Nuage SD-WAN 2.0.

Target market segments for new offerings include digital factories, smart cities, warehouses, healthcare settings, and transportation hubs such as ports, and airports.

According to Nokia, its Digital Automation Cloud (Nokia DAC) 5G-ready industrial-grade private wireless broadband solution with on-premise Azure elements will enable a wide variety of secure industrial automation solutions that require more reliable connectivity, efficient coverage and better mobility than traditional Wi-Fi networks provide. 

Nokia’s Nuage SD-WAN 2.0 solution will now enable service providers to offer integration with Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN for branch to cloud connectivity, with the companies planning to offer more options for branch internet connectivity in 2020. By automating branch and hybrid WAN connectivity, enterprises will have simplified, faster access to cloud applications such as Office 365, integrated security from branch-to-branch and branch-to-Azure and reduced risk of configuration errors causing security or connectivity issues.

The two companies are also integrating Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) with Azure IoT Central to make the on-boarding, deployment, management and servicing of IoT solutions seamless. This integration provides CSPs with the opportunity to offer their enterprises a single platform including vertical solutions to enable secure connected IoT services, such as asset tracking and machine monitoring on a national or global scale. Enterprises will be able to use Azure IoT Central and partner solutions for faster and easier enablement and implementation of their IoT applications together with Nokia’s IoT connectivity solutions.

Microsoft and Nokia are also collaborating to host Nokia’s Analytics, Virtualisation and Automation (AVA) cognitive services solutions on Azure. These AI solutions will enable CSPs to move out of private data centres and into the Azure cloud to realise cost savings and transform operations for 5G. Predictive Video Analytics are one example of a joint solution instanced by the companies, which they say can improve reliability for CSP customers by up to 60 percent.

“Bringing together Microsoft’s expertise in intelligent cloud solutions and Nokia’s strength in building business and mission-critical networks will unlock new connectivity and automation scenarios,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president, Microsoft Azure. “We’re excited about the opportunities this will create for our joint customers across industries.”

“We are thrilled to unite Nokia’s mission-critical networks with Microsoft’s cloud solutions,” said Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise and Chief Strategy Officer. “Together, we will accelerate the digital transformation journey towards Industry 4.0, driving economic growth and productivity for both enterprises and service providers.”