Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Schneider and Microsoft team up on open IoT applications

Steve Rogerson
April 27, 2017
 
Schneider Electric has teamed with Microsoft to accelerate development of open IoT applications for smart grid and other users.
 
This will let users gain access to multiple cloud-based applications from French company Schneider’s EcoStruxure architecture that use the full capabilities of the Azure cloud platform, as well as next-generation capabilities such as mixed reality to bring new levels of decision making capabilities, productivity and efficiency.
 
The two companies plan to accelerate the delivery of cloud-based IoT services for all Schneider Electric’s end user segments, marrying Microsoft’s experience in the cloud with Schneider’s domain expertise in power management, plants, machines, buildings, data centres and grids to empower companies to use IoT as a competitive differentiator. This includes several cloud-based applications available today driving plant, building, people and asset optimisation, with others being developed for delivery later this year and beyond.
 
“By bringing together the strengths of our two companies, we can continue to make IoT valuable, delivering tangible and measurable business results, allowing customers to tap into new data, create new insights and fuel digital transformation in their organisation,” said Cyril Perducat, executive vice president at Schneider Electric.
 
The combination of Schneider Electric industrial software and Azure is already enabling users, such as Seminole Country Florida, to mobilise big data for use in the field. Seminole County has improved its ability to ensure safe drinking water for its more than 440,000 residents by allowing plant managers and operators to view plant data on mobile, handheld and tablet devices and receive critical operational data in minutes.
 
“The EcoStruxure architecture is an incredible example of how, together, we empower our customers and the outcomes they are looking to drive,” said Caglayan Arkan, general manager of worldwide manufacturing and resources at Microsoft.
 
The open and interoperable design of the EcoStruxure architecture and the computing power of Azure should arm industrial companies specifically with easy-to-integrate analytics, maintenance and training and empower operations and maintenance personnel with mixed reality capabilities that provide an enhanced user experience with digital hologram context and prescriptive actions.
 
Schneider Electric will continue to build HoloLens technology into its process design and simulation and enterprise asset management products to bring mixed reality capabilities to its industrial maintenance, asset performance and training offerings. Provided as part of the company’s EcoStruxure for Industry, this capability improves personnel safety and asset performance.
 
It also transforms training outcomes by creating an immersive experience that exposes personnel to interactive and simulated situations and environments to help make operational decisions and investigate processes prior to interacting in the real world. This feature could reduce time-to-competency and costly errors in the field, and enable more proactive and predictive maintenance.
 
The relationship builds on Schneider Electric and Microsoft’s work in driving advanced analytics and is part of Schneider’s strategy to build an ecosystem of partners to advance and co-develop its EcoStruxure architecture.
 
EcoStruxure is Schneider’s open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system architecture delivering value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity. It leverages technologies in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics and cyber security.