Intel and Microsoft focus on helping partners simplify IoT solutions

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Our guest contributor for this blog post is Justin Slade, Director of Azure IoT Marketing at Microsoft. With more than 13 years of experience at Microsoft, he is focused on building out interconnected marketing engines that showcase how Azure IoT technology is helping accelerate digital transformation for partners and customers.

When a business starts its journey toward deploying an Internet of Things (IoT) solution, seeing real-world benefits from the technology and a return on investment as soon as possible are often the goals. IoT partners can help make this happen more quickly with market-ready solutions and packages—Intel and Microsoft are on a journey to help them.

The two companies are working together to deliver intelligent, highly scalable IoT products and services without unnecessary complexity. Our joint knowledge and leading hardware, software, edge, and cloud capabilities allow us to provide everything you need to advance your solutions quickly without compromising performance or security.

This Intel and Microsoft collaboration supports a fast-growing ecosystem of more than two dozen partners who offer a range of end-to-end solutions for specific industries and use cases. The goal is to help our growing ecosystem of IoT partners bring ever-advancing innovation and insights to customers, allowing them to make improvements to their business, increase operational efficiency, and create new revenue streams.

Expertise at the edge

Our partnership builds on complementary strengths, forming one of the most comprehensive sets of IoT products, software, and services in the market.

The range of joint products and services is evident in edge computing, which is quickly transforming the IoT market. IDC predicts that more than 50% of new enterprise infrastructure will be deployed at the edge rather than at data centers by 2023, an increase from less than 10% now. Azure IoT Central, a fully managed software-as-a-service platform, makes it easy to connect, monitor, and manage IoT assets. Additionally, Microsoft Azure IoT Edge, powered by Intel Xeon processors and field-programmable gate arrays, is a fully managed service based on Azure IoT Hub that reacts rapidly with devices, spends less time communicating with the cloud, and operates reliably even in extended offline periods. Intel Movidius Myriad X vision processing units, meanwhile, can gather and analyze data from cameras and other vision-enabled IoT devices at the edge in near-real time.

Intel and Microsoft engineers are collaborating on designing, building, and deploying solutions such as Azure Stack and Azure IoT using Intel hardware, and Intel’s processors are optimized to work with the full range of Azure Cloud Services. Together, we provide open and flexible platform services and cutting-edge capabilities such as enhanced artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Azure Digital Twins, and mixed-reality experiences for new or existing IoT infrastructures.

Simplicity for developers

The best technology is adaptable without being complicated. Intel and Microsoft are striving to make our devices easy for developers to customize and integrate even as device capabilities increase. Intel IoT developer tools like the Intel Distribution of the OpenVINO toolkit empower deep learning inference from the edge to cloud and accelerate AI workloads such as computer vision. These tools are optimized for a variety of hardware—CPU, iGPU, VPU, and FPGA—and work with Azure IoT Central and Azure IoT Edge modules. Additionally, repeatable solution templates are designed to be adapted for specific tasks without extensive programming, including IoT Plug and Play.

With Intel’s open and flexible architecture and the Azure cloud, developers can build and migrate apps, run virtualized apps, train data models and then extend them to the edge. These technologies also allow you to store and process data in whatever cloud environment you need. All this helps developers to create solutions that use AI to handle shifting workloads and reliably react in real time.

Scalable and secure services, products

Intel, Microsoft, and our ecosystem of partners offer expertise and reliability for customers who are expanding their existing uses of IoT devices or are just now starting their digital transformation journey. Our computing products and IoT devices are scalable to match the dynamic, rapidly changing needs of any business. Partners can completely customize our technology for specific uses and industries or use our systems with pre-built processing foundations and add onto those for current or future workloads.

We also embed high security into our IoT products, including hardware-enabled security functions built directly into the silicon and secure connections to the cloud. This protects every layer of your solutions and provides better defense against evolving security threats. 

Finally, because Intel’s processors are designed to work with and are incorporated into Azure products and services, our hardware, software, and cloud offerings work seamlessly together. This can help to de-risk the deployment of your IoT solutions, ensuring smooth expansion as businesses grow and IoT devices continue to evolve. On top of that comes IoT service help from Microsoft and 15-year silicon support from Intel.

Support for partners

Our ecosystem partners are already utilizing Intel and Microsoft technology to create turnkey systems that make IoT an indispensable part of many companies’ day-to-day operations. Whether partners are launching a smart city project to manage parking, public wireless networks, and utilities, or setting up a straightforward remote monitoring system for business assets, they’re helping reduce delays toward IoT deployment by businesses around the globe.

Intel and Microsoft want to help our ecosystem partners succeed by highlighting the solutions they provide, letting customers know how to find the right market-ready solutions. We will also continue to give our partners the trusted technology foundation they need to succeed with their IoT solutions. Even as Intel and Microsoft are creating agile, customizable platforms and services for our partners to use, we’re making joint investments in research and development to advance the future of IoT and its infrastructure.

Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.