IoT simplified: key trends driving value - Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program

IoT simplified: key trends driving value

Man wearing hard hat using tablet to coordinate warehouse logistics.

January 2022 Update: As organizations continue adopting IoT to solve common challenges and improve business operations, these partners are showcasing the success they’ve seen in developing solutions on Azure IoT. These latest partner webinars demonstrate the value that can be gained by partnering with Microsoft to develop IoT solutions as organizations look to become more sustainable, resilient, and future-ready. This blog will continue to be updated as more of our partner webinars go live.

It’s no secret; organizations are more connected than ever. Across industries and sectors, they need to manage more people, more specializations, and more moving parts. This growing interconnectivity stems from our changing expectations of what savvy and sustainable organizations should look like. The COVID-19 pandemic put new demands on workstreams and raised equity issues and safety precautions to new levels of scrutiny, while sustainability concerns have motivated companies to take a harder line against inefficiencies and waste. Today, conventional approaches to business are no longer adequate solutions.

Connectivity also explains why Internet of Things (IoT) solutions developed by Microsoft partners present more opportunities than ever right now. By amassing information, streamlining processes, and providing data-driven analytical insights, these forward-thinking partners are allowing us to ask more of our infrastructure, and in turn, improve business operations in ways that weren’t possible before.

Below are some informative webinars that highlight how companies are partnering with Microsoft and developing solutions built on Azure IoT to solve some of the day-to-day challenges facing different industries. While there are various reasons for adopting IoT, ranging from quality assurance to sustainability to optimizing energy usage, the results share a common theme: meaningful results for employees, customers, investors, and the planet. Read on to learn more.

How manufacturing is getting smarter

Some of the most rapid and enthusiastic adoption of IoT over the last several years has happened in manufacturing, as automation tools that engage Azure’s artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing capabilities have become more commonplace. According to the Microsoft IoT Signals Report, 93% of the stakeholders interviewed stated they viewed IoT as critical to their company’s success, and 67% planned to invest in additional IoT solutions in the future.

In discrete manufacturing, most of the action is happening on assembly lines, where new and more sophisticated machine vision systems are raising the bar for efficient production. Take Mariner, the Microsoft 2020 Partner of the Year in IoT. We’ve long known that conventional assembly lines and machine vision systems aren’t error free, but recent statistics call out the need for improvement. Studies have found that 10%—and even up to 40%—of an organization’s annual revenue can be spent producing defective products or calling out “false positives,” resulting in lost efficiencies, increased costs, and frustrated employees. The Mariner Spyglass Visual Inspection (SVI) tool, for instance, leverages deep learning, IoT, and the cloud to expertly parse real defects from false ones.

Building smarter cars using smarter methods

The rapid adoption of IoT in manufacturing, however, shouldn’t obscure the considerable strides made in the automotive industry. Here, IoT technologies are furnishing automakers with all kinds of new opportunities. Emerging tools such as AI, edge computing, and digital twins are capable of everything from increasing organizational productivity to improving the resilience of existing operations and even to accelerating vehicle innovation.

Accelerating the energy industry

Energy is another area where IoT devices are becoming increasingly important as companies look to digital solutions to help them plan for hurricanes, droughts, storms, and other challenges we will likely face in a warmer world. Grid asset management tools are identifying faulty power lines so they can be modernized before a storm knocks them out. Smart metering can help customers avoid wasting utilities that they aren’t using. Overall, partners are using the intelligent edge and cloud to address areas such as sustainability and energy management. 

Using data to make buildings smarter

To achieve a more productive, waste-conscious, and sustainable future, more and more businesses are engaging with solutions designed to make physical spaces smarter. Like it did across many industries, COVID-19 brought glaring infrastructural inefficiencies to light. As mentioned in the e-Magic webinar, despite an occupancy drop of up to 50% in many facilities, energy consumption in those same spaces barely received a dent. Considering that buildings can contribute up to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, the need for change became obvious, spurring Microsoft partners to develop technologies to monitor the activities that take place in buildings, and, in doing so, provide a better experience for occupants and their bottom line.

Partnering with Intel on the intelligent edge

Together, Intel and Microsoft are enabling intelligent solutions that provide turnkey solutions from edge to cloud—many of which are enhanced with AI, machine learning and computer vision. In fact, many organizations are using Intel and Microsoft IoT joint technology to build scalable, market-ready solutions that address common use cases and help create positive outcomes like improved efficiency. Explore these Intel and Microsoft partner webinars to learn more. 

Leveraging Azure to simplify IoT solutions

While organizations across multiple industries are seeing benefits from adopting IoT technology, the cost, complexity, and time involved in developing and then deploying solutions are still a challenge for some potential customers. Partners such as Mesh Systems focus on providing cost-effective solutions-as-a-service that reduce the amount of time needed to launch an IoT solution by leveraging Microsoft’s aPaaS (application platform as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) services. As Mesh leaders explain during their webinar, the Microsoft Azure platform and its ecosystem of products plays an important role in simplifying solutions without reducing their capabilities.

Finding your own business value through partnership

No two partners are identical. No two customers are alike. Different industries face unique challenges on their journeys toward digital transformation: data silos, security concerns, lack of coherent strategy. We hope these webinars demonstrate the value that can be gained by partnering with Microsoft to develop IoT solutions that help organizations become more sustainable, resilient, and future-ready.   

Make sure to check the below list regularly. We will keep it updated as other partner webinars go live, sharing additional insights into how they found value from partnering with Microsoft and building solutions on Azure IoT technology. 

Manufacturing webinars

Energy webinars

Smart spaces webinars 

Retail webinars


  • Justin Slade
    Director of Global Partner Enablement

    Justin Slade, Director, Global Partner Enablement, has 15 years of experience at Microsoft, with roles in Executive Communications, Partner Channel Marketing/Sales, Azure Product Marketing, and most recently as the Global Director for Partner Enablement. He is responsible for driving partner capacity and capability growth for the Microsoft Cloud.