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  • Justin Pittman

Why Did IDC Name Microsoft the Leader in IIoT?

If you’ve been around the Industrial IoT space, it may come as no surprise that Microsoft was named the market leader by IDC, ahead of ten other reputable platform providers.

IDC, a market intelligence firm, conducted a thorough examination of companies in the industrial IoT space in a report called IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Industrial IoT Platforms in Manufacturing 2019 Vendor Assessment. The report includes 11 vendors, which IDC considers the most prominent industrial IoT (IIoT) platform providers focused on the manufacturing industry.

Leading manufacturers are disrupting traditional markets using IoT and there is no better combination than eLogic and Microsoft to help realize their digital transformation initiatives. Combining eLogic’s industry expertise along with Microsoft’s IIoT platform (backed by Azure) enables our customers to optimize their manufacturing and field service processes and evolve from selling products to selling to sticky service offerings.

We’re seeing this every day, from manufacturing floor to the executive offices. Manufacturers are evolving the way they do business through IoT. We’re a Microsoft partner because they’re giving manufacturers a flexible, scalable, cost effective IoT through a very secure platform. Microsoft is winning, and manufacturers are flourishing because of it.

Microsoft’s recognition is further evidence of the momentum Microsoft is building in Industrial IoT. Last year Microsoft made a commitment to invest $5 billion in IoT by 2022 because they see what we see as a huge driver for industrial manufacturers – digital transformation. IoT is critical to that transformation because it empowers manufacturers to capture more data than ever before. Leveraging IoT is foundational to transforming a manufacturers’ core activities including Supply Chain Optimization, Smart Manufacturing, Product Innovation, and Field Service.

Smart Manufacturing with Digital Customer Experience and Integrated Supply Chain: Customer Example

A prime example of IIoT excellence in Smart Manufacturing from our customer base is a global leader in materials science, tooling, and wear-resistant solutions that we are helping transform into an Intelligent Enterprise. Their goal is to build actionable insights into every part of the business – customer engagement, supply chain planning, shop floor operations, R&D, and performance management. With an initial focus on plant modernization and optimization, their objectives were to increase output, reduce scrap and waste, and shorten cycle times. eLogic has helped connect their manufacturing equipment and architect a data strategy to enable real-time accessibility from shop-floor to top-floor. Microsoft Power BI dashboards seamlessly pull together insights for machine operators, plant supervisors and business executives. Every level of the enterprise feeds and has access to transformational data – all on the same optimized, integrated enterprise platform.

According to IDC, “manufacturers are looking to IoT-connected products as a way of transforming business models that capitalize on the intersection of products and services”, and they couldn’t be more right. “This link between customer products and real-time IoT data is an opportunity for manufacturers to better understand customers, as well as their behaviors and what they value, in order to deliver customized offers,” according to the report.

Optimizing Cost of Service through Field Service + IoT: Customer Example

A leader in water treatment systems and services for municipalities and industries shifted their business model from single-use products to consumption-based services. Through our partnership, this customer transformed their services and products with a combination of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service and Azure IoT, and now have a connected solution that minimizes ongoing service costs for their customers which in turn helps increase their sales margins. Their techs now use Dynamics 365 to enter service data on calls from the job site, step customers through service calls and email them reports directly, giving transparency to the customer while improving service and data collection. With the ability to analyze potential issues with their water systems, they can better deploy their service techs. With IoT, they also gain insights on equipment performance and pass that on to customers in the form of reports on water usage and performance comparisons before and after a service call. It all adds up to better service for customers with reduced costs to serve.

Microsoft being named a leader in the field is affirmation for us. We're seeing firsthand the evolution manufacturers are undertaking as they proceed through their digital transformations empowered by IoT. Our experience with Microsoft as an IoT provider has proven the Azure IoT platform to be secure, flexible, scalable, and cost effective.

“IoT is a hot topic across all industries but even more so among manufacturers as the opportunity for transformation is largest," said IDC’s Reid Paquin, research director, Manufacturing IT Priorities and Strategies in a release. "Manufacturers are well underway in terms of adopting IoT into their products and processes, and the most advanced manufacturers are already changing the way they operate and their business models because of IoT."

According to the IDC report, Microsoft lead the pack because of these major strengths:

▪ Momentum within industrial sector for IoT: Microsoft Azure is gaining significant ground in industrial IoT. This is evident in the decision of many industrial vendors choosing to leverage Azure IoT services for their own industrial IoT platforms, as well as the fact that many end-user organizations put Azure IoT on their short list when choosing to build their own solutions inhouse.

▪ Partnerships and install base: Most operational technology providers have partnered with Microsoft in some form for manufacturing. Microsoft also has a strong presence in manufacturing from an IT standpoint. Through Microsoft's partnerships with OT providers, the vendor can offer manufacturers solutions to address IT and OT needs.

▪ Edge strategy: Microsoft has a broad strategy to support edge computing that spans hardware and software across a variety of form factors and use cases. Microsoft has open sourced Azure IoT Edge, making it easier for a broad variety of hardware providers to adopt their middleware. This is important due to the very heterogeneous nature of manufacturing environments at the IoT edge.

Microsoft truly is an IIoT market leader and manufacturers are reaping the benefits.

You can read the full report here.

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