Microsoft Opens Third Lab for the Internet of Things
One big story in recent tech news is that Microsoft has opened the doors to its first European Internet of Things (IoT) lab in Munich, Germany. There are already two other such labs located in Shenzhen, China and Redmond, Washington. Expanding into the European market makes sense, as industrial companies all over the world are eager to keep their operations ahead of the tech curve.
The Internet of Things, for those who aren’t familiar, refers to all those many gadgets and items that are in contact with the internet. Today, the IoT is comprised of an ever expanding array of products. Refrigerators, microwaves, children’s toys. Chances are, a lot of the things you own are in regular contact with the web. It’s no surprise that manufacturing companies are getting in on this by overhauling their production lines to include connected machinery and electronics.
What Happens in The Lab
A concern shared by many of these companies, though, is that messing around with things on a functioning production floor will be expensive. The logistics of it all, from costly downtime during installation to issues with software compatibility, mean that the whole thing can seem too daunting to bother with. This is where the Microsoft labs come in.
The Microsoft lab serves to bridge the gap between manufacturer and internet, giving business owners the tools to create their own perfect connection between the material and etherial. Industrial hardware is only as good as its software (and vice-versa). Manufacturers can use the lab to write their own software, and even to fabricate hardware prototypes.
Looking Toward the Future
IDC research shows that manufacturers spent $178 Billion on IoT in 2016, and that number is expected to keep swelling. Once a manufacturing operation is online, the potential for more efficient production is exponential. Microsoft is selling a streamlined approach to getting there. Getting smart machinery implemented faster minimizes interruptions to production and (hopefully) helps a company get a leg up on the competitors.
With a growing number of devices, machines and even household appliances connecting to the internet, it’s clear that data storage and security will continue to be a key concern for manufacturers (and the consumers who buy their products). Using an experienced data management service like Silverback’s Data Center Solutions is more important than ever to protect sensitive information and help companies stay organized and up to date.
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