According to a recent study by Cisco, 74 percent of IoT initiatives fell short of achieving success with 54 percent citing the lack of collaboration between IT and other business units and 48 percent attributing it to a lack of IoT expertise. The new platform integration between Microsoft and Cradlepoint helps provide Operational Technology (OT) teams the freedom and ability to build and deploy IoT solutions that improve business competitiveness and efficiency, while giving IT teams the tools they need to ensure secure, reliable and compliant device connectivity at the wide-area-network (WAN) edge.
“The mission of Azure IoT Central is to improve the success rate and time-to-value of enterprise IoT projects by reducing development complexity and IT integration challenges,” said Tony Shakib, general manager of Azure IoT. “With Cradlepoint, we are extending this mission by addressing one of the key issues that threaten successful IoT outcomes—enabling IT to deliver secure and reliable IoT device connectivity across the WAN.”
Azure IoT Central is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that lets customers build and deploy production-grade IoT applications in hours without cloud computing experience or specialised skills. Cradlepoint will join the Azure IoT Central partner program allowing the two companies to collaborate on marketing the solution to enterprise and public sector customers.
Cradlepoint will offer a pre-built integration for its NetCloud service, called NetCloud Edge Connector for Azure IoT Central, that allows organisations to connect IoT devices to applications built on the Microsoft Azure IoT Central platform with complete visibility, security and control. For example, a vendor that uses kiosks in airports, campuses, or storefronts can rapidly develop and deploy a new IoT solution to monitor the video terminal, the door alarm, the temperature and the WAN connectivity of the application running in the kiosk. Previously, developing such a solution would require complex application programming and introduce significant network connectivity and management challenges.
“Our State of IoT 2018 highlights the nature of enterprise IoT with 69 percent of customers having either deployed or planning to deploy IoT; with 53 percent developing their own solutions, which includes leveraging their own WAN,” said George Mulhern, chairman and chief executive officer at Cradlepoint. “The prevailing go-it-alone approach is the catalyst behind our Microsoft partnership and integration with Azure IoT Central. We are committed to helping IT teams deliver secure and reliable connectivity and accelerate IoT time-to-value for their business constituencies while providing a pathway to 5G in the future.”
The new IoT solution will be very beneficial for both Microsoft and Cradlepoint partners. It provides a blank canvas for rapidly developing, deploying and managing custom IoT applications for specific customers, use cases and industries without them having to invest in cloud infrastructure or specialised resources.
“The Microsoft and Cradlepoint integration of the NetCloud and Azure IoT Central platforms is a huge win for companies seeking to build their own IoT solutions,” said James Brehm, founder and chief technology evangelist at James Brehm & Associates. “The new partnership promises to help bridge the OT and IT collaboration gap, improve IoT project outcomes and finally put the IT back into IoT.”