Does your business care about the number of connected IoT devices? Most of you would say no, not anymore. Rather, you have shifted the focus onto harnessing IoT data to run your business. Imagine if you had complete visibility to all aspects of your business: starting with an inventory of connected devices to access relevant information to make the best business decisions. Access to that relevant data will reduce risk, grow revenues, enhance customer experiences, and control costs. However, you have to tackle the variety of IoT devices and their different connectivity protocols which could stop you from creating a common data model today. Your industry peers continue to identify complexity of the current multi-vendor technology stacks as a key inhibitor to successfully deploy IoT projects.

The Cisco and Microsoft Azure IoT partnership

When IoT solutions are deployed in remote industrial environments such as service fleets, oil pipelines, and mines to name a few, it brings a new understanding of what the IoT edge is. It’s not surprising that a Gartner prediction shows that by 2025 more than 75 percent of data extracted will need edge computing. To address the seamless movement of data from the IoT edge and give customers the opportunities to unlock business value from their data, I am happy to announce that Cisco and Microsoft Azure are extending our edge-to-cloud partnership. Cisco Edge Intelligence eliminates the complexity of managing data extraction from devices at the IoT edge with an out-of-the-box integration into Microsoft’s Azure IoT Hub, providing customers a simplified end-to-end capability.

One of the outcomes of this partnership will be to offer customers a pre-integrated IoT edge-to-cloud application solution. Customers will be able to integrate their IoT devices through Cisco Edge Intelligence to Azure IoT Hub with a click of a button. Both Cisco and Microsoft have made it simpler, faster and more secure to send intelligent IoT edge data to enterprise-class applications. Customers will be able to drive their artificial intelligence, analytics, machine learning, and business intelligence applications to support a better digital transformation.

“The seamless and simple integration of Cisco’s IoT gateway with the new Edge Intelligence and Microsoft’s Azure IoT Hub speeds the evolution to edge-to-cloud computing,” said Tony Shakib, Head of Business Development, IoT at Microsoft. “Despite the complexity of data types and connectivity protocols, Cisco and Microsoft have removed these deployment challenges thus making the integration happen with just a few clicks. Cisco customers can stand up their deployments and get their business insights faster than ever – whether that data is from edge or cloud-based applications.”

Already, customers in a variety of industry verticals are taking advantage of this partnership as they deploy more IoT solutions at the edge of the network. For example, voestalpine, a leader and manufacturer of high-quality steel, is benefiting from this integration in several ways. Cisco Edge Intelligence is being used to extract and transform typical factory floor data into valuable plant management information with seamless integration with Azure IoT service. To improve operations, voestalpine is using Cisco Edge Intelligence to ensure that IoT data is segmented and accessed by the right plant vendors while at the same time feeding its corporate systems on the centralized Azure cloud.

 “At voestalpine, we are going through a digital journey to rethink and innovate manufacturing processes to bring increased operational efficiency. We face challenges to consistently and securely extract data from these machines and deliver the right data to our analytics applications,” said Stefan Pöchtrager, Enterprise Architect, voestalpine AG. “We are validating Cisco’s next-generation edge data software, Cisco Edge Intelligence, along with Azure IoT services for our cloud software development. Cisco’s out-of-the box edge solution with Azure IoT services helps us accelerate our digital journey.”

Cisco and Microsoft have plans to expand this integration to other areas where we can further simplify the IoT solution for our common customers. We invite our customers and partners who use Azure today to leverage this tight integration to build IoT solutions easily and quickly, helping achieve business goals faster and more efficiently.

For more information, check out the Cisco Edge Intelligence home page. And click here for more on Microsoft Azure.


Vikas Butaney

SVP / GM, Cisco Networking

SD-WAN, Multicloud, and Industrial IoT