Every day, a growing number of companies are integrating smart, IoT-connected devices, gaining the potential for more data and insight – and with it, smarter decision making. But, to enable the IoT (Internet of Things) to truly benefit industry, it needs to maximize all aspects of operations – going beyond connectivity.
For this to happen effectively, a common enabler is needed. One that delivers simplicity, speed and scale. The cloud is a natural choice. It brings together plants, machines, people and processes to unlock new end-to-end operational efficiencies.
With a forecast of 10x more connected devices than people by 2020, the cloud is precisely what you’ll need to create a foundation for more efficient, more sustainable, and more intelligent operations, across the enterprise.
Cloud-based IoT systems enable you to drive new levels of digitization, including electrical distribution and management – a decades-long stronghold of Schneider Electric, across plants, machines, buildings, data centers and grids.
With this digitization comes the benefits of greater energy independence, a stronger level of safety and cybersecurity, and considerable cost savings across the board.
Improving the performance of people
Often overlooked in discussions of the Internet of Things is how new technologies will make people more efficient, as well. By bridging IT and OT, EcoStruxure™ lets your people react to this mass aggregation of data, and helps them translate information into actionable intelligence and better business decisions.
In a post from 2013, I wrote a few thoughts about agile management and the empowerment of people, saying, “people will always be able to adapt and learn better than machines can.”
This point is no less salient here. Improving the performance of machines and processes, no matter how automated, requires the right understanding from people.
Our partnership with Microsoft has answered this call. This collaborative IIoT innovation works across the value chain, so you can garner the full benefits of digital transformation – not only for your machines, but throughout your process operations.
Unifying IoT expertise
Schneider Electric recently expanded our existing partnership with Microsoft to bring together EcoStruxure™ and Microsoft’s Azure cloud.
This partnership shows what can happen when two industry leaders combine for the common purpose of matching the right technologies and know-how, to produce results in every end-user segment we serve. Here is why:
- Microsoft has proven expertise in cloud technology, with Azure achieving global adoption across 38 regions, in 90% of Fortune 500 companies, and through 120,000 new subscriptions every month.
- Schneider has decades of experience managing data across industrial markets, alongside proven innovation in open architectures and Internet-based technologies. We are a leader in cloud-based data, with 12+ petabytes of storage used per year, enabling stronger predictive analytics.
By merging these strengths, we make IoT valuable, delivering tangible, measurable business results. Together, our technologies empower you to fuel digital transformation within your organizations, through EcoStruxure™’s easily integrated, cloud-based applications.
Now, you can access these applications directly through Azure, to leverage greater amounts of data, and in turn, significantly improve opportunities for productivity and efficiency.
Making Augmented Reality work for your people
Not only does Azure cloud implementation offer the analytics and maintenance tools necessary for better real-time response to data, but Microsoft’s HoloLens technology brings new levels of human interactivity to EcoStruxure™, making it possible to enhance your processes through augmented reality.
Now implemented into our longstanding SimSci process simulation software and Enterprise Asset Management solutions, HoloLens immerses your personnel in simulated maintenance, training and other situations, increasing their understanding of processes as they happen, and keeping them safer when encountering these tasks in the real world.
In short, operators can now pinpoint the exact location of a problem or service inefficiency, and use the virtual simulation to find quick solutions in real time. And with the same technology applied to training simulators, your business will be able to leverage both human and machine learning, by ensuring people are well-prepared for potential concerns, before they hinder operations.
Given the wide range of expertise necessary to leverage cloud-based IoT technologies, and the scope of businesses Schneider Electric serves across the world, collaboration with trusted partners is key. Thanks to our evolving, ongoing partnership with Microsoft – and the richer cloud-based offerings that have resulted from it – we have tapped into even greater potential for EcoStruxure™ and the companies it benefits.
To learn more about this partnership, please read the full announcement.