IoT partners in Asia team up with Microsoft to develop relevant IoT solutions for global reach
The first Microsoft IoT Expo in Asia was inaugurated at Hua Nan Bank International Conference Center earlier this month in Taiwan. Gathering 393 companies from 17 countries, the event also saw the official launch of the Microsoft IoT Innovation Center.
More than 1,100 delegates including those from 10 countries in Asia, namely, Taiwan, China, India, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, participated in over 70 keynotes and 33 IoT applications focusing on smart city, retail and manufacturing sectors. The opportunity for delegates to network with technology companies has provided IoT players in Asia with a unique position to get a foothold in Asia and further target the global market.
Going Global from Asia
Microsoft is keen on growing the IoT ecosystem in Asia and has been investing in it. About 50 per cent of all companies that are Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT exist within Asia.
Since the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on IoT with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in Taiwan last October, Microsoft has actively promoted several IoT related industry and talent development programs. For example, the first DevDays Asia took place in Taiwan last April with presentations from over 10 scientists and architects. In July, an IoT solution originating from Taiwan was introduced at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2016, an annual conference attended by thousands of partners from all over the world. The solution soon became sought-after by partners seeking collaborative efforts.
Sam George, General Manager, Azure IoT, said, “Asia is a critical and rapidly growing IoT market that is important to Microsoft. We have deployed the Azure IoT Suite to multiple regions in the world and believe that through the first Microsoft IoT Expo in Asia, our market leading IoT offerings and the newly launched Microsoft IoT Innovation Center will enable customers and partners to realize the enormous business potential of IoT.”
Jong-chin Shen, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) from Taiwan said, “The government has partnered with Microsoft in the inception of the Microsoft IoT Innovation Center in order to leverage Microsoft’s R&D capability, cloud services, and data analytics to integrate into the IoT supply chain. The ultimate goal is to transform Taiwan’s hardware and component centric business model to a platform based or vertically integrated one. We aspire to provide local IoT players with the technology and support to create globally relevant IoT solutions.”
Microsoft teams up with partners in Asia to develop end-to-end IoT solutions and create global IoT business opportunities
Because of its renowned high-tech and hardware manufacturing sectors, Taiwan was a clear choice for Microsoft to launch its first IoT Innovation Center for Asia. The center aims to offer cross-discipline technology transfer, strategic alliances, business model transformation and innovation opportunities. Microsoft’s experience in managing industrial ecosystems and its rich software solutions that enable a variety of customers is a natural fit with Taiwan’s ecosystem.
Chris Phillips, General Manager, Partner and Customer Ecosystem, Cloud Enterprise, Microsoft, said, “The Microsoft IoT Innovation Center in Taiwan is our starting point for capturing the booming IoT opportunity in Asia. We aim to do this by accelerating the collaboration between Taiwan-based companies and global partners. We are already collaborating with close to 50 companies at the Innovation Center and based on the initial interest, we expect to have many more join us before the end of the year.”
The Microsoft IoT Innovation Center acts as a link between regional IoT partners and the world, covering R&D project integration, technology development, and international collaboration. As IoT solutions will need to be tested, verified, and improved via actual clients’ projects, the Innovation Center will also include an IoT Community Lab that provides partners with IoT technology training, professional consultation, and three IoT Scenario Labs, delivering tailor-made services, such as technology development, architecture design, and business consultation.
Cathy Yeh, Principal PM Manager, Cloud Enterprise Product Group, Internet of Things Innovation Center, said, “The development of the IoT industry requires the connection and integration of partners in multiple fields as well as resources from the industry, government, and academia regionally. Our regional ecosystem consists of 370 partners from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Philippines, India, Japan, Korea and China and cuts across industries including manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and retail. We provide access to and training on Azure IoT Suite, Cognitive Services, and Windows 10 IoT, facility sharing, middleware development, and collaborative projects, enabling members to learn from each other to develop hardware, software, and services needed for IoT solutions. Together, our partners are accelerating business transformation for our enterprise customers in several industries, including end-to-end solutions for retail and smart cities.”
Irza Suprapto, CEO, Industry Platform Pte Ltd shared, “Asia Pacific, and Southeast Asia in particular, have seen an exponential increase in enterprise IoT applications over the past year and I believe that this will continue over the next few years. Nurturing local ecosystems will be a key factor in the successful implementation of IoT projects and it’s heartening to see Microsoft take a leading role in several local markets in Asia Pacific through the IoT Innovation Center.”
Edward Tsai, Senior Vice President, Trend Micro Consumer Product Planning and Development said, “From a security standpoint, IoT devices are not manufactured with security in mind which often means more opportunity for hackers to launch attacks. It is an honor to partner with Microsoft at the IoT Innovation Center to offer a full range of unique IoT security solutions for Cloud, Networks and Endpoint protection.”
The largest Microsoft IoT Expo in Taiwan maps out the future of IoT in Asia
At the Microsoft IoT Expo, partners showcased a variety of IoT applications, including a smart vending machine developed by AAEON that allows visitors to pay by swiping their badges as well as a coffee-making robot developed by TECHMAN ROBOT Inc that could be operated by visitors tapping their badges. These devices record visitors’ purchase behaviors and analyze data to pick out trends such as the popularity of specific drink items.
In addition, delegates also experienced first-hand IoT solutions via a device that connected them with other exhibitors and participants through the use of a Loopd-based smart solution. The solution also tracked participant traffic, and in turn provided analysis of hot spots and peak periods.
A driverless electric vehicle, co-developed by Microsoft and MIT Media Lab using Microsoft’s Cognitive services and Cortana Intelligent Suite, was also on display.
For more information about the Microsoft Innovation Center please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/taiwan/IoT/