Akenza, ewz and Microsoft develop scalable platform for IoT applications


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In the city of Zurich, ewz and OIZ are implementing a Long Range Wide Area Network as part of the Smart City Zurich strategy, which is used in particular for networking sensors in public spaces and buildings. The functionality for the management of the sensors will be provided by the newly developed Akenza Core IoT System based on Microsoft Azure.

ewz and the Departement for Organization and IT of the City of Zurich (OIZ) are building a city-wide Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) for the implementation of IoT applications. LoRaWAN is a network protocol for secure, wireless, energy-saving and bidirectional IoT communication. «ewz supports the Smart City Zurich among other things by providing the fibre optic network with 272,800 user units and by implementing the LoRaWAN. With LoRaWAN, ewz, in cooperation with OIZ, enables the development and implementation of many IoT use cases», explains Arno Stark, head of the Digitalization & IT department at ewz, who is responsible for the project. «The interconnection of data, sensors and applications allows new and more efficient solutions for users of urban infrastructures as well as for their operators».

Partnership for innovative IoT applications

In order to manage the sensors distributed in the city and to make the data generated with them usable, ewz trusts in the partnership with the Swiss company Akenza and Microsoft Switzerland. Based on the city-wide connectivity of ewz, the simple and scalable Core IoT system of Akenza and the intelligent services of the Microsoft Azure Cloud, the three companies build a scalable platform where customers can manage their sensors, receive and analyze data.

Innovative IoT platform

«The Akenza Core is something like the brain of data flows», says Vikram Bhatnagar, co-founder and CEO of Akenza. «The data enters via very different channels, which can be the fibre optic network, radio networks such as LoRaWAN, a mobile phone network, Bluetooth or building management systems.» Akenza collects, consolidates, manages and processes these data flows on the Akenza Core IoT system, and visualizes the data so that it is easy to understand, gain knowledge and derive actions from it. The necessary IoT technologies are provided by the Microsoft Azure Cloud. For Vikram Bhatnagar it is quite obvious: «ewz, Akenza and Microsoft have jointly developed the perfect ecosystem for supporting and implementing IoT applications, in order to meet the requirements of an intelligent city in this context. I am convinced that together we can make Zurich one of the smartest cities in Europe, if not worldwide.»

Driving force in the growing smart city and smart building market

The Swiss technology company Akenza was founded in 2017 and is already considered one of the most innovative companies and a driving force in the large growth market of IoT for smart cities and smart buildings. Most of the Microsoft partner company’s projects still come from Switzerland, but international expansion is already well underway. “The market research institute IDC currently estimates the global IoT market at $ 726 billion. It is expected to grow to $ 1.1 trillion by 2023, »explains Vikram Bhatnagar. “The experience gained in the joint partnership with ewz and Microsoft enables us to support other cities in Switzerland and abroad in the planning and implementation of their smart city visions.”

Marianne Janik, CEO Microsoft Switzerland, also recognises this great potential: «Thanks to the work for the city of Zurich and the knowledge gained from it, other cities in Switzerland will also be able to easily and safely equip their buildings and infrastructure with smart technology thereby increasing the well-being, security and quality of life of people all over Switzerland. »

Sara Lobo d’Avila, Project Manager Business Development at ewz, is pleased about the successful cooperation with Akenza and Microsoft Switzerland: «Zurich is a booming city and the leading location for innovation and technology in Switzerland. With the realization of the LoRaWAN and the cooperation with Akenza and Microsoft, we support the digitization of the city. We thus make an important contribution to the high-quality of life, attractiveness of the location and the economic success of the city of Zurich – today and in the future.»

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