8 October 2015 – Sydney, Australia: Today’s launch of the Redback Smart Hybrid System provides a window into the extraordinary future offered by the Internet of Things (IoT).
Since beginning its relationship with Microsoft earlier this year through the Microsoft Innovation Centre in Brisbane, Redback Technologies has harnessed the power of Microsoft Azure and the just released Azure IoT Hub to usher in a new world of renewable energy consumption, generation and trading.
Paul Liddell, Redback Technologies’ CIO, said the Internet of Things enables connectivity, creating great opportunities for business insights and innovation.
“An important part of utilising the Microsoft platform is that it enables us to derive value from the data we’re able to collect,” he said.
This includes the collection of data about home energy use, comparing the performance of the Redback Smart Hybrid System against optimum performance levels and the diagnosis of potential service failures before they occur.
“That’s pretty appealing for solar customers, because if their system goes down then they’re no longer gaining any value from it,” Mr Liddell said. “So being able to provide preventative maintenance and have an issue fixed before the customer knowing about it is a pretty huge deal for both us and our partners.”
The IoT Hub is part of the Azure IoT Suite of services which is a fully managed service that enables reliable and secure bi-directional communications between millions of IoT devices and an application back end. As such it is perfect for organisations looking to fully utilise the tremendous possibilities offered by technology.
Mr Liddell said Redback was using the Azure IoT Hub for command and control of the company’s devices, with all web properties being hosted in the Microsoft Cloud.
“For a relatively small organisation, a start up like us, it’s a huge win. We don’t have to invest in any kind of infrastructure, we just deploy, and get lots of support from BizSpark and other Microsoft programs that enable us to get up and running for a low cost, but scale as much as we need to.”
“On the device side, we’re using a Raspberry Pi device with Windows 10 core IoT on it, which connects nicely to the Azure IoT Suite.”
“This brings a number of advantages from a development point of view, and one of those is that it’s basically the same stack, same programming language, same frameworks that you’re working on, so you don’t have to spend so much time inventing something new – you can just build on what’s there already.
“The biggest deal for us at the start when we’re running at low scale is the ability to then scale up without having to change our architecture, without having to write any more code. We can just add instances, or improve the size of the machine doing the processing. So that’s a huge thing for us.”
Phil Livingston, Redback Technologies’ Managing Director, said he valued the evolving partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership is evolving. Microsoft’s guidance and support has aided Redback significantly in the process of delivering innovation to market. The future of energy intranet, the future of Internet of Things, the future of energy storage and of distributed generation – is a marriage of all of these technologies into one. Through partnership with Microsoft we’re building incredible technologies at the moment, and by having incredible partners, like Microsoft, we’ll achieve our goal of changing the world.”
Lee Hickin, IoT, Business Group Lead, Microsoft Australia, echoed Mr Livingston’s thoughts on the value of the partnership between the two organisations.
“At Microsoft we have always understood and valued the power of innovation to transform business and the way we lead our lives,” he said. “That’s why we love partnering with companies like Redback Technologies, who are right on the cutting edge in developing a technology that has the potential to make this world a better place to live.
“The amazing thing about this current era of advancement is the ability of the Internet of Things and the cloud to both allow and encourage the development of those extraordinary innovations. We regard it as a privilege to be involved.”
About Redback Technologies
Redback Technologies is a start-up energy storage technology enabler providing low cost, robust hardware and software solutions to energy retailers, network service providers and solar installers. More information can be found at: www.redbacktech.com
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential. More information can be found at: www.microsoft.com.au