US tech giants Cisco and Microsoft are combining their cloud IoT offerings, with a focus on the industrial sector.

The move was announced in a Microsoft blog, which somehow resisted the urge to use the term ‘end-to-end’ a lot. The thinking is that Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform is great at the datacenter end of things and Cisco is pretty hot at the edge. Industries increasingly want a bit of both from their IoT so this partnership has been created to provide that.

Using software-based intelligence pre-loaded onto Cisco IoT network devices, telemetry data pipelines from industry-standard protocols like OPC-Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) and Modbus can be easily established using a friendly UI directly into Azure IoT Hub,” explains the blog,

“Additional telemetry processing is also supported by Cisco through local scripts developed in Microsoft Visual Studio, where filtered data can also be uploaded directly into Azure IoT Hub. This collaboration provides customers with a fully integrated solution that will give access to powerful design tools, global connectivity, advance analytics, and cognitive services for analyzing IoT data.”

“This partnership between Cisco and Azure IoT will significantly simplify customer deployments,” said Vikas Butaney, Cisco IoT VP of Product Management. “Customers can now securely connect their assets, and simply ingest and send IoT data to the cloud. Our IoT Gateways will now be pre-integrated to take advantage of the latest in cloud technology from Azure.”

Microsoft might want to keep a close eye on this partnership as Cisco’s recent track record on such things isn’t great. A few years ago a partnership with Ericsson was announced to much fanfare, but after producing approximately nothing it has been allowed to wither on the vine and is presumably still a source of private embarrassment to both. Having said that, expect to see a lot more IoT partnerships as the clamour for end-to-end solutions intensifies.


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