It was great to see many of you earlier this month at Hannover Messe. We had our biggest presence ever and it was a very exciting week! At the event, Microsoft showed how we’re helping Utilities innovate, bring products to market more quickly and transform into digital businesses.
Many Microsoft customers and partners announced pivotal IoT initiatives that are changing the way people live and work. Utility partners ABB, OSIsoft, SUBNET Solutions, ICONICs, ITVT, Accenture & Avanade, AutoGrid, Clicksoftware, and COPA-DATA all joined us to demonstrate their state of the art solutions for the connected Utility. At the event, SAP also announced that it has enhanced its mobile enterprise asset management applications for Windows.
In our busy booth, we had a world-class, end-to-end digital showcase on display that helped to inspire business transformation with IoT. Customers also came to see our 55 educational sessions in our theater and met us for nearly 250 private meetings. We demonstrated machine learning for Utility scenarios including grid congestion management, load forecasting, power production planning, and operations improvement. We showcased business insights and analytics for the smart grid, smart metering, and customer analytics as well as explored the digital plant, including next generation visualization and generation portfolio optimization solutions. We also talked about customer centricity and the digital transformation of the Utility customer experience, smart buildings solutions for building and asset optimization, secure substation communications and automation for the smart grid, and much more.
I was sorry to see the week end, and look forward to watching the digital transformations that these innovations will bring to our industry.
It’s been a busy month for meetings and we participated in the OSIsoft user conference where we demonstrated how we are working with OSIsoft and our joint partners to unlock the power of their PI solution and bring it to the enterprise. A great example is with partner Element Analytics where they went from data collection to predictive analytics in a period of 4 weeks using tools from OSIsoft, Azure Machine Learning, and Power BI for UpWind Solutions - the leading independent Wind Operations provider in the US. You can take a look at this great demo here.
Another meeting where Utilities was front and center was our annual //Build conference which is our blockbuster conference aimed at software and web developers. If you are interested in the future of computing I would definitely recommend checking out the Build keynotes with our CEO Satya Nadella and others from our leadership team. One session I want to highlight is with Joseph Sirosh, our CVP of machine learning, where Joseph brought out Erik Åsberg from partner eSmart Systems. eSmart is using Azure services and the power of machine learning and data to reinvent the industry of power management with specific use cases around substation loading and energy management. You can check out the session here.
We also unveiled a number of new products and services for industries and organizations including the Azure IoT Suite, a cloud-based tool for the Internet of Things, and Windows 10 for IoT. In addition, Power BI and Office Delve are being rolled out globally, and Microsoft is bringing business collaboration to a whole new level through Skype for Business, with a technical preview now available. You can read more in this wrap up blog post. And our new cloud-based Azure App Service helps developers quickly build Web and mobile apps for any platform and any device.
Adding to our Surface family, we recently introduced Surface 3, as well as a mobile-broadband version, Surface 3 (4G LTE). It’s the thinnest and lightest Surface we’ve ever shipped and offers the security and manageability features customers like you depend on.
Harness the power of big data through machine learning – I hope you can join us on June 3, 2015, at 9:00 AM PDT for a new webcast where we will discuss how to harness the power of big data through machine learning. We will hear from Microsoft Power & Utilities CTO, Larry Cochrane, Microsoft Data Scientist Director Ilan Ritter, and Genscape’s Platform Services Managing Director Albert Hofeldt for an insightful overview of the emerging arena of Machine Learning and how you can apply it to help meet the challenges of the Power & Utilities industry.
The Innovation Challenge: Creating the 21st Century Utility – And in case you missed it, be sure to listen to the replay of our last webcast where we explored how Utilities are reimagining themselves from a megatrend perspective covering the IoT, Cloud, Big Data, Mobility and Social in order to survive in this era of deep and accelerating rate of change.
There’s lots of news below, so read on and enjoy!
Jon C. Arnold
Microsoft Worldwide Power & Utilities
Visit OpenText at Microsoft Ignite – May 4-8, 2015, Chicago, IL
Join OpenText at the show to learn how we help enterprises maximize the value of their Microsoft solutions. Book time now to meet with a product expert and learn how we help any company with a Microsoft infrastructure or a mixed Microsoft and non-Microsoft environment. Experience our portfolio of solutions for Office 365 and learn how you can transform your business with OpenText and Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft partner Neudesic recently announced the availability of its Smart Meter Analytics Solution, which utilizes a hybrid cloud architecture that combines on-premises SQL Server, Microsoft BI Platform and the Azure cloud that easily scales as big data demands grow while protecting personally identifiable information (PII) data.
Microsoft recently announced new security innovations in Windows 10—Device Guard, Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello. Organizations that deploy these will help eliminate some of the most common tactics that are being used against them. If you haven’t already joined the Windows Insider Program and would like to, please follow the link to join the program and witness Windows 10 evolve first-hand!
eSmart Systems keeps the lights on with an automated energy management system based on Microsoft cloud services, including Microsoft Machine Learning. Now, utility companies anywhere can connect sensors, smart meters, and software to forecast consumption, reduce outages, and monitor assets to improve efficiencies. This means that utilities can avoid costly investment in both grid and IT infrastructure while serving an ever-growing population.
Western Power wanted to better inform their customers concerning upcoming maintenance and upgrade work as well as provide better information about storms and other unplanned outage situations. The Western Power ICT team worked with Microsoft partner Ignia to deliver a working prototype, based on Microsoft Azure, in just six weeks and the mobile application is simplifying the customer experience and alleviating the pressure on Western Power’s customer service team during planned and unplanned outages. Check out the video case study here and the written case study here.
Microsoft opens first industry Center of Excellence worldwide
Microsoft Russia recently opened a new Center of Excellence dedicated specifically to the Power & Utility and Oil & Gas industries. This first Center of Excellence for industry is a joint project of Microsoft, global partners including Accenture, OSISoft, ESRI, Siemens, Bentley, Ionics and OpenText; as well as Russian industry partners including Rosnano-Inform, Maykor-GMCS, EAE Consult, Nvision, CDC, Prosoft, and Manzana. This Center represents Microsoft’s commitment to helping Russian P&U and O&G industries transform organizations through key technology innovations, such as mobility, cloud computing, and knowledge management, and security and privacy.