The industry effort to bring the vast amounts of machine-generated data coming off the connected universe under control received a significant boost last week after not one but two major vendors joined the fray. The first to jump aboard was Microsoft Corp., which launched a managed service for aggregating transmissions from the sensors and other new devices that are appearing on the the corporate network.
The Azure IoT Hub allows data to be sent in the opposite direction well, thus providing a two-way communications channel that organizations can use to carry out maintenance tasks like rolling out security updates to employee-owned wearables. It’s the lynchpin of the Azure IoT Suite, a bundle of services that Microsoft is positioning as a foundation for the new analytics use cases that are emerging throughout the connected universe. The package also includes Redmond’s cloud-based implementation of the Hadoop File System to help store aggregated transmissions and its Power BI tool for extracting useful patterns.
The company is marketing the offering towards the same organizations that Cisco Systems Inc. plans to target in the wake of its acquisition of Jasper Technologies Inc. for $1.4 billion. The deal buys the networking giant the startup’s namesake platform for managing connected devices, which boasts a much larger use base than Microsoft’s competing service bundle. The list includes Amazon Inc., The Ford Motor Company, Starbucks Corp. and numerous other corporate heavyweights.
Cisco announced the acquisition on the same day that the Azure IoT Hub rolled out into general availability and against the backdrop of LinkedIn Inc.’s smaller, but almost equally widely-covered, purchase of Connectifier Inc. The recruiting service employs a specially-built artificial intelligence in order to scour the web for potential job applicants and single out the individuals whose skill sets match the demands of a given position the most. Its creators will reallocate to San Francisco in order to join the professional social network’s headhunting automation group.