Microsoft Opens IoT Innovation Center in Taiwan
By   |  October 16, 2016

Like many IT Giants, Microsoft is seeking to tap into the growing market for internet of things technologies in Asia. A reason for the Redmond company to establish an IoT Innovation Center in Taiwan.

During the Microsoft IoT Expo in Hua Nan Bank International Conference Center, the company announced the launch of its new IoT Innovation Center in Taiwan, a technology hub meant to bring together experts, industry partners and academia to advance the state of the internet of things in the region. A total of 393 companies from 17 countries gathered at this expo which featured over 70 keynote speeches and 33 IoT applications showcases, all focusing on smart city, retail, manufacturing, and life. Expo participants not only gain global insights but also are endowed with technology transfer and match-making opportunities. It is expected that this event will foster cross-discipline and highly professional partnerships, which helps IoT players to not only get a foothold in Asia and but also further target the global market.

“Asia is a critical and rapidly growing part of the IoT market and Microsoft has already deployed the Azure IoT Suite to multiple regions,” said Sam George, general manager of Microsoft Azure IoT. “We believe that through the first Microsoft IoT Expo, our market leading IoT offerings and the newly launched Microsoft IoT Innovation Center as a hub in Asia, we are enabling customers and partners to realize the enormous business potential of IoT.”

A technology to be shared to evolve
Microsoft’s IoT Innovation Center will operate as a lab on a semiautonomous model that will help accelerate the development of IoT solutions. The Taiwanese IoT Innovation Center will play a strategic role in IoT development, with the results being directly reported to the software giant’s Redmond, headquarters. The center will also link local partners, startups and research institutes with the company’s global ecosystem to foster international collaboration and help integrate the various IoT research and development projects Microsoft has a hand in. Partner companies include Advantech, AOpen, NEC, Nexcom and Trend Micro.

Moreover, as Microsoft knows that field- and scenario-specific IoT solutions need to be tested, verified, and improved with actual clients’ projects, Microsoft IoT Innovation Center therefore set up the IoT Community Lab, providing partners with IoT technology training of various difficulty levels and professional consultation, and three IoT Scenario Labs, delivering tailor-made services, such as technology development, architecture design, and business consultation.

“Through technology transfer, educational training, facility sharing, middleware development, and collaborative projects, these labs work as a federation,” commented Cathy Yeh, a Microsoft Cloud Enterprise Product Group program manager serving in the new Internet of Things Innovation Center. “They learn from each other to develop hardware, software, and services needed for IoT solutions.”

Microsoft looking abroad like others for IoT growth opportunities.
Earlier this month, IBM announced a $200 million investment in its Munich-based Watson IoT headquarters. Some of the funds are earmarked for building the company’s so-called IoT Collaboratories, hands-on labs where developers, engineers and researchers can explore the intersection of cognitive computing and the internet of things.

In 2014, Dell and Intel opened the doors to an IoT Solutions Lab in Santa Clara. Last January, Dell opened its first dedicated IoT lab in the Asia-Pacific region, again with Intel’s support. Located in Singapore, the facility enables customers, developers and independent software vendors to build and test IoT solutions with the help of Dell’s experts and technology.

“The IoT market continues to experience strong growth across APJ [Asia-Pacific Japan],” said Glen Burrows, area vice president at Dell OEM’s Asia Pacific and Japan unit, in a Jan. 19 statement. “We see vast opportunities from IoT with companies benefiting by identifying new business models, increasing operational efficiency and fueling innovation.”

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