Microsoft has launched IoT Central, calling it a fully managed Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for customers. The company added that it will enable powerful Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios without requiring cloud solution expertise.

According to Microsoft, the IoT is becoming a “critical aspect” of doing business, which means that companies will need to keep up to date with the technology. However, there are challenges surrounding its adoption, particularly complex solutions and a shortage of relevant skills.

Microsoft said it launched IoT Central to help businesses combat these obstacles and simplify the IoT. According to Microsoft, IoT Central will enable “powerful IoT scenarios without requiring cloud solution expertise”.

IoT Central is built on the Azure cloud and is intended to simplify the development process and make it easy and fast for customers to get started, making digital transformation more accessible to businesses wanting to keep competitive.

Microsoft said that the new IoT Central will be available along with its existing Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution Azure IoT Suite, which it said enables deep customisation and full control.

It is hoped that the new IoT SaaS product will have the potential to significantly boost how quickly manufacturers can innovate and bring new products to market. Microsoft also said that IoT Central has the potential to “lower the barriers to creating IoT solutions that generate new revenue opportunities and better experiences for customers”.

Microsoft is still investing in its Azure IoT Suite for customers and partners with cloud solution expertise. The company will be introducing a new preconfigured solution in the Suite, known as Connected Factory.

It will help accelerate businesses’ journeys to Industry 4.0, while making it easy to connect on-premises OPC UA and OPC Classic devices to the Microsoft cloud. It will also allow business users to securely browse and configure factory devices from the cloud.

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