Microsoft's Bringing Location Based Services to Azure
Everything connected, everything streaming, and everything monitored is future of IoT. You can fight it all all you want but everything from the office water cooler to vans delivering goods are already connected or will be soon.
Microsoft has been playing in the IoT space for a couple years and today they are taking a large jump forward with the announcement of Azure Location Based Services to help customers overcome issues like traffic congestion and improve fleet management. Announced in Los Angeles, the new cloud service is entering public preview and offers geospatial service APIs that are natively integrated into Azure.
Microsoft isn’t offering this service in a silo, they are working with TomTom who will be supplying the location data for the product. This will allow the offering to provide mapping, search, routing and traffic information to the user to help make more informed decisions.
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Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
As IoT continues its spread across ‘dumb’ devices, services like this will become more important. For Microsoft, it’s critical that Azure has this functionality baked in as this is an area of growth for the IT sector and as you can imagine, Microsoft wants all IoT data sent to its cloud.
Location-based services like what Microsoft is bringing into preview today will be critical as more movable hardware connects to the Internet. While it’s obvious that fleet management benefits from an offering such as this, there are other creative ways to use this service such as searching for deployments ‘near water’ or ‘on a hill’ too.
We are still in the early days of IoT deployments but their use is becoming more widespread each year. With the ability to cut down on outages and reduce service call times, the benefits are real but deployment can be tricky if you don’t fully plan for the increased data output.