Edge computing vendor Cradlepoint has introduced a platform integration with Microsoft Azure designed to simplify and accelerate the process of deploying and linking IoT applications and devices. Equipped with a new addition to Cradlepoint’s NetCloud management platform called the NetCloud Edge Connector for Azure IoT Central, the solution aims to help businesses create “Build Your Own IoT” solutions faster and more easily.
“The mission of Azure IoT Central is to improve the success rate and time-to-value of enterprise IoT projects by reducing development complexity and IT integration challenges,” said Tony Shakib, Microsoft's general manager of Azure IoT, in a press statement. “With Cradlepoint, we are extending this mission by addressing one of the key issues that threatens successful IoT outcomes—enabling IT to deliver secure and reliable IoT device connectivity across the WAN.”
Azure IoT Central is a software-as-a-service solution engineered to help users without cloud computing experience or specialized skills build and deploy production-grade IoT applications. NetCloud Edge Connector for Azure IoT Central is designed to help organizations quickly establish reliable and secure edge-to-cloud connections for sending IoT data directly into Azure IoT Central. According to Cradlepoint, a company that places kiosks in airports, campuses, or retail sites can use the new offering to rapidly develop and deploy a new IoT solution that monitors the video terminal, the door alarm, the temperature, and the kiosk's WAN connectivity.
Traditionally, Cradlepoint says, developing such a solution has required complex application programming and introduced significant network connectivity and management challenges. Indeed, 74 percent of IoT initiatives fall short of achieving success, according to a recent study from Cisco. 54 percent of respondents to that survey blamed lack of collaboration between IT and other business units as a contributing factor to those failures, and 48 percent cited lack of IoT expertise.
“The Microsoft and Cradlepoint integration of the NetCloud and Azure IoT Central platforms is a huge win for companies seeking to build their own IoT solutions,” said James Brehm, founder and chief technology evangelist at IoT research and strategy firm James Brehm & Associates, in prepared remarks. “The new partnership promises to help bridge the OT and IT collaboration gap, improve IoT project outcomes and finally put the IT back into IoT.”
In conjunction with the alliance unveiled today, Cradlepoint will join the Azure IoT Central partner program.
“Our State of IoT 2018 highlights the nature of enterprise IoT with 69 percent of customers having either deployed or planning to deploy IoT; with 53 percent developing their own solutions, which includes leveraging their own WAN,” said Cradlepoint Chairman and CEO George Mulhern in prepared remarks. “The prevailing go-it-alone approach is the catalyst behind our Microsoft partnership and integration with Azure IoT Central. We are committed to helping IT teams deliver secure and reliable connectivity and accelerate IoT time-to-value for their business constituencies while providing a pathway to 5G in the future.”
The Cradlepoint NetCloud Edge Connector for Azure IoT Central runs on select Cradlepoint wireless router solutions for branch, mobile, and IoT networking. It includes an update to the NetCloud Operating System (NCOS) as well as simplified workflow within NetCloud Manager. The NetCloud Edge Connector for Azure IoT Central is scheduled for limited availability in April 2019 for active subscribers of the Cradlepoint NetCloud service.