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IoT in Action: The future is now

~This is a blog written by Tom O'Reilly, GM IoT Device Experience, Microsoft for the Microsoft Partner Network; Let us know below how your business is taking advantage of the IoT opportunity?~

One of the greatest benefits of digital transformation is the Internet of Things (IoT). As businesses move to reinvent themselves, IoT presents a massive opportunity. For partners interested in learning more about IoT technology, we have a full lineup of IoT in Action events. Register for the Boston IoT in Action with Microsoft event.

Four ways IoT enables businesses

Just how is this exciting technology transforming businesses? Here are four ways Microsoft IoT enables businesses across industries to grow and evolve.

1. IoT informs decision making

By connecting the critical assets within your company that already exist, you gain insights not previously possible. That's the beauty of IoT. Through the integration of business intelligence tools and advances in predictive analytics and machine learning, you can gather and use data from your various connected devices to gain deeper insights into what your customers and employees want and need—or even help predict what they'll do next. You can then take those insights to inform proactive decision-making about customer behavior, supply chain capacity, maintenance issues, and more.

2. IoT streamlines operations

IoT can be used in countless ways to drive operational efficiencies. By connecting and monitoring the health of your assets, you can track performance, identify upcoming maintenance needs, and establish alerts for when action is required. By having the sensors and data in place, you're able to reduce unplanned outages, keeping business moving and customers happy.

Here's a great example: Drenthe College worked with Microsoft partner Winvision to implement an IoT scheduling solution that makes it easier for students and faculty to find meeting spaces. The solution uses sensors to track movement, sound, and even CO2 levels to discover and connect people to underutilized spaces.

IoT is also critical to helping automate previously time-intensive processes. Companies such as Rockwell use sensors to monitor equipment through digital dashboards and provide automatic alerts with specific troubleshooting steps, saving time and money.

3. IoT saves money

Speaking of saving money - IoT is really key for companies that want to reduce costs and do more with existing assets. In addition to the financial benefits of automation and streamlining operations, through the magic of advanced data insights, IoT helps companies uncover new ways to save money.

For example, Microsoft partner Eniga worked with Stockrose, a property management company in Sweden, to track hot water usage with IoT technology. They implemented a solution that will save 10,000 property owners $42 million in hot water costs over 10 years.

4. IoT drives revenue

IoT opens up new possibilities for revenue and services by combining digital and devices into brand new offerings and making existing solutions more valuable to customers. What used to be one-time device sales are turning into ongoing digital content and service offerings for IoT partners.

BUNN improved coffee service through automated monitoring, which provided real-time diagnostics and the ability to perform proactive maintenance - minimizing service calls and increasing service quality for customers. BUNN is even able to service a machine before the customer notices a problem.

For parents, Mattel makes kids' rooms safer and more interactive through a product called Aristotle, which takes connected home devices to the next level through AI, voice, sight, and sound. Aristotle can play a lullaby for a crying baby, purchase diapers, read stories, and serve as a connected baby monitor.

Join us at IoT in Action events worldwide!

While IoT presents some fantastic opportunities, connecting devices and then being able to secure and use the data can be tricky. That's why Microsoft joined forces with the online tech publication ReadWrite to host IoT in Action with Microsoft in Boston on October 30, 2017.

IoT in Action is series of live and virtual events for companies ready to capitalize on the multi-billion-dollar IoT market. The Boston event will educate and foster collaboration among hardware manufacturers, distributors, packaged software providers, and systems integrators.

Through these events, you'll learn what it takes to build a world-class IoT solution and get actionable knowledge around Microsoft technologies, cloud economics, the business value of IoT solutions, and device-to-cloud security. You'll also connect with representatives across the IoT ecosystem who are seeing partnerships and investment opportunities. The event focuses on six strategic verticals, including energy, retail, industrial automation, smart building, healthcare, and security and surveillance.

Register here for the Boston IoT in Action with Microsoft event. Learn more and see the full list of worldwide locations by visiting IoT in Action.

How do you see your business taking advantage of the IoT opportunity? Share your thoughts below.