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Microsoft Bolsters Azure IoT with Solair Acquisition

In a move to beef up its emerging Internet of Things (IoT) platform, Microsoft on Tuesday announced the acquisition of 5-year-old Italian startup Solair.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Microsoft did say in a blog post that it plans to fold Solair, a provider of IoT solutions across the manufacturing, transportation, retail and food-service industries, into its Azure IoT Suite.

"[T]his acquisition supports our strategy to deliver the most complete IoT offering for enterprises," wrote Sam George, Microsoft partner director for Azure IoT. "The integration of Solair's technology into the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite will continue to enhance our complete IoT offering for the enterprise."

Solair's IoT portfolio consists of three offerings. The IoT Product Suite is a set of seven modules to help organizations run common IoT operations, such as asset management, product lifecycle management and maintenance. The IoT Platform is the application platform on which the IoT Product Suite runs and "enables the creation and management of any kind of fully customized IoT application," according to Solair's description.

The third offering, called IoT Gateway, is "an industrial-grade smart device that provides communications, computation power and a lightweight, flexible application framework for our IoT platform integration." The Gateway is what essentially enables the "things" in an IoT scenario to transmit data to and from the cloud.

Solair counts a number of industrial companies as customers, including Rancilio, a manufacturer of traditional and "smart" coffee makers; AEG, a manufacturer of energy and power-supply systems; and Zadi Group, a manufacturer of industrial equipment parts.

The Solair acquisition comes just as Microsoft is bolstering its IoT platform, which it launched last fall, to compete against similar offerings from Amazon Web Services, IBM, Cisco and Samsung. Earlier this year, Microsoft released the Azure IoT Hub, followed in April by the release of Azure IoT Starter Kits for developers.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.