General Electric And Microsoft Align To Bring Predix To Azure

Microsoft and GE have announced a partnership that will make GE's Predix, a platform for industrial internet, available on Azure. The winning nomination will demonstrate industry-leading innovation, creative use of multiple Azure services, competitive differentiation, and customer value that results in a profitable business while showcasing the benefits of using infrastructure services on Microsoft Azure.

However, Microsoft hopes that GE's Predix will convince its loyal industrial customers to adopt Azure.

Microsoft kicked off its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 11 in Toronto. Predix is GE's industrial IoT platform which is already available on both Amazon cloud and Oracle's clouds however this partnership better positions Microsoft to build Azure's enterprise appeal.

In a blog post on the news, Microsoft cites a Gartner report stating there will be 6.4 billion connected devices in use this year.

Predix is a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform created to enable industrial businesses to perform large-scale analytics on industrial machinery to manage asset performance and optimize operations.

The platforms offer cloud computing services and data-gathering capabilities respectively. As businesses look to connect their industrial machines from the edge to the cloud, bringing Predix to Azure gives customers greater choice and flexibility to securely harness the power of data from machines and systems of intelligence. "Connecting industrial machines to the internet through the cloud is a huge step toward simplifying business processes and reimagining how work gets done", GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement.

"Working with companies like GE, we can reach a new set of customers to help them accelerate their transformation across every line of business from the factory floor to smart buildings", said Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella.

The partnership will allow Predix customers to access Microsoft Azure capabilities such as natural language processing, artificial intelligence, data visualization and integration with Microsoft's Office 365 suite of online workplace productivity apps and other software.

A developer preview of Predix on Azure will be available towards the end of 2016, according to Microsoft, while a full commercial release is planned for the second quarter of 2017.

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