Posted by Parul Bhandari
Government Industry Solutions Lead, Worldwide Public Sector

Living in a connected world is something many have grown accustom to, even dependent upon for productivity. However, just like email on our phones ten years ago seemed novel, we’re now looking at many more experiences that can be enhanced through an online link. Otherwise known as the “Internet of Your Things,” connectivity is quickly evolving from basic convenience to innovative opportunities for saving money, gaining new insights, and optimizing experiences.

One great example is public transportation. We’re working with telent and CGI to help the London Underground modernize the systems that securely monitor, manage and automate its “things,” everything from escalators, lifts and HVAC controls to closed-circuit video and communication systems.

Data from sensors and intelligent edge devices — to closely monitor temperature, vibration, humidity, fault warnings and system alerts — are all available in one central location to provide access to needed information on mobile apps, via a Web browser, or through text alerts.

The below video provides an overview of how the London Underground accomplishes this using Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service, recently released in preview.

Like the London Underground, enterprises using the Intelligent Systems Service to extend the Azure cloud across connected devices and sensors can capture vital data, analyze it with familiar Microsoft tools such as HDInsight and Power BI for Office 365, and then quickly take the appropriate action that drives impact. Underlying all of these capabilities is enterprise-grade security developed and supported by Microsoft.

Just northeast in Finland, the Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy (Helsinki Bus Transportation Co.) recently capitalized on the Internet of Your Things trend with impressive results. By improving their ability to capture and track traffic data, driver performance and gas usage, they’ve seen as much as 5 percent savings in fuel costs due to more careful driving and improved maintenance. This is no small matter for a business that uses approximately 3 million gallons of gasoline per year, in a country where gas can cost up to three times as much as it does in the United States.

“There are fleet tracking systems already in the marketplace, but they are only solving for the issue of tracking per vehicle,” said Michael Andersson, Technical Director at Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy. “Our data warehouse solution can combine the data across all buses and lines, which gives us snapshots of data that are easy to understand and helpful in solving business problems.”

Opportunities extend far beyond transportation as well. Visit the Microsoft Internet of Your Things site for more on how we’re working with partners like Cognizant and Infosys on solutions for manufacturing, health, retail, and other industries.