An Italian company that built its Internet of Things (IoT) offerings on Microsoft's Azure platform is now a Microsoft company. The acquisition was announced in a blog post today by Sam George, Microsoft's partner director for Azure IoT.
Founded in 2011, Solar launched with the mission to develop IoT solutions specifically for the enterprise business market rather than for consumers. It has created applications for remote monitoring of AEG Power Solutions' uninterruptible power supplies, predictive maintenance for Bosch Rexroth and electricity optimization for Japan-based manufacturer Aiwa.
Microsoft, meanwhile, offers its Azure Internet of Things suite to help enterprise customers monitor a wide variety of systems and apply data analytics to improve efficiency and create new revenue-producing services. In his blog post, George said Microsoft will integrate Solair's technology into its own to enhance its enterprise IoT offerings.
Goal: Help Customers Harness Untapped Data
"Solair shares our ambition for helping customers harness their untapped data and create new intelligence with IoT, and this acquisition supports our strategy to deliver the most complete IoT offering for enterprises," George said. He added the company would provide more specifics at a later time about "how Solair is helping us build the intelligent cloud in the future."
In an announcement on Solair's Web site, CEO Tom Davis said the acquisition marks a new chapter for his company after five years of growth aimed at the expanding IoT market.
"By building our solutions based on real customer requirements that allow them to gain real value, I'm confident that Solair's technology and talent will be able to make an important contribution to Microsoft's Azure IoT Suite and Microsoft's broader IoT ambitions," David said. Neither company provided details about the value of the acquisition or how Solair will be integrated into Microsoft's organization.
Focus on Fast Time to Market
Yesterday, the IoT-focused analyst firm MachNation released a new scorecard that ranked Solair and 14 other service providers on the basis on their IoT platform-enabled solutions. The scorecard described Solair's offering as an open source hardware approach that can speed up time to market for customers, but was also "fairly primitive" and lacked industry-sector expertise.
"While Solair Corporate is a vertical IoT platform-enabled solution Microsoft acquired Solair for its technology and its rapid time to market not its customers or depth of industry knowledge," MachNation CTO and head analyst Dima Tokar told us via email. "It would not have been the first IoT technology firm that MachNation would have considered for acquisition."
In an analysis published in February, Andrea Siviero, a senior research analyst at IDC, noted that Solair's offerings are built on top of a wide ecosystem of technology partners, including Microsoft Azure, Eclipse, MultiTech and Wot.io. He added that expanding its coverage of vertical markets and understanding specific business needs "will be vital for Solair's future expansion."
With today's announcement, it appears that Solair will now be able to address those concerns backed by the full weight of Microsoft's support.