Sep 21, 2020

ABI Research: AI and machine learning services in IoT

ABI Research
AI
ML
IoT
Oliver Freeman
3 min
By 2026, the IoT advanced analytics market, powered by machine learning and AI, is set to reach a value of $10.6bn
By 2026, the IoT advanced analytics market, powered by machine learning and AI, is set to reach a value of $10.6bn...

Data is everywhere. It’s all around us, and as new products and services hit the market, consumers start to use them and subsequently give leading multi corporations access to a goldmine of personal data. The value of data is on the rise, and on the lesser-known data marketplaces, big business is spending millions to access yours. The increasing value is stimulating the Internet of Things (IoT) Advanced Analytics Market, with the emergence of accessible out-of-the-box and off-the-shelf machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. 

ABI has found that vendors and solution providers are easing access to ML and AI toolsets. They’re managing this by offering the availability of their software through new deployment options like edge, on-premises, cloud, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and the more common Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). It predicts that the IoT, ML, and AI market will reach approximately “$1.09bn in 2020 and grow to $10.6 billion in 2026”, showing that there will be exponential growth across the sector in correlation to the mass expansion of interconnecting devices, smart-homes, and smart-workplaces. 

Edge ML/AI is more prevalent in manufacturing and industrial segments, where there is an immediate need to assess, transform and augment data as it is being generated through functions of quick pattern recognition, labelling, and protocol optimisation.

“The IoT Edge Advanced Analytics Market is essentially operationalized ML and AI products and services targeted at Operational Technology (OT) teams to understand and extract insights,” said Kateryna Dubrova, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “ML and AI frameworks are also enabling advanced analytics in the cloud, where algorithmic models (predictive, prescriptive, correlations, etc.) are deployed on pre-processed and organized datasets.”

You may already know of some service providers, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google, SAS, and C3.ai, who are “dominating the scene for their end-to-end IoT portfolios and combined native and third-party ML/AI toolkits”─all of which provide ease-of-access through cloud deployment models, making them accessible to anybody within an organisation, anywhere in the world, at the click of a button. There are other programmes that are growing in popularity due to their ‘low-to-no-code’ solutions, making traditionally “difficult” software accessible to the everyman. ABI highlights “Seeq, DataRobot, Noodle.ai, and Dataiku” specifically, as they enable greater democratisation of IoT ML technologies, with particularly powerful AI engines. 

ABI found that the increasing value of edge AI/ML solutions within the IoT reveals a gap in the accessibility to these solutions, and they announced that the scalability and productisation of an edge solution are pretty much reliant on cloud vendors expanding their marketplace portfolios towards the edge. It is predicted that the “IoT edge marketplace” will launch like a rocket in the coming years, creating a new, incredibly lucrative branch of the IoT ecosystem. That said, the given solutions will drastically decrease the need for and duration of analytics professional services, but it won’t necessarily bring greater accessibility to all suppliers in the IoT value chain.

“Fortunately, IoT is a growing market, so custom analytics engagements will still see demand,” said Dubravka. “The real upside is that more people can apply advanced analytics to their IoT data expanding its usefulness to a broader cross-section of the enterprise.”

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

 

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