Microsoft, Rockwell Automation Bridge Design and Maintenance

Edge-to-cloud solutions will connect development, operations and maintenance teams in a single data environment.

Edge-to-cloud solutions will connect development, operations and maintenance teams in a single data environment.

Rockwell Automation, Inc. and Microsoft announced a five-year partnership expansion to develop integrated, cloud-based solutions for digital transformation that will provide a single information environment connecting design, operations and maintenance.

The two companies will create edge-to-cloud-based solutions that “connect information between development, operations and maintenance teams through a singular, trusted data environment,“ the companies said in a press release. This will allow development teams to digitally prototype, configure and collaborate without investing in costly physical equipment. The data environment could also enable IT and OT teams to securely access and share data models across the organization, as well as with partners.

“Today, one thing we know for sure is that no business is 100% resilient. Those fortified with digital capabilities and assets are more resilient than others, and the cloud is how they will thrive,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of worldwide commercial business, Microsoft. “We are pleased to deepen our already strong, decade-long relationship with Rockwell Automation to help businesses simplify industrial transformation, accelerate business outcomes and innovate with agility.”

To date, the companies have co-developed more 20 use cases in the Food & Beverage, Household and Personal Care and Life Sciences industries. 

“This partnership provides Rockwell Automation and Microsoft customers with a holistic, simple solution for IIoT development and operations and removes data silos that hinder industrial digital transformation initiatives,” said Blake Moret, Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation. “By eliminating a core barrier to automation initiatives, industrial organizations establish a digital thread connecting the entire enterprise, which in turn accelerates innovation, maximizes productivity and optimizes operations.”

“Our team has seen the preview release of this new solution and we are excited about collaboration between our strategic partners, Rockwell Automation and Microsoft,” said Tristan Hunter, GM Automation & Operational Technology at Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, New Zealand’s largest company and responsible for 30% of the world’s dairy exports. “Moving data from our on-premise assets securely with context and providing new workflows for us to analyze and drive better outcomes is important to maintaining Fonterra’s high standards across our many plants globally.”

Organizations can access Rockwell Automation solutions now via the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, and more solutions currently in development, according to the companies. The next phase of solutions will be available to joint customers of Rockwell Automation and Microsoft in Q1 2021 at Automation Fair At Home.

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