Microsoft and gas utility sign MoU to develop IoT solutions

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To build "the energy company of the future", Italy’s Snam natural gas utility and the software house will develop solutions that leverage cloud and AI.

The importance of this initiative is underlined by the fact that Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, was there at the signing pictured above, right, with CEO of Snam, Marco Alverà. The two say they will design new intelligent and “transformative” solutions for the energy network and infrastructure sector.

Positive impact

These innovations are intended to have a positive impact on territories and communities, by enabling new secure services related to the circular economy, which means environmentally sustainable

The new solutions will be based on Microsoft Azure and associated services and tools for the IoT such as Aure IoT Central, and the secure device management like Azure Sphere,

They will also draw on Microsoft’s platforms for data and AI, as well as the HoloLens holographic viewer.

Tech intensity era

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, noted, “Thanks to this agreement, we will join Snam on its journey towards defines as a ‘tech intensity era’, an era in which investment in new technologies will combine with constantly evolving expertise to promote a new digital culture at all levels.”

“We will work with Snam on various digital transformation drivers…We will also contribute to sector innovation through smart cities, which will benefit us all,” said Silvia Candiani, Microsoft Italia's CEO.

Digital transformation

Marco Alverà, Snam's CEO, stated: “Snam’s digital transformation is a key element of our strategy and of the Snamtec project, which we will invest €850 million into by 2022.

“This investment will pave the way to building the energy company of the future, which will be more digital, sustainable and closer to the communities in which we operate.

“Moreover, thanks to partnerships with major operators such as Microsoft, we aim to seize the opportunities offered by new technologies to drive energy transition and optimise network intelligence.

“Cloud, AI and machine learning will also be used in new generations of sensors to optimise infrastructure monitoring and management.”