Microsoft announced its latest acquisition venture with Italian company Solair, in a move that would allow the latter's technology to be folded into the growing Azure IoT ecosystem.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly gaining momentum and Microsoft is just one of the several tech companies that see a huge opportunity in powering connected devices, analyzing aggregated data and conducting remote diagnostics. With Solair's IoT customization and deployment offerings integrated into the Azure cloud platform, IoT can help empower more businesses in any industry to achieve increased efficiency and profit opportunity.

"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," says Sam George, Partner Director at Microsoft's Azure IoT.

One of companies that have taken advantage of the power of Solair's IoT platform is the Rancilio Group, an Italian manufacturer of espresso machines. With IoT, the company managed to remotely monitor machines, allowing increased efficiency across the whole supply chain. By using Solair's cloud-based data and analytics, the Rancilio Group was able to reduce costs and gain higher revenue.

In a study conducted by IDC Research, food and beverage machines such as those operated by the Rancilio Group are ideal candidates for projects involving the Internet of Things. Since these machines are complex equipment, making them connected will allow companies to gather relevant data that would generate strategic reporting on the machines' usage and performance.

Research company Gartner also estimated the huge growth in the number of connected gadgets in the near future. According to the company, the number of connected gadgets, currently at 6.4 billion, will reach up to 20.8 billion in 2020.

With this growth potential, it is safe to assume that the demand for hardware devices will also increase, as well as the demand for finding solutions to collect and send data using interconnected data aggregations spots.

"From the very start, our mission has been to help customers quickly and easily gain access to the huge benefits of the Internet of Things," says Tom Davis, CEO of Solair. "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."

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