Microsoft recently signed a partnership contract with General Electronics (GE) to further boost its growing expansion in the online cloud industry.

Both companies firmly believe that GE's mainline focus in industrial and manufacturing sectors combined with Microsoft's innovations in information technology will help provide the necessary means on demand by enterprise models in the global industry.

"Companies worldwide will be able to bridge the divide between the operational and information technologies that make up the Industrial Internet of Things," writes Microsoft in a release.

As such, the two companies revealed that GE's cloud-based industrial platform service Predix will be integrated into Microsoft's own Azure platform in the coming months, marking the first of future collaborations to come. Referred to as Predix on Azure, the project will usher in a new era of flexible and cohesive solutions to two very distinct areas in the business sector.

"GE is helping its customers extract value from the vast quantities of data coming out of [industrial] machines and is building an ecosystem of partners that will allow the Industrial [cloud network] to thrive on a global scale," comments Jeff Immelt, chief executive at General Electronics.

Businesses already on the Predix platform can expect smoother services over the cloud, thanks to Microsoft's globally established cloud servers found across the globe. In addition, the partnership integrates the tech company's existing enterprise products into the Predix platform as well, such as Office 365, Dynamics 365, Power BI, Cortana Intelligence Suite and Azure IoT Suite, paving the way for a more unified source of services on the cloud platform.

"Connecting [these] machines to the internet through the cloud is a huge step toward simplifying business processes and reimagining how work gets done," adds Immelt.

As for existing customers on the Azure platform, first and foremost, the partnership unlocks better and efficient industrial cloud solutions for enterprises with various infrastructures and thus streamlines the way these businesses handle their day-to-day productions.

In an example, GE describes how a company can utilize services provided by the industrial cloud platform to check up on its production queues that would otherwise be inaccessible through usual office-focused platforms. GE's Asset Performance Management software will be a welcome change and additional feature to Azure's own, unlocking "supply chain management and product lifecycle management apps that run on Azure."

The joint project is expected to launch by the second quarter of 2017, though a working prototype of Predix on Azure will be revealed to the public around December this year to showcase some of its upcoming features.

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