Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced a five-year partnership expansion to develop integrated, market-ready solutions that help industrial customers improve digital agility through cloud technology. By combining each company’s expertise in the industrial and IT markets, respectively, teams can work together more seamlessly, enabling industrial organizations to save on infrastructure costs, speed time-to-value, and increase productivity.
Microsoft and Rockwell are working to deliver innovative edge-to-cloud-based solutions that connect information between development, operations and maintenance teams through a singular, trusted data environment. This will allow development teams to digitally prototype, configure and collaborate without investing in costly physical equipment. This unified data environment also enables IT and OT teams to not only securely access and share data models across the organization, but with their ecosystem of partners as well.
“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 over 20 use cases across Food & Beverage, Household and Personal Care and Life Sciences industries. The solutions developed from this partnership will augment and enhance their current offerings.
“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.”