Businesses often face similar challenges, from improving productivity and creating a positive customer experience to reducing costs and increasing revenue. By turning to Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, organizations across industries—retail, agriculture, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing—can use data to drive insights and actions, ultimately transforming their business model, increasing their bottom line, and improving customer experiences.

The Microsoft IoT in Action events and webinars provide inspiration in the form of actionable insights, best practices, and real-world examples of how industry leaders transformed their own industries with innovative IoT solutions. Below are a few key examples of how IoT solutions can benefit your business and reasons to get started on your IoT journey today. You can also peruse our collection of on-demand IoT in Action webinars to learn about the latest Azure IoT technology and business models related to your specific industry.

Delivering a positive customer experience

Delivering a positive customer experience is a constant goal and challenge across industries today. Businesses are often looking for ways to ensure that interactions between customers and employees are engaging and frictionless, while also reducing costs. The implementation of IoT solutions can enable businesses to proactively determine customers’ needs and then provide a personalized experience.

The retail industry is increasingly using IoT solutions to collect data and reimagine the retail experience. For example, customers cannot make purchases if they are unable to find the specific item or size that meets their needs. Secure IoT solutions on the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud can help make sure every item is on the right shelf. They can also keep track of items that are moving within the store, for instance, to the fitting rooms and racks outside them.


In a world where online retailers try to get products in front of customers with the fewest number of clicks, brick-and-mortar retailers can also use IoT solutions to minimize the number of steps a customer has to take. This can be accomplished by using cameras and sensors to analyze store traffic patterns and layering this data over inventory and purchase data. From these insights, stores can optimize their physical layout and better enable shoppers to quickly find items and be inspired by complimentary items.

Genetec, a Microsoft partner, has an IoT solution powered by Microsoft Azure that leverages existing store security cameras to provide retailers with customer and operational insights that help improve business outcomes and the in-store experience. For example, their solution can detect increased congestion at checkout terminals to reduce abandonment due to delays checking out and provide customer traffic and flow information for making good merchandising decisions based on that intelligence. Learn more about how you can use Azure to support your IoT solutions in this retail-focused webinar.

Rapidly processing large amounts of complex data

With the amount of data available to businesses, figuring out how to quickly process all the collected data can be a challenge. IoT solutions allow businesses to seamlessly collect and process data, often without interrupting employees and customers. Businesses deploying IoT solutions are able to position themselves to efficiently handle the data needed to meet changing customer expectations and improve productivity.

With the ability to not only collect a wide range of data, but also use it to gain real-time insights, security officials are increasingly turning to IoT technology to increase security in public buildings. For instance, using SoloInsight’s Cloudgate software, which is built on Microsoft Azure, organizations can use self-service kiosks in low-traffic areas to provide a higher level of security than previously possible. Self-service kiosks can also remember previous visitors and employees and immediately grant access to the building, which increases satisfaction. Additionally, IoT visitor management systems can deactivate access to the network and data when a person physically leaves the building.

Watch this public safety webinar for additional insight around how you can use Azure IoT to enable millions of devices and terabytes of data in most regions worldwide.

Viewing real-time data and providing proactive solutions

Previously, businesses could only review historical data and determine solutions for events that had already happened. This approach often resulted in lost productivity, reduced customer satisfaction, and higher costs. Many industries are turning to IoT to give them a real-time view into their businesses and customers. This improves the ability to prevent issues before they occur versus only reacting to events that have already happened.

The manufacturing industry is a prime example of the need to discover anomalies before they become critical issues. Through the use of Azure IoT solutions for discrete manufacturing, companies can connect their systems and products with sensors that gather data, send it to the cloud, and provide real-time insights. This means companies can extend equipment lifespans and efficiency, reduce unplanned downtime, and minimize unexpected maintenance costs.

The healthcare industry is no exception to the need for proactive IoT solutions. Counterfeit drugs and product integrity are among the major issues impacting the industry, resulting in lost income and productivity, as well as negative health impacts. But Azure IoT-enabled healthcare solutions, like Titan Secure from Microsoft partner Wipro, are helping to solve these challenges by providing real-time shipment visibility, data streams, and alerts. Learn more about using IoT solutions to proactively monitor data in this on-demand webinar.

Using IoT to transform your industry

As businesses continue to advance and disrupt their industries through the use of IoT solutions, your business has the opportunity to lead the charge. Start your journey today and begin taking the actions your company needs to transform your industry. By taking the initiative and watching these available on-demand IoT in Action webinars, you can receive practical strategies for implementing and developing solutions using Azure IoT that can advance your business and position you as an industry leader.

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