CityScapeI’ve often written about how automation and operations management professionals should think beyond their boundaries and look for new problems to solve. Invensys (Wonderware) has been working at just that idea. This is what they wanted to talk to me about during my appointment in Hannover, Germany last April. Here’s a release about a new initiative–in this case working with long-time partner Microsoft.

Invensys is working with Microsoft on CityNext, an initiative designed to help governments, businesses and citizens reimagine what is next for their cities.

Problem statement

According to the United Nations, for the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and nearly 70 percent of people will live in cities by 2050. This ongoing migration creates unprecedented opportunities, but also intensifies problems such as aging infrastructure, hazards to public health and safety, pollution, crime and traffic. Through the CityNext initiative, Microsoft and Invensys will help leaders do “new with less.” By combining the power of technology with innovative ideas, CityNext will connect governments, businesses and citizens with city services that increase efficiencies, reduce costs, foster a more sustainable environment and cultivate communities where people thrive.

Invensys, through its Wonderware software product line and partner solutions, provides solutions that help cities provide essential, life-sustaining services like clean drinking water, sanitary wastewater treatment, reliable electricity, safe transportation and other services. Operational information of practically any kind can be securely viewed in real time from anywhere at any time, from a single, integrated and open Wonderware software platform.

“Our participation in Microsoft CityNext demonstrates our commitment to helping cities be smarter, more sustainable and more innovative now and to modernize for the future,” said Rob McGreevy, vice president of platforms and applications for Invensys. “Microsoft’s latest technologies will provide us with greater opportunities to help our municipal customers transform and modernize their city operations using familiar, secure Wonderware technology and devices. Through this program, cities will be able to engage their citizens and businesses using mobile applications and big data analytics, helping to accelerate innovation and opportunities through community development and workforce enablement programs.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Invensys on CityNext. Microsoft prioritizes putting people and partners first in our initiatives and CityNext is no different,” said Laura Ipsen, corporate vice president Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector. “Even though cities are feeling the strain from economic challenges, we believe a new era of innovation will create opportunities for people to utilize technology to accomplish what they never thought possible. We’re inspired by our diverse partner ecosystem and know that working together we can help cities realize their full potential.”

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