Quite a deluge of press releases comingMattVasey-Microsoft Mug from the OPC Foundation preparing for the upcoming Hannover Messe. Microsoft was an original OPC supporter, and here a new representative from the company has joined the Board. Key to the announcement is OPC UA communication into the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The OPC Foundation has elected Microsoft to the Board of Directors of the OPC Foundation, which represents many of the world’s most prominent global suppliers. The new board seat, which will be held by Microsoft Director of IoT Business Development Matt Vasey, is an extension of Microsoft’s support for OPC Foundation since the company first became a member in 1995.

Microsoft’s longstanding commitment to interoperability and the OPC Foundation includes the OPC technology portfolio and OPC-UA, active participation in the OPC Foundation technology working groups, and ongoing representation on the OPC Foundation Technical Advisory Council.

“OPC-UA is an essential component of the connected products that manufacturing customers need today, and it is increasingly seen as an important part of enterprise IoT scenarios and business models,” said Matt Vasey, Microsoft Director of IoT Business Development. “I am personally excited to be working with the OPC team to help our customers unlock the value of these high-value IoT scenarios that span from the edge to the cloud.  Microsoft is committed to openness and collaboration and fully supports OPC-UA and its evolution.”

“OPC-UA is widely recognized as a key communication technology for the Industry 4.0 initiative,” says Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation President & Executive Director. “Microsoft’s support for standards that foster IoT innovation, and specifically for OPC and OPC-UA, result in easy, direct and secure communications from PLC controllers on the shop floor to the top floor world of IT.”

“It’s a great honor to have Microsoft join the OPC Foundation Board of Directors, and we welcome Matt Vasey’s outstanding efforts to facilitate the acceleration of OPC UA as the solution for the Internet of Things,” added Burke.

“As one of the largest IT/Cloud companies, Microsoft joining the OPC Foundation board demonstrates its recognition of the role that OPC UA plays from plant floor to enterprise connectivity and IIoT for industrial automation and beyond”, according to Craig Resnick, Vice President, ARC Advisory Group. “From OPC’s perspective, having Microsoft as part of its board makes sense based on its long history of working with the OPC Foundation as well as its deploying scalable OPC UA connectivity solutions ranging from the sensor to the IT/enterprise and cloud.  From Microsoft’s perspective, being part of OPC’s Board shows its commitment to openness for connecting platform independent architectures to its cloud systems, collecting data and providing its Azure cloud services for multiple operating systems beyond just Windows.”

Matt Vasey is currently responsible for IoT business development at Microsoft, working with a cross-functional team to continue to build out the ecosystem of technology partners, standards bodies, and other innovation catalysts that are required for the new generation of IoT applications, services, and systems that serve both individuals and businesses. He also serves as an officer and board member on the OpenFog Consortium, and was instrumental in the formation of this organization working closely with other founders from Intel, ARM, Cisco, Dell and Princeton University.

In addition to Mr. Vasey and Mr. Burke, the OPC Foundation Board includes Russ Agrusa, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ICONICS; Matthias Damm, President of Ascolab; Stefan Hoppe Senior Engineer of Beckhoff Automation and OPC Vice President, Thomas Hahn, Chief Software Expert at Siemens AG and OPC Vice President, Shinji Oda is General manager, Technology Marketing of Yokogawa Electric Corporation; Veronika Schmid-Lutz, Chief Product Owner for manufacturing products at SAP SE and Ziad Kaakani, Global System Engineering and Architecture, Honeywell Process Solutions.

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