Tech giant Microsoft and European natural gas utility Snam have formed an agreement to improve the efficiency and safety of energy networks.
The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop cloud-based, artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) solutions to improve the development and management of energy networks. New services relating to security, environmental sustainability and the circular economy will potentially be enabled by the partnership.
The solutions will use Microsoft's Azure Cloud platform, services and tools for the IoT, including software-as-a-service solution Azure IoT Central, which facilitates the connection, monitoring and management of IoT assets as scale. Microsoft’s data and AI platforms will be used for the secure management of devices.
Microsoft recently also partnered with E.On, using its IoT technology to launch a smart home technology platform allowing households to manage their energy consumption.
Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam, said the utility hopes to become “more digital, sustainable and closer to the communities” it operates in.
“Thanks to partnerships with major operators such as Microsoft, we aim to seize the opportunities offered by new technologies to drive energy transition and optimize network intelligence. Cloud, AI and machine learning will also be used in new generations of sensors to optimize infrastructure monitoring and management.”
Silvia Candiani, CEO of Microsoft Italia, said the agreement means Microsoft can join Snam on its journey towards an era of new technologies.
“We will work with Snam on various digital transformation drivers, including Cloud, AI and IoT, with the aim of making energy networks increasingly efficient and safe. We will also contribute to sector innovation through Smart Cities, which will benefit us all,” Candiani continued.