Microsoft has developed a proof-of-concept portal to show how Microsoft Azure and its analytics technologies can be combined to help defence organisations to plan, direct, monitor and evaluate their operations in real time.
Built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, the portal enables armed forces to gain a 360-degree, real-time overview of their military campaigns, enabling commanders to make quick, data-driven decisions.
“This a great way to show how we can solve problems that operational commanders face every day by capitalising on the internet of things (IoT),” said A.T. Ball, Microsoft’s managing director of Public Safety and National Security in Asia. “Each asset is either equipped with connected sensors and devices or have had their status updated through the chain of command to give the commander and overall view of the brigade. Microsoft Azure is able to collect, sort, store and present the data on the dashboard to give the commander a powerful decision making tool.”
Microsoft has also developed a case study to illustrate how the portal can be used if a commander is asked to move their brigade to another base. The commander can use the portal to locate every person, piece of equipment and transport vehicle in the brigade and get a real-time overview of the current status of each asset, including an estimate of how long it will take them to move. The portal can then be used to supervise the move in real time, while the commander can receive notifications about potential issues via Azure Machine Learning and gain an insight into how these issues will impact estimated arrivals and budgets. Automatic daily status reports can also be sent to the commander’s superiors.
The portal also provides post-operation reports and financial analyses, which can be used with Microsoft Power BI to help the commander compare operations and identify trends that might make future tasks more efficient and cost effective.
A full outline of Microsoft’s proof-of-concept can be found here.
“By combining the real-time command and control monitoring of a secure portal with powerful analytical capabilities, defence organisations have the tools they need to visualise and analyse their entire operations in one place,” said Parul Bhandari, big data solution lead in Microsoft’s Government and Public Safety and National Security and Worldwide Public Safety team, in a blog post. “And as our proof of concept demonstrates, this, in turn, makes it possible for militaries to operate far more effectively.”
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