As we discussed a few weeks ago in the article SaaS For Hardware Product Development – there are many free tools available for entrepreneurs creating gadgets. Microsoft also has a great offer through their BizSpark initiative. We talked to the helpful people there to let you know how you can get the most from the program.
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HWTrek: How can BizSpark help hardware entrepreneurs?
BizSpark gives startups 3 years of free stuff – software, services, tech support, and Azure cloud – enabling hardware startups to have access to Microsoft Azure cloud computing, storage, big data analysis, machine learning, and other service resources. It saves the initial investments needed to develop technology and accelerates the go-to-market time.
HWTrek: What are the benefits of Microsoft Azure compared to other cloud services?
1. Build stuff faster. Azure’s integrated tools, unified services, and proven solutions help startups to build enterprise, mobile, web, and Internet of Things (IoT) apps faster, for virtually any platform or device. Any developer can use Azure, not just those with DevOps skills or Windows expertise because Azure supports the broadest selection of devices, operating systems, databases, languages, frameworks, and tools.
2. Seamlessly connect your datacenter to the cloud. Unlike other cloud services, Azure lets startups easily build hybrid applications that leverage resources in their own and the service provider’s datacenter, and within Azure itself—all without the need for complex workarounds and tradeoffs. Startups can also use a wider set of hybrid connections including virtual private networks (VPNs), content delivery networks (CDNs), caching, and ExpressRoute connections to ensure performance and ease of use.
Microsoft Azure Stack is a new hybrid cloud platform product that enables startups to deliver Azure services from their own datacenter to help them achieve more. Finally, Azure runs on a growing global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters across 19 regions and is the first multinational cloud service provider in mainland China.
3. Use what you already know. Unlike other cloud services, there’s no steep learning curve with Azure: Startups can start working with ease from day one. Azure gives the access to the same technologies that millions of businesses trust and use today, including Windows and Linux, virtual machines and containers, and Active Directory. It also ties into toolsets such as Visual Studio, XCode, Eclipse, GitHub, and Hadoop, and offers a vast array of third party tools, solutions, and partner-developed applications via the Azure Marketplace.
4. Minimize your risk. Microsoft leads the industry in its commitment to the protection and privacy of data and services. It starts with the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), our mandatory, industry-leading assurance process that builds security into Azure from the ground up. We were the first cloud provider to receive joint approval from the European Union’s data protection authorities, the Article 29 Working Party, for our strong contractual commitments to comply with rigorous EU privacy laws. And Microsoft was the first major cloud provider to adopt the new international standard for cloud privacy, ISO 27018.
For more details, please refer to the Azure Official Website.
HWTrek: Are there any success stories involving BizSpark that you can share?
Yes, My Driving Service of BMW—an Azure IoT and Mobile sample application. At Build 2016, we showcased a scalable, performant, highly available, and cross-platform IoT service and application. MyDriving uses a wide range of Azure services to process and analyze car telemetry data for both real-time insights and long-term patterns and trends.
For more stories, please refer to BizSpark success stories.
HWTrek: How can startups join the program?
There are two steps to join the program:
- Check whether your company is registered in Taiwan.
- Register on the BizSpark site http://aka.ms/startup
If you have any questions, please refer to https://www.microsoft.com/taiwan/bizspark/about/preferential.aspx or email to email@example.com.