TomTom's Location Partnership with Microsoft Broadens Market

Partnership enables developers to have quick updates to location information.



TomTom's Location Partnership with Microsoft Broadens Market

Building on a partnership announced last year, TomTom said that Microsoft customers now have direct access to TomTom’s location services natively integrated into the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform.

As part of the partnership Azure LBS, customers can add TomTom API services through the Microsoft Azure brand, the company said.  This includes search, geocoding, routing, traffic and maps. 

The TomTom-Microsoft relationship allows Azure LBS customers to access TomTom API services directly under the Microsoft Azure brand, said Anders Truelsen, TomTom managing director licensing. “It provides a variety of exciting opportunities.  With Azure LBS just having launched, it is still too early to say which feature is being used more than the rest,” he said. “With so many uses cases for this technology, we are excited to see what this will mean to billions.”

For its part, Microsoft believes that by adding location capability, it gives them a more competitive edge in the cloud computing space. The ability to provide updates quickly and incrementally to its customers is important, said Sam George, Azure IoT partner director. 

Azure LBS customers can access location data through TomTom’s feedback loop ecosystem, which is a global community of users continually providing map and traffic data that results in richer content and more trustworthy data, the company said.

Big Announcement for Partnership…

In December 2016, TomTom and Microsoft announced the partnership to bring enterprise-grade location-based services to Microsoft’s Azure platform, based on the Europe-based company’s maps, traffic and navigation software. TomTom said it plans to integrate its services into Azure to make it easier and more flexible for developers to build and manage enterprise, mobile, web and Internet of Things (IoT) applications that are location aware.
At the time, Harold Goddijn, TomTom’s CEO, said that location is fast becoming a critical component of a broad range of applications and services.  The partnership with Microsoft allows TomTom to bring its technology to a broader developer community that they are familiar with, he said.

 “Making TomTom’s services available through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform will allow developers and our customers to make location a core part of their cloud-based applications,” said Peggy Johnson, EVP of Business Development at Microsoft, said at the time in a prepared statement.

While TomTom’s relationship with Microsoft is a year old, its portfolio of customers includes many top brands, Truelsen said.  “We see this Microsoft announcement as a watershed event. TomTom’s APIs and SDKs are already used by enterprises and startups for a variety of location-aware services for artificial intelligence and IoT applications,” he said. “The relationship with Azure offers a flexible platform for more developers building those applications.”

TomTom says its new API Store offers streamline access to customers—with startups who want to add location capability to their offerings at the forefront, Truelsen said.  Our model was created with start-ups [in mind], so it provides transparent and flexible business models, with a low barrier to entry,” he said.Developers want access to location data quickly and cost effectively – with the new online portal they can access our APIs, and evaluate, develop and commercially deploy their products quickly and easily.”

Truelson said that location is increasingly becoming an essential component to monitor, analyze and optimize the vast amount of connected devices. “Adding location based services to Azure will create a more fluid and flexible platform for developers to build and manage these location-aware applications,” he said.

Truelson said that location is increasingly becoming an essential component to monitor, analyze and optimize the vast amount of connected devices. “Adding location based services to Azure will create a more fluid and flexible platform for developers to build and manage these location-aware applications,” he said.

Some options for location customization and opportunities include not only IoT, but connected cars, smart cities and industrial applications in sectors ranging from manufacturing to retail to automotive, TomTom said. These could include cities using Azure LBS to analyze, influence and improve traffic.

Some of the mobile location data applications for enterprise include fleet optimization, logistics management and tracking customer engagement, the company said.  TomTom also says automakers could use LBS as a tool to help re-route drivers away from accidents—or find better cell coverage during a commute for work calls.


Tuesday, December 12th 2017
Kevin Dennehy


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