Surbana Jurong taps Tata MOVE and Azure to secure Internet of Lifts

lift shaft
Image credit: AvDe /

Tata Communications announced it is working with urban, industrial and infrastructure consulting firm Surbana Jurong to equip its IoT-enabled lifts and escalators with secure, scalable connectivity to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

As a key part of its Smart City in a Box solution, Surbana Jurong’s lift monitoring system enables property management companies and public sector organizations to remotely monitor the safety and maintenance of lifts and escalators. The IoT-enabled monitoring system uses artificial intelligence tools on a Microsoft Azure cloud platform to predict when a lift or escalator is likely to fail, and trigger an alert for maintenance before a breakdown occurs.

Joe Keen Poon, managing director of smart city solutions at Surbana Jurong, said that pairing the Microsoft Azure cloud platform with Tata’s MOVE IoT connectivity platform provides extra security via Azure’s own security measures and MOVE’s edge-to-edge encrypted VPN.

“If unscrupulous individuals were able to intercept mission-critical lift or escalator data, the knock-on effect could be hugely disruptive for many buildings and communities,” he said. “Bypassing the public Internet and using an ultra-secure VPN instead helps enhance the reliability of our customers’ lifts and escalators and minimize their downtime.”

Surbana Jurong’s monitoring system is used in around half of all lifts and escalators in Singapore, and the company is beginning to make significant inroads in China, the world’s largest market for these infrastructure assets. The combination of Azure and MOVE enables Surbana Jurong to collect and manage its customers’ lift maintenance data seamlessly globally, facilitating its expansion to new markets.

Surbana Jurong says it is on track to deploy IoT devices in all lifts and escalators that it monitors, with all data stored in Microsoft Azure data centres in Singapore. Tata Communications MOVE will help these IoT devices to be deployed quickly by leveraging the company’s relationships with more than 600 mobile network operators, and its private connectivity into Microsoft Azure data centres globally.

The MOVE platform – which is fully virtualized, API-enabled, software-defined and automated – also gives Surbana Jurong real-time control and visibility over lift monitoring data, simplifying the management of lifts on a global scale, said Anthony Bartolo, chief product officer at Tata Communications.

“Many IT decision makers haven’t embraced [IoT] technologies because of security fears,” said Bartolo. “The more connected the world becomes, the more important it is to safeguard the billions of ‘things’ around us. That’s what Tata Communications MOVE is designed to do, providing businesses with a secure, reliable way to capture, move and manage information worldwide.”

Tata Communications, Microsoft and Surbana Jurong will be discussing their collaboration in a keynote panel at IoT Asia on March 21st.

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