Johnson Controls and Microsoft Launch Global Integration of OpenBlue Digital Twin and Azure Digital Twins

Published: 2020-12-09

Johnson Controls and Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced a global collaboration to “digitally transform how buildings and spaces are conceived, built and managed.”

Microsoft also announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure Digital Twins.

As a key partner for Azure Digital Twins, Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue Digital Twin is “a comprehensive platform that will support the entire ecosystem of building and device management technologies with digital cloud technologies,” according to the joint announcement.

Johnson Controls is a Microsoft partner, leveraging several Azure services including Active Directory Services, Azure Data Lake, Access Control and Time Series Insights.


Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twins is the newest Azure platform service integrated into Johnson Controls OpenBlue platform that “aims to enable the creation of next-generation IoT connected solutions that will model the real world,” according to the joint announcement.

Johnson Control’s OpenBlue platform, which launched in July, “turns the physical world into computable objects that will enable customers to create detailed digital versions of physical buildings, assets and systems,” the announcement says.

Digital twins are digital replicas of physical entities capable of providing an in-depth analysis of data and the potential to monitor systems to mitigate risks, manage issues and utilize simulations to test future solutions.

The use of digital twins helps technicians identify the root cause of issues and building managers are able to support COVID-19 safety and security protocols, while ensuring efficient use of energy and other facility resources.

Inside Johnson Controls OpenBlue Digital Twin

The OpenBlue Digital Twin platform is “purpose-built with smart buildings and spaces in mind, enabling and unifying all aspects of an intelligent building; security, employee experience, facilities management, sustainability and more,” according to the joint announcement.

The open platform’s open system integrates with existing building infrastructure, regardless of brand, make or model.

“Our partnership with Microsoft is a vital ingredient in our innovation strategy, as the company shares our vision of using technology to transform the environments where people live, work, learn and play,” said Mike Ellis, VP and chief digital and customer officer at Johnson Controls.

“Digital twins are playing an increasingly important role in the design, construction and ongoing operation of healthy buildings and spaces, and can be particularly valuable when analyzing large datasets and predicting patterns and trends to tell our customers things they don’t yet know,” he said.

Related: Johnson Controls OpenBlue is One Entire Suite of COVID-19 Solutions

“Our OpenBlue digital platform, closely connected with Microsoft’s platform and workplace technologies, represents an unbeatable opportunity to help our customers make shared spaces safer, more agile and more sustainable,” said Ellis.

“We have an incredible opportunity to use advances in cloud and compute capabilities to help customers reimagine the physical world,” said Scott Guthrie, executive VP of cloud and AI for Microsoft.

“By integrating the power of Azure Digital Twins with Johnson Controls OpenBlue Digital Twin platform, our collaboration will provide customers with a digital replica and actionable insights to better meet their evolving needs,” he said.

Working with Microsoft, Johnson Controls will address how people can return to work to maximize space while operating facilities safely, including:

  • Energy Optimization – optimizing energy usage within facilities maintenance with a goal of reducing carbon emissions that save money and support sustainability efforts.
  • Access Control and Safety – addressing physical access and safety using live video analytics and spatial intelligence, combining Microsoft cloud services and Johnson Controls security access controls hardware end points.
  • Collaboration for Facility Managers – integrating facility management workflows with workplace collaboration platforms such as Office 365 and Microsoft Teams to increase productivity and collaboration across remote teams.
  • Workspace Optimization – maximizing the use of spaces by merging building and occupancy data with experiences to create actionable insights for facility managers and the occupants.

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