Microsoft sharpens edge focus with Marsden buy

Microsoft's acquisition of Marsden tracks with its earlier deals to buy Affirmed and Metaswitch. (Microsoft)

As Microsoft continues to grow its edge capabilities to better serve industry verticals, the software giant said this week it had acquired The Marsden Group, a current Microsoft partner that is focused on rapid prototyping and digital transformation for industrial clients. 

Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president, cross-industry solutions, stated in a blog post announcing the deal, “The first chapter of digital transformation was heavily oriented toward consumer-focused industries. The newer opportunity in infrastructure, manufacturing and resources is enormous. We continue to see an increased pace of digital change across many industries, and we believe that velocity is here to stay, as more and more companies recognize they must commit to continuous innovation to compete over the long-term.”

Buying up Marsden, an existing Microsoft Gold Partner, will quicken Microsoft’s ability to leverage its cloud, edge and artificial intelligence products to develop new solutions to create more value for customers across several vertical industries, according to the blog post.

Abbosh continued, “We know that in asset-intensive industries, such as manufacturing, automotive or logistics, companies face unique challenges in adopting new technologies, for example connecting industrial equipment safely and securely to the cloud, overcoming data silos and supporting interoperability across modern and legacy systems. Through recent projects, I’ve seen firsthand what The Marsden Group and Microsoft can do, what’s possible when we bring together our cloud, edge, IoT, digital twin and AI capabilities with The Marsden Group’s speed, agility and technical creativity.”

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The deal, for which financial terms were not disclosed, is a continuation of Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to expand its edge capabilities with big industrial customers in mind. At a conference late last year, a Microsoft executive acknowledged that the company was placing more computing resources at the edge as it encountered an increasing number of edge computing use cases from such customers.

The Marsden acquisition also follows other edge-focused acquisitions Microsoft has made to grow its capabilities across telecom access networks and edge computing, including the purchases of Metaswitch and Affirmed Networks in early 2020.