Maana integrates with Microsoft Azure, focusing on oil and gas

March 27 2019

During CERAWeek earlier in March, process analysis provider, Maana, announced a collaboration with Microsoft's Manufacturing and Resource Industry group to integrate its Knowledge Platform with Azure. MSDW spoke with co-founder, president and CTO, Donald Thompson, about the integration.

Thompson co-launched Maana with Babur Ozden six years ago, after a 15 year career with Microsoft in which he built one of the world's largest knowledge graphs from crawling the web—data which was used to inform Cortana— and built a semantic engine for SQL Server 2012.

Maana works to create models and simulations that often involve physical assets in a bid to help decision makers understand and optimize complex processes. Thompson said that the company's approach is similar to the concept of an IoT digital twin (known as an artifact in Maana parlance) in which a digital model is created for a physical asset such as a generator, pump or diesel engine to model how it would operate in the real world. He said that modeling a business' entire operation is a key goal:

We don't want to model just local optimums. [For example], a trading group for oil and gas is optimized around crude prices. Other things like contract or in-house vessels for shipping are also very local [optimums]. Yet, they have huge impacts on one another. The people working in those individual departments don't see the broader impact. We aim to come up with models that help decision makers and connect across the company. [These models] get richer over time to understand impacts.

The simulated artifacts in Maana's Knowledge Platform, built on Azure, can be reused from one situation to another by end customers.

From Maana's perspective, the partnership with the Azure team is both technological and business-based. The company is taking advantage of Microsoft distributed GPUs and machine learning infrastructure, while sharing many customers with Microsoft, including Airbus and big players in the oil and gas market.

About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor at and, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Before joining, Eamon was editor for at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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