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This blog is cross-posted from ZEDEDA.

The industrial automation sector is experiencing a radical evolution, driven by advancements in connected devices, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence. While this technological surge has unlocked unprecedented innovation, it has also introduced unprecedented complexity, particularly at the industrial edge. The abundance of devices, protocols, and vendors necessitates a standardized approach to integration to unlock the full potential of industrial automation and enable seamless communication and collaboration across different systems. Responding to this challenge, ZEDEDA, a trailblazer in edge orchestration and core contributor to Project EVE within LF Edge, has recently joined The Linux Foundation’s Margo initiative, a groundbreaking project aimed at defining mechanisms for the interoperable orchestration of edge applications, workloads and devices.

The Margo project, launched in April 2024, brings together a consortium of industry leaders, including ABB, Capgemini, Microsoft, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and Intel, all dedicated to driving seamless integration and innovation within complex industrial environments. The group is on a mission to create an open standard for interoperability at the edge of industrial automation ecosystems. This is no small feat, and ZEDEDA is excited to contribute as a Steering Committee member, helping to drive this project forward. The company’s expertise in edge orchestration and its commitment to open standards align perfectly with the goals of Margo. ZEDEDA’s President and Chief Operating Officer Darren Kimura articulated the importance of this collaboration, stating, “My hope is that Margo will create a common platform where historically competing organizations can come together and design standards for their technologies to communicate and work together seamlessly.”

“Recognizing the value of ZEDEDA’s interoperable operating system, EVE-OS, along with our orchestration capabilities as key factors in achieving Margo’s goals, ZEDEDA will provide an essential component that enables all the disparate elements of this project to function cohesively,” Kimura added. “Our contribution empowers us to champion open source principles throughout the development of these interoperability standards and frameworks.”

The transformative potential of the Margo initiative on the industrial sector’s digital transformation is highlighted by ZEDEDA’s CTO and co-founder, Erik Nordmark. The Margo initiative is set to significantly accelerate the digital transformation journey within the industrial sector. A key element of this acceleration is the emphasis on software-defined solutions, which offer flexibility and agility without relying solely on dedicated hardware.

Interoperability is a critical factor in enabling innovation from various vendors to be seamlessly integrated into industrial plants. Margo is specifically addressing this need by focusing on creating interoperable solutions,” Nordmark said.

ZEDEDA’s involvement in the Margo initiative extends beyond strategic advisory with several key representatives actively involved in shaping its future. Nordmark contributes his extensive technical expertise in edge computing to the project’s development as a member of the technical working group; Sarah Beaudoin, senior director of marketing communications, lends her strategic marketing insights to the marketing working group; and Kimura sits on the Steering Committee as a representative of ZEDEDA. This hands-on approach exemplifies ZEDEDA’s dedication to ensuring Margo’s widespread adoption and impact on the industry.

While the precise direction and end goal of the Margo initiative is still evolving, ZEDEDA’s Vice President of Technical BD and LF Edge Board Chair Michael Maxey, who played a key role in the establishment of the LF Edge Sandbox—a free platform for rapidly experimenting with and deploying open source LF Edge projects—has a clear vision for its potential impact on industrial organizations.

“LF Edge provides the open source components and projects that define the infrastructure layer for running the applications developed by Margo. This creates a powerful alignment where LF Edge serves as the foundation for deploying, managing, updating, and securing these new applications. Imagine a practitioner reading about an app on Margo, then seamlessly deploying it in the LF Edge Sandbox within minutes, gaining a full hands-on experience in under an hour. This level of streamlined experimentation and implementation simply isn’t possible in today’s industrial automation landscape,” Maxey said.

The Margo initiative is poised to make a lasting impact on the industrial automation landscape. By addressing the fragmentation at the edge, it will pave the way for a new era of innovation, where enterprises can harness the full potential of their edge infrastructure. ZEDEDA’s participation in this initiative is a clear signal that the company is not just keeping pace with industry trends but actively shaping them. As a key player in this transformative initiative, ZEDEDA will continue to share insights and updates on how Margo is shaping the future of edge automation.