Microsoft announced its dedicated Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing, one of several industry-specific offerings introduced by the company. By aligning cloud services to industry-specific requirements, the company is looking to give customers a starting point in the cloud that easily integrates into their existing operations. Microsoft Industry Clouds provide an on-ramp to the broader portfolio of Microsoft cloud services because they are designed to enable customers to begin with the areas where the need for technology or business transformation is most urgent.
The Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing incorporates industry-specific standards and communities, such as the Open Manufacturing Platform, the OPC Foundation, and the Digital Twins Consortium, as well as co-innovation with their ecosystem partners.
The company believes the disruptions stemming from the pandemic are here to stay, bringing with them a heightened need for innovation and risk management where the old ways of doing business will no longer suffice. Manufacturers are asking for help accelerating the transformation of not only their operations but all aspects of their end-to-end business, including people and culture.
Microsoft sees five key areas where customers are accelerating investment in response to COVID-19. These areas include:
- Building more agile factories: operating remotely everywhere, simulating everything, and automating anywhere
- Transforming the workforce: closing the skills gap and reskilling employees; employee safety and working remotely
- Engaging customers in new ways: product-as-a-service, proactive service using AI virtual assistants, fully connected systems that provide a single view of customers and devices
- Creating more resilient supply chains: visibility and connectedness
- Unlocking innovation and delivering new services: empower manufacturers to design, simulate, and validate sustainable products and processes using digital twins and the affordable, scalable power of the cloud.
Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing will be available for public preview by the end of June.