The News: This week during Microsoft Ignite, the company announced that Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing is now available in preview. The newest cloud provides an end-to-end solution for the manufacturing industry that combines new and existing capabilities from the Microsoft portfolio and partner solutions that seamlessly connect people, assets, workflows, and business processes. The solution is aimed at helping organizations become more resilient and sustainable. Read the full announcement here.
Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing Now Available in Preview
Analyst Take: While we all have seen and perhaps even experienced a great acceleration of digital transformation in the last 18 months, it can be argued that no industry experienced disruption quite like manufacturing. From business continuity to supply chain issues to employee safety, manufacturers have faced extensive challenges.
But on the plus side, many manufacturers — 62 percent to be exact — are driving forward with plans for smart manufacturing investments and digitalization. With that comes a massive amount of data. Unfortunately, many of these same companies are underutilizing the data that they are collecting — which is why this new offering from Microsoft is so attractive.
By connecting intelligent, integrated cloud, and edge capabilities from the Microsoft stack to the manufacturing floor, organizations can leverage the data that they are collecting to improve decision making, productivity, and the bottom line.
Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing Breakdown
Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing connects processes across the product and service lifecycle. With capabilities like Asset Productivity, Operational Visibility, Supply Chain Visibility, Always-on-Service, Learning and Knowledge Management, and Planning & Optimization, organizations will be able to predict, monitor, and overcome challenges that might impact performance. And in today’s world, that could be the difference maker between success and failure.
The Modular Solution is Ready to Go
What makes this offering stand out from other available on the market is Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing is built on a modular framework that allows organizations the flexibility to innovate as they go. The extensible solution securely connects factory devices to end-to-end cloud services like supply chain visibility or edge services. Organizations can deploy solutions to meet their mission-critical needs wherever they may be whether it’s building agile factories, creating more resilient supply chains or empowering the hybrid workforce.
I’ve been largely bullish on industry focused solutions as I do believe we will see more investment and support for vertical enabled software that is purpose built for not only transformative efforts, but also reflects a clear understanding of the use case. I believe Microsoft is accurately approaching the manufacturing space and building a solution that is designed for industry 4.0, making the Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing a solutions that is capable of supporting organizations desire and investment to transform to meet the next wave of technologically enabled advancements in manufacturing.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.