As I mentioned in my last blog on Intelligent Operations, the US is facing a Skills Gap in manufacturing with a 'brain drain' and struggle to attract millennials into the workforce. So I was pleasantly surprised that we hosted so many students on tours of Microsoft's Industry 4.0 showcase at the world's largest industrial manufacturing event, Hannover Messe (#HM15), which had 220 000 visitors during April 2015. What's brought the Sexy Back to manufacturing for these students? Perhaps the greatest benefit of the fourth Industrial revolution, is not just smarter cyber-physical systems, but that new technologies such as additive manufacturing (3D Printing), 3D modeling and simulation, robotics, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) are also conveying a more attractive image of manufacturing to millennials.
For an independent take on Microsoft's showcase for Industry 4.0, I recommend reading IndustryWeek's coverage, or for a compilation of our own Microsoft blogs, visit our Hannover Messe microsite. However what I believe made Microsoft particularly 'sexy', was our outside-in, or customer centric perspective on Industry 4.0, and our focus on business solutions for the digital transformation that is being enabled by systems of engagement and systems of intelligence.
We brought home the benefit of Social Listening by showing live tracking of the buzz generated on key manufacturing topics by #HM15, and in the short two weeks since #HM15, we have announced further enhancements and a rebranding to Microsoft Social Engagement.
Even more gratifying was watching the light bulb go on (or should that be a smart bulb?), as we helped manufacturers make the connection between the Internet of Things, and CRM, with demonstrations of our Connected Marketing Sales and Service Industry Template for Dynamics CRM2015, for Intelligent Customer Engagement. From our conversations at Convergence, and at #HM15, its clear that the servitization of manufacturing is underway.
With IoT data from smart connected devices and manufacturers’ smart products, users can run Azure Machine Learning across that data and identify significant business events. Manufacturers can be proactive about service, segment customers in more intelligent ways and continuously adapt marketing strategies. Sales teams can identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities, such as when a machine is being run at several times its designed capacity.
As I discussed with OnWindows these opportunities to engage customers in new ways and servitize manufacturing doesn’t just happen by connecting devices – that happens by adding business context, insight and making it actionable. That’s where connecting Azure IoT Suite services with business applications such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX enables manufacturers to transform their business with intelligent customer engagement and intelligent operations.
And, you don’t get any sexier than Formula 1 racing. Read more from the Dynamics manufacturing team about how Thomas Mayer COO of the Lotus F1 Team joined us at Hannover Messe to make the case for Intelligent Operations.
Webinar: Intelligent Customer Engagement with CRM and the Internet of Things (IoT)
If you didn't make it to Hannover Messe, join our Webinar on May 12th 9:00am PDT to learn about:
- The servitization of manufacturing: reimagining manufacturing, one customer at a time.
- Connecting service, sales, and marketing using smart products.
- The connected marketing, sales, and service industry template for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.