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Manufacturing has been a driving force for industrial and societal transformation for centuries. Next week, at Hannover Messe—the world’s leading trade show for industrial technology—decades of industrial technology innovation at Microsoft is intersecting with Industry 4.0. As Industry 4.0 ushers in new technological advances to improve operations, competition and customer demands are keeping pace. Customers expect exceptional products and services, without exception, driving a need for greater innovation.

We are joined at the event by dozens of global manufacturers representing industries from automotive to consumer electronics and construction equipment, all using Microsoft Business Applications as a competitive differentiator; intelligent technologies that help transform the entire connected manufacturing ecosystem.

Optimize manufacturing operations and deliver new services

At Hannover Messe, we are showcasing how we empower manufacturers to connect Internet of Things (IoT) sensors on key business-critical assets to business transactions in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. It’s a transformative solution to manage production and stock in real-time and proactively resolve issues, optimize manufacturing operations, maximize the value of assets, and take business performance and customer satisfaction to new heights. Read more about the solution here.

Annata, a leading Microsoft Partner for automotive, heavy equipment, and industrial machinery industries, helped Iceland’s largest vehicle importer and distributor, Brimborg, rapidly expand into the commercial fleet rental market in response to the 2008-11 Icelandic financial crisis. Booth visitors will learn how Annata first unified Brimborg’s business of importing, distributing, selling and servicing cars and construction equipment, with a solution that could cover their entire business with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations along with the Annata 365 solution.

When the crises hit, Brimborg deployed the extensive Rental module that enabled them to manage this new part of their business. Brimborg is using IoT data flowing from its rental cars with the service scheduling capabilities of the Annata solution to optimize and ensure timely servicing of the fleet. All rental cars are automatically called in for service and inspections, which is highly important for keeping the fleet healthy. Brimborg is continuing to automate and innovate using IoT, Dynamics 365, and the Annata solution to run its business more efficiently, but also to open new business models and opportunities with customers in other areas of its business. Targeting four-minute car deliveries and 30-second customer returns—and planning new innovative business models based on Microsoft and Annata solutions.

Make the leap to intelligent, connected field service

Attendees at Hannover Messe are getting a glimpse into the future of field service for manufacturers, powered by Microsoft IoT Central, Dynamics 365 for Field Service, and Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality for HoloLens and mobile devices.

Dynamics 365 Connected Field Service transforms field service organizations with solutions to detect and resolve issues remotely before the customer knows of an issue, and drive efficiency and cut costs in the business cost center. The solution leverages connected devices and machine learning capabilities to combine remote monitoring, digital services, and predictive maintenance.

As recently announced, we’re bringing Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to mobile devices, allowing floor operators and field technicians to collaborate with remote experts and troubleshoot issues in context, without leaving the job site. Also new is Dynamics 365 Guides, a new mixed reality tool that allows employees to learn by doing, with interactive, step-by-step guidance presented on heads-up, hands-free displays in real work situations.

Dynamics 365 Connected Field Service.

Toyota’s North America Production Engineering team uses Dynamics 365 Layout and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on Microsoft HoloLens in their North America manufacturing centers. Dynamics 365 Layout can improve business processes in valuable ways, such as the layout of digital twins of equipment on the manufacturing floor for safety and process verification, and creating innovative AR training practices through the use of holographic equipment instead of physical equipment in space. Dynamics 365 Remote Assist is in the early phases of being used to improve safety and reduce costs through the use of remote experts for equipment verification and incident response.

At Hannover Messe, Microsoft Partner Hitachi Solutions will showcase how they are helping global organizations create outcome-driven, connected field services with IoT and mixed reality to support maintenance work by field workers to increase uptime and service continuity.

Empower Your Changing Workforce

Start a conversation about Industry 4.0, and inevitably the topic lands on the workforce problem.

As a generation of highly-skilled, specialized workers eye retirement, manufacturers are in a bind to recruit young engineers and operators with the right skillset while adjusting to a new workforce, challenging traditional work culture.

Dynamics 365 for Talent helps HR teams at manufacturing organizations to solve the skills gap, offering intelligent tools to find, attract, and onboard skilled candidates. By automating many manual, time-consuming HR processes, Dynamics 365 for Talent lets HR professionals spend less time on the mundane, and more time on strategic initiatives that grow the business.

New this month, Dynamics 365 Guides allows employees to learn by doing with step-by-step instructions that guide employees to the tools and parts they need and how to use them in real work situations. Guides represents a new way to improve workflow efficiency. Now employees can learn while staying hands-on with their work. With the accompanying PC app, it’s possible for managers and frontline workers to create interactive training content by attaching photos, videos, and 3D models to information cards that stay with them while they work. When employees use Guides, information is collected to help managers understand how they’re doing and where they need help, further allowing people to improve the process.

Check out the video below to learn how PACCAR is exploring Guides and HoloLens to improve productivity and employee onboarding.

Get the full story at Hannover Messe

These solutions and customer stories are just a peek at how Microsoft Business Applications are helping transform manufacturing. If you are attending Hannover Messe, visit our booth to experience Dynamics 365 and Mixed Reality solutions firsthand, as well as chat with customers and partners.

Find more information about our location and sessions in this schedule, and be sure to check out the resources below.

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!