Auto capability - standards_300I’ve been taking you on a journey through four capabilities for quality management enabled by today’s technology advancements. If you’re just tuning in, you can read how cloud computing, advanced analytics, and an engaged community of customers are helping advance quality practices throughout the customer experience. In my last blog in this series, I will look at the capabilities of technology standards and data formats, specifically 3D printing, 3D visualization, and digital rights management.

Capability #4: Standards and data formats

When it comes to 3D printing innovation, there is no doubt of the value this can provide automakers, especially in the development of prototype parts. But as with any new initiative, everyone has had their own idea in terms of how to make it happen.

Standards are critical to enabling an effective ecosystem, and in this area 2015 saw the creation of the 3MF Consortium and the definition of 3MF, a 3D format specially developed for manufacturing. There’s a lot of weight building behind this consortium, and we believe it is going to make it much easier for you to successful exploit the technology.

A second need for standards relates to 3D visualizations, and here the JT Open Program has created a specific file format for viewing and sharing product information throughout the product lifecycles, formalized through ISO 14306. As part of this initiative, Microsoft worked with Siemens to create the JT 3D Viewer App on Windows, making it possible for anyone with a standard Windows device to work with 3D images.

Finally, let’s look at digital rights management. As companies, we share significant amounts of confidential data, data that can damage our business if it gets into the wrong hands. The need for information protection is clearly significant. As a major design company in the electronics industry, Microsoft itself needed to secure the intellectual property of the company, and cloud computing provides us all with a way forward.

To overcome our own challenges, and to provide a service valuable to many others, we created the Microsoft Azure Rights Management platform in the cloud that protects corporate data by allowing more secure access to company resources and enabling safe sharing of sensitive information inside and outside your organization.

Within an industry stretched to develop and retain vehicle differentiators, achieving such secure collaboration during the design phase is absolutely critical.

Our partner CGI and their work with Volvo is a great example of using cloud-based collaboration standards to securely manage communication with both its engineering partners and suppliers, providing 24/7 information on everything from product design and manufacturing to finance and aftermarket.

Reimaging the customer journey

To summarize this series of posts, for the automotive industry, the vehicle will evolve into being a platform enabling customer experience services over a lifetime, experiences that will most often be digital. This digitization will demand new quality practices and tools to measure customer experience and services quality throughout that lifetime.

From the technology side, just like earlier generations of technology evolution, cloud computing changes everything. But unlike earlier generations, the change is a business change.

Cloud computing delivers many of the new tools required, covering scalability, processing power, analytics engines and security. As we all shift to more service-centric businesses, today’s technology advancements enable us to obsess about the resulting customer experience, providing value-added services and personalized experiences that help automakers win on the customer experience battlefield.

We look forward to helping you reimagine the customer journey!

LinkedIn: Chris Harries

Twitter: @chrisharauto