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Another year of Hannover Messe is now behind us. While we missed the personal interactions we all value, one thing is clear: The thought leadership, the new ideas, and the excitement for innovation remain as strong as ever across the industry. My thanks go out to all of our partners, customers, and colleagues who joined our sessions.

The event welcomed over 90,000 registrants and Microsoft hosted several thought leadership sessions, including Challenging the Now, Creating the New with Microsoft Germany’s Dr. Marianne Janik, and a digital twin keynote I hosted with Accenture’s Tracey Countryman, Sight Machine’s Jon Sobel, Blue Yonder’s Hong Mo Yang, and Andy Pratt, former CEO of The Marsden Group and now part of the Microsoft family.

This was just the beginning. We spent the week with our partners, customers, and colleagues discussing the topics that manufacturers care about most as we demonstrated what’s next for manufacturing.

I invite you to watch our Hannover Messe 2021: Digital Edition sessions on-demand and visit our virtual booth. This content will be available through June 11, 2021. We’re continuing the dialogue in our Manufacturing Industry Digital Forum series, featuring McKinsey and Ericsson on May 4.

What’s next for manufacturing

One thing we heard loud and clear during Hannover Messe was that manufacturers are urgently looking toward the digital path forward as we all recover from the pandemic.

This is a topic we have been exploring in earnest for the last year with leaders including McKinsey & Co. I was very fortunate to have Enno de Boer, Partner and Global Leader for Manufacturing at McKinsey & Co.,​ join me at Hannover Messe this year to explore the learnings from the 69 advanced manufacturing sites—part of the Global Lighthouse Network, a World Economic Forum project in collaboration with McKinsey & Company.

As part of that discussion, we also heard firsthand from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky about the impactful work companies are driving with Industry 4.0 technology. Specifically Johnson & Johnson’s recognition as one of the latest Lighthouse factories driving incredible sustainability gains.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the fourth industrial revolution is no longer hype. Disruptions stemming from the pandemic are here to stay, and every business needs to be on a digital journey. Only a few have figured it out yet, but the ones who have done, such as the Global Lighthouse Network companies, are creating dramatic gains in terms of productivity, agility, sustainability, and speed to market. They are resetting benchmarks. They are investing for the long term—from the factory to the supply chain, to the workforce, and beyond.

Microsoft is proud to be a strategic partner to these companies, helping them accelerate their journeys by connecting and scaling experiences across operations, workforce, design and engineering processes, customer engagements, and the end-to-end value chain with Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing solutions.

Achieving scale through open standards and communities

What helps Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing solutions accelerate time-to-value and drive digital transformation at scale is our commitment to industry-specific standards and communities, such as the Open Manufacturing Platform, the OPC Foundation, and the Digital Twins Consortium, as well as the co-innovation with our rich ecosystem of partners.

We have made two important manufacturing ecosystem announcements this last month that will help us further advance interoperability across the industry. We are deepening our collaboration with both CESMII and the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance by becoming formal members. The incredible work of these communities to champion industrial digitalization has been instrumental in opening up new and impactful opportunities for manufacturers. We look forward to contributing alongside the industry’s growing ranks of partners and member companies.

Continue the conversation: Manufacturing Industry Digital Forum

We have just scratched the surface on what’s next for manufacturing.

But the discussion continues. Our next event will be an informative and timely webinar on May 4, where Enno de Boer, Bodo Koerber, Partner and Global Leader of internet of things (IoT) and Platforms from McKinsey & Co., and I will discuss how to get out of ‘pilot purgatory’ and align business, organization, and technology to capture industrial internet of things (IIoT) value at scale.

And building on our theme of learning from the Global Lighthouse Network, we will also be joined by Erik Simonsson from Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company Ericsson. Erik will share important learnings from launching the first greenfield 5G factory in the US, with specific, measured increases in output per employee, efficiencand quality improvements, sustainability, and more.

It will be a fascinating discussion, so be sure to join us—register here.

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Get the latest from Microsoft for Manufacturing

We hope to be able to gather again in person at Hannover Messe in Germany next year. However, until we can meet in person again, we will continue to engage with you through digital events and discussions.

Along with our partners, we are committed to supporting your business, no matter where you are or where you are on your digital transformation journey.

Stay informed about Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing to learn how you can help manufacture a more resilient and sustainable future.

Follow us on social and visit our website to get the latest on how Microsoft and our partners are helping manufacturers create a more resilient and sustainable future with Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing solutions.