The Connected Experience: A Manufacturer’s Dream?

By Shannon Davis, Web Editor, Solid State Technology

Imagine being able to not only track and address equipment degradation in real time, but also analyze patterns in your factories’ equipment and address potential issues before they even present a problem.

It may sound too good to be true, but Microsoft’s Sanjay Ravi explained in Wednesday morning’s keynote that this innovation is becoming available now to manufacturers.

In his keynote “The Art of Possible: How Manufacturers are Leveraging Digital Technologies to Drive Business in a Connected World,” Mr. Ravi gave his audience a glimpse of the brave, new world that leveraging mobility, social, cloud and big data offers them, specifically siting product offerings and developments from Microsoft.

“The key priority is taking advantage of the connected business networks and enabling connected customer experience,” Mr. Ravi shared. Building a data culture across one’s organization can drive the right business processes and models, he explained.

He used examples from Samsung and AMD, who both utilized Cloud-based data analytics programs to reduce costs, manage energy and increase data warehouse performances by jaw-dropping percentages. AMD, for example, used Microsoft BI solutions to improve operational agility and was reportedly able to reduce resource support work needed by 90 percent. Samsung, he reported, analyzed 10 times more data to make more efficient decisions about energy management, using trend statistics and histograms – decreasing their costs by 75 percent.

“Given the explosion of the Internet of Things, all of our equipment can be connected,” said Mr. Ravi. “This means gathering big data from embedded devices and transforming big data into business information and insight.”

The implications are mind-boggling: manufacturers could anticipate production disruptions remotely and take corrective action anytime, anywhere.

And if that wasn’t enough to capture his audience’s imagination, Mr. Ravi also shared the Smart Elevator project Microsoft has in development. When used in an office setting, the Smart Elevators have the ability to learn office workers behaviors and analyze their Cloud-based work schedules to know 1) if they need to get on the elevator as they approach it and 2) where they will need to go once they get on the elevator. The result is a completely button-less elevator, an elevator that anticipates your schedule and is there right when you need it.

Whether it’s leveraging big data or Smart Elevators, the connected workplace isn’t science fiction: it’s possible and its potential is undeniable.

Sanjay Ravi during Wednesday morning's keynote at SEMICON West 2014

Sanjay Ravi during Wednesday morning’s keynote at SEMICON West 2014