How Cloud Solutions Make Manufacturing Cool Again.

In this series of the podcast, I sit down with industry leaders to explore the digital transformation disrupting almost every industry

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Diego Tamburini, Principal Industry Lead for Azure Manufacturing at Microsoft. In this new role, Diego is the Azure advocate supporting cloud solutions and digital transformation for customers in the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing has been a key industry for Microsoft for several years, in this new role Diego and the team are focused on engagement with customers to explore and implement innovative cloud solutions. This goes beyond the traditional cloud offerings of storage, collaboration, messaging and productivity — the value-added functionality of the Azure platform is transforming how manufacturing companies meet current and future demand using toolsets like "internet of things" (IoT), big data analytics, machine learning, high-performance computing, and blockchain on the Azure platform.

Diego shares how these innovative technologies are being applied in the manufacturing industry, from design and prototyping all the way through production. In particular, Diego is seeing compelling applications of digital technologies to address tasks such as:

  • Predictive maintenance
  • Optimization and quality assurance
  • Generative design
  • Supply chain optimization

Diego peels back here on how IoT provides manufacturing customers with invaluable data in terms of optimization, operations and supply chain efficiency. From sensors on the production line all the way to how customers are using the end product, there is now more data available throughout the product lifecycle.

Diego and I consider how machine learning and AI link into all that valuable IoT data to uncover patterns, trends or anomalies that may otherwise go unnoticed. With petabytes of information coming in from the shop floor and the finished product, machine learning translates that data into meaningful business insights. Ultimately, this empowers manufacturing customers to make better decisions and seize new opportunities.

Next, Diego discusses the applications of blockchain technology within manufacturing. The secure, trusted, distributed ledger model of blockchain is a valuable approach to some manufacturing scenarios, such as tracking:

  • Product lifecycle
  • Product traceability
  • Contractual obligations

We also discuss how blockchain can be useful for product verification by ensuring physical parts are paired with the relevant digital details to support anti-counterfeiting initiatives.

Diego and I explore how Azure brings together these capabilities, and more, onto one platform. Manufacturing spans a wide array of sectors, from defense to consumer goods, and Azure supports any of these scenarios. With over 70 compliance certifications, including ITAR and GDPR, Azure covers more regions than any other cloud provider. Azure also offers manufacturing customers with secure, industry-specific features and capabilities. Diego also reminds us that Azure supports open source, which means developers can easily build customized solutions on the platform.

We also discuss the opportunity for partners interested in working with manufacturing customers. ISVs, system integrators and start-ups with solutions for manufacturing customers can benefit greatly from Microsoft Azure’s enablement, go-to-market support and tapping into the Microsoft vast manufacturing customer base.

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This episode of the podcast is sponsored by Microsoft and the Industry Experiences Team.