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Internet of People: Turning information into action

By Sanjay Ravi, Managing Director, Worldwide Discrete Manufacturing, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft on September 16, 2016

Filed under Discrete Manufacturing

TKEblog1_300We’ve talked in the past that in order to truly become a digital business, enabling digital transformation is not simply about technology—it requires business leaders to re-envision existing business models and embrace a different way of bringing together people, data, and services to create value and a complete connected experience for their customers.

Enabling the Internet of People

With today’s digital factories, companies and their teams are rarely located in a single geographic area, yet it is imperative that they are able to communicate effectively. This opens up the opportunity for technology to accelerate the fundamental agility and insight of an organization by empowering employees through the ‘Internet of People.’ This means giving employees the flexibility and tools they need to easily collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers around the world. Examples of this could be using modern productivity tools that enable teams to communicate and strategize, leveraging in-operation data from products to refine operational decisions, and using immersive 3D experiences to revolutionize the way design and service teams work.

When everyone in the company embraces what is digitally possible, the business can respond faster by using human intelligence to turn digital intelligence into action. Action that can help a company shift from hindsight to foresight to automate manual processes; innovate with new business models, services, and experiences; and deliver exceptional experiences that customers have come to expect.

Transformation in action

We are already seeing the results of this kind of innovation today. As manufacturers leverage their people and their data to ‘re-tool’ their business models for the realities of Industrie 4.0, IIoT capabilities are moving from proof-of-concepts and pilots into real-world, production-ready solutions and services.

Industrial manufacturers including Sandvik Coromant and thyssenkrupp Elevator are prime examples of this innovation: they are today delivering the field service experiences of tomorrow through things like predictive maintenance capabilities and productivity technologies that are saving costs and streamlining operations.

Sandvik_300Sandvik Coromant uses predictive analytics to optimize service  

To take its services to the next level, Stockholm-based Sandvik Coromant has partnered with us to develop a scalable service model that integrates all elements of the production flow—people, machines, tools and data—to deliver an unprecedented level of field service. The model—developed with a predictive analytics solution that leverages Azure IoT Suite, Cortana Intelligence and Dynamics 365—allows the company to scale its expertise to its global customer base without the need to add manpower or reduce quality of service. With this technology, Sandvik Coromant can now provide services that help customers make more informed decisions and more easily calculate the financial return on a new machining tool. That translates to additional revenue, more satisfied customers, and greater flexibility in how its technical experts connect with customers.

 thyssenkrupp Elevator innovates with HoloLens and Skype

We’ve enjoyed a strong partnership with thyssenkrupp Elevator over the years, working to help the company transform digitally in the cloud and with IoT to improve their operations for a strong competitive advantage in the market.

As a next step in that partnership, thyssenkrupp Elevator recently showed the world how they have integrated HoloLens and Skype into their operations to improve efficiency for service technicians. Using the predictive maintenance capabilities of Azure IoT, the company can already identify potential problems with elevators, which allows them to make time-saving interventions and quicker fixes for customers. Now, with the use of Microsoft HoloLens and Skype, service technicians can work hands-free while on the job and make remote calls to more experienced technicians who can walk them through solutions—and provide valuable on-site education. It is exciting to see that in initial trials, the use of HoloLens has reduced the average length of thyssenkrupp Elevator’s service calls up to four times.

With this latest game-changing milestone, thyssenkrupp Elevator is truly bringing the Internet of People to life, enabling and empowering their people through new ways of interacting with HoloLens and communicating through Skype to triage issues to resolution more quickly.

These breakthrough stories of transformation are about connecting people to the information and tools they need to move from data to insight and from insight to action—action that transforms service into a competitive differentiator for manufacturers and a powerful cost-saving experience for customers.

Twitter: @sanrav


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