ZEISS and Microsoft's Cloud-First Approach to Manufacturing

By Oliver Freeman
ZEISS Microsoft Corporation have partnered to provide better patient care and enhance the efficiency and quality of manufacturing through data solutions...

ZEISS Group and Microsoft Corp. recently announced that they’d be entering a multi-year strategic partnership in an effort to accelerate ZEISS’ transformation into a leading cloud-first digital services provider. The announcement signals that ZEISS will be adopting Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform, from which the German manufacturer will be able to provide its customers with enhanced digital experiences, rapidly address changing market conditions, and increase its overall efficiency and productivity.

New Levels of Development

Microsoft Azure is an increasingly popular piece of software that the company launched back in 2010; it is used for “building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centres.” It provides high-performance compute, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) services, which ZEISS will leverage to provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) along their supply chains with new quality management. The new systems will also allow the company to enable microchip manufacturers to build more powerful, energy-efficient microchips, and deliver a new wave of innovative digital healthcare solutions for improved clinical workflows, enhanced treatments, and device maintenance.

On top of that, the adoption of a cloud-first mentality and implementation of Microsoft’s Azure will put ZEISS in prime position to create a seamless end-user experience on one digital platform, whilst maintaining their entire digital product through one cloud-native platform “to enhance continuous and agile product development.” 

"As a global leader in optics and optoelectronics, ZEISS is committed to digitally enable its customers' business models, products, and services. We are proud to join forces with Microsoft in our quest to apply precision optics, IoT capabilities, artificial intelligence and machine learning to the most demanding processes in healthcare and manufacturing," says Dr Karl Lamprecht, ZEISS president and CEO. 

"Improving the patient's life and doctor's work and driving industrial quality assurance in the production process have always been top of mind for us. We are taking our expertise to the next digital level together with Microsoft, a leading innovator and provider of digital technologies," he added.

Driving Industrial Efficiency through Connectivity

At first, ZEISS will look to enable its solutions in the industrial quality and research segment of the company, where it will be run on a connected quality platform, created and hosted on Azure. This should allow the customers’ production process to be directly fused with the solution. The innovative platform will help ZEISS by providing data analytics and insights, and through fostering a more “collaborative” mindset across the manufacturing and business operations. In other words, the domains, assets, and processes that have traditionally been managed in siloed, proprietary systems, working in unison with one another on a single platform.

To elaborate, the company “provides metrology and quality assurance solutions delivering meaningful information on parts dimensions, component behaviour and defect detection. Real-time and large-scale analysis of data that is collected at all stages of the manufacturing process is key to efficient and effective quality assurance, tightly integrated with today's and tomorrow's IoT-enabled production processes.

“[ZEISS] is driving innovations across industries to improve the quality of individual lives and create industrial efficiencies by overcoming data silos and integrating digital experiences,” said Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President Cloud + AI at Microsoft. “Harnessing the power of Microsoft’s cloud, AI and IoT services, ZEISS is transforming into a leading digital services provider.”


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