The manufacturing industry encountered rapid change in 2020. Companies that were traditionally cloud averse quickly pivoted to implementing cloud-first strategies to keep their facilities operational during the global pandemic.
One of our customers, a global manufacturer, quickly replaced its aging infrastructure and siloed solutions with Microsoft 365 to enable real-time, global communications during the pandemic. Previously, this customer’s US-based employees coordinated with international suppliers using a variety of technologies, including email, chat and paper-based solutions. By adopting a cloud-first strategy, the organisation was able to quickly move its enterprise resource planning system to Microsoft Azure, allowing international employees to access it via Windows Virtual Desktop while working remotely. This customer was not unique – manufacturing organisations around the globe were all forced to digitally transform to survive.
2021 continues to be a year of transformation for the manufacturing sector as the new world of “hybrid work” continues to evolve. Organisations are now leveraging the changes they made to their environments in 2020 to bring employees back to the office and manufacturing facilities in the most safe and effective manner. Microsoft Teams is a critical component of this strategy.
Hybrid collaboration models powered by Microsoft Teams are giving these companies the confidence that they can bring only the necessary people back into the manufacturing facility, while providing the tools for these same individuals to be able to collaborate real time with engineers and other critical team members who are working remotely. Technologies like Microsoft HoloLens, RealWear and the Microsoft Surface Hub make this possible and, in some cases, more effective than the previous in-person meetings.
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce through ongoing learning and development has become a top priority for manufacturers. New essential announcements in Yammer allows publishers to guarantee that every frontline employee will see important community announcements, even if it’s outside of their preferred notification settings. Corporate teams can now also monitor, manage, and improve content they share with their frontline workforce, like new training or safety policies, with Yammer communities’ insights.
It’s important to recognise that the manufacturing industry played a heroic role during the Covid-19 pandemic response, and Microsoft is ensuring it has the tools it needs – and deserves – to optimise and streamline its transition into this new world of hybrid work.
Rohana Meade is president and CEO of Synergy Technical
This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.