Technology Record - Issue 23: Winter 21/22

111 MANU FAC TUR I NG & R E SOUR C E S A combination of cloud, edge and digital twin technology – which enables companies to create a digital twin of the entire supply chain including facilities, processes and people – is making this possible. “Manufacturers are increasingly adopting autonomous capabilities that can understand events, identify the relationship between them and prioritise actions to resolve the issue,” Sircar says. “For instance, Azure Synapse enables cloud-based capabilities to analyse large datasets so companies can visualise, model, predict and drive decisions. Azure Synapse Analytics includes industry-specific database templates models to generate targeted insights. Azure Purview enables multi-cloud data governance, discovery and sensitive data classification. Meanwhile, securing the edge with Azure Defender for IoT along with Azure Sentinel is playing a significant role in addressing vulnerabilities to threats like ransomware across the organisation, all the way to the supplier base.” Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights – now available in preview – integrates supplier base and data combining with external data sources around geopolitical and weather-related events, supplier risk and other factors so companies can predict, model and mitigate risks. Advanced analytics powered by Azure’s AI and Machine Learning enable predictions and what-if analyses, with simulations to show the impact of potential disruptions – and the decisions made to mitigate them – at any point along the chain. “These capabilities are bringing unprecedented intelligence and predictive power across the supply chain,” Sircar says. “For example, Daimler Trucks North America has gained new visibility into its supply chains across multiple tiers of suppliers. Near real-time data allows the company to assess risks and mitigate problems before they lead to disruption. It can also enrich its own supply chain data with external signals like global weather data to predict the impact on shipments.” Another solution recently released in preview – the Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing – provides a gateway for companies’ cloud transformation journeys. Focused on the industry’s unique requirements, it brings together new and existing capabilities to support and securely connect people, assets, workflow and business processes across the product and service life cycle. “The pandemic revealed a clear need for a digitally connected ecosystem with real-time visibility and the removal of silos across functions” I NDRAN I L S I R CAR , M I C ROSOF T