Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

68 INTERVIEW Growing together Andy Byers discusses how the partnership between Ansys and Microsoft continues to grow, spark innovation and support their mutual customers One of the key elements to any partnership is growth. Ansys and Microsoft have been partners for over six years and in that time, both organisations have developed new solutions, embraced new innovations and discovered new strategies for the future. “The first product we built on Microsoft Azure, Ansys Cloud Direct, taught us a lot about how to offer cloud for simulations to our joint customers, including what does and doesn’t work,” says Andy Byers, director of strategic partnerships at Ansys. The collaboration between Ansys and Microsoft has since expanded to include other key technologies, such as generative artificial intelligence and machine learning. For example, AnsysGPT, which was released in April 2024, was developed using ChatGPT technology on the Azure OpenAI Service. “Given Microsoft’s broad market coverage, brand name and deep experience, we have secured a great long-term strategic partner to help us evolve as a company in the future,” says Byers. Ansys and Microsoft consistently work together to bring their solutions to customers across multiple industries and help them to overcome the hardware barriers they are facing. According to Byers, one of the key goals behind the partnership with Microsoft is to improve the landscape of engineering simulation and digital transformation to provide its customers with more high-performance computing capabilities. For example, both firms recently helped Moshman Research and its partner Avigation, an aviation consultancy firm, to create a proof-of-concept model of a ducted fan blade. Originally, the model included millions of different elements, resulting in long runtimes which was detrimental to maintaining workflow. To solve the issue, Moshman used Ansys HPC applications on Azure to streamline the workflow and deliver higher computational capabilities. “We don’t just work with large companies,” says Byers. “Ansys also works with many consulting firms, startups and innovators who are also seeing great benefits of leveraging Ansys and Microsoft technology to improve simulations and design better products.” The firm’s most recent solution, Ansys Access on Azure, allows customers to use popular Ansys products in one streamlined workspace on Azure and, according to Byers, is “the result of years of focused cloud optimisation and development.” “Ansys Access on Azure simplifies the utilisation of customers’ current Ansys licencing and their cloud agreements with Microsoft, ensuring cost-effective management,” he says. “This allows our customers, small or large, to deploy a solution that helps lower cloud cost, provide more control and offer easier deployment options.” One of the key features of using Ansys Access on Azure is its ease of use. “The solution empowers customers to use their existing Ansys apps, along BY AMBER HICKMAN “ We have secured a great long-term strategic partner to help us evolve as a company”