Microsoft enables manufacturers to drive through the new era of productivity and transform themselves through the power of digital technology, empowering their staff  and reshaping their industries.Using Microsoft technologies, manufacturers can deliver innovative products that customers want, faster. Connected product innovation solutions from Microsoft will help our customers design, develop, and improve products using technology to collaborate and create content based on information, analytics, and insights from customer interactions, product performance, and social networks, with real-time availability to accelerate innovation. Microsoft offers devices and apps that support design and engineering needs. The technologies enable teams to collaborate and communicate across geographic and organizational boundaries and extract insight from disparate data sources.

 Modern Productivity

The power shift is going to consumers. The manufacturing industry is undergoing significant transformation driven by consumers, connected experience, changing demographics, and globalization among others. With a clear shift of power towards consumers, the industry is continually looking at ways to engage not just with customers but across the entire value chain and develop agility to handle ever-shifting business needs.Modern workplaces (like the KPMG office off of the 400) is the new vision of today’s workplace.  Dynamic is the best word to describe the zig-zag flow in the millennial office where the physical and technical boundaries have blurred, overlapping professional and personal lives, and with the ability to access information anywhere anytime. Organizations today recognize how the individual’s experience as a modern consumer is influencing their day-to-day work activities, and recognize the need to create an environment that attracts new millennials and yet builds on the knowledge and experience of the enterprise.

Devices in discrete manufacturing

VOXISM is a classic example of how companies rely on technology like Skype and SharePoint to connect employees spreads across the province.  But we are starting to see a shift in discrete manufacturers.  The first mobile wave was the Salesforce, but now we’re seeing all sorts of professionals.  As companies grow their physical buildings are separated or they have started to merge with larger companies in the US.  Take for example one of our customers Amor, who is a global company and owns Plastic Molders.  Plastic Molder’s IT is now based out of Montreal and supporting everything from devices to infrastructure.  As new technologies emerge to support mobile workforces, companies must adapt their management tools to maintain safety, recruit and retain employees, and realize efficiency gains.

Memory or ram and disk space has been cheap for decades but now we are entering the era of harnessing the power of data. Collection of and access to critical asset and outage information by field crews can improve safety, increase efficiencies, and reduce overall costs.  Being able to analyze your production data and use machine based learning to suggest preventative maintenance is now just the beginning of what will be a revolution for manufacturers.  Already we have the capability of analyzing and forecasting production but are held back by the analysis of ‘big-data’.  ‘Big-data’ in manufacturing is the ability to access real-time data and predictively suggest the best opportunity for supervisors better manage and maintain physical assets.

My brother works at Hatch-McDonald in Guelph and they already have the technology in place to predict when a pump’s flow will require and additional boost from another and when best to run the pump’s based on real-time monitoring of electricity rates.  CRM already as the capability of suggesting similar products and will in the near future be able to provide better customer service by monitoring sentiment and prompting the users with questions and answers for better customer retention.

Most people in the ‘tech’ business or business intelligence know that with a data scientist you can crunch the numbers, analyze results and get good insight, but this process takes time.  Microsoft is now brining to the table the ability to analyzing ‘big-data’ real time and is looking for developers to create apps to fit into different manufacturing models.

This is in part by Windows 10 will now be the forever windows.  Its purpose is so that all of the developers can successfully work on one platform instead of supporting many.


Although the reasons differ across verticals, continued innovation is essential to growth across process manufacturing verticals. Research and development is tasked with producing these innovations and delivering sustainable products to market. The ability to forge links between different organizations for research purposes is a key driver in research and development. Chemicals innovation has led to new materials that can replace traditional, more expensive chemicals in the production process, leading to lower price, increased affordability, and higher consumption of products. In oil and gas, finding and developing new resources is a mission-critical task, which is a driver for digital oil field initiatives. Similar initiatives are starting to appear in mining industries as well. The pharmaceuticals and life science industry loses more than 4 percent of its market to expiring patent protection for drugs every year, with the total loss over the last couple years being between US $40 billion to $60 billion due to expiring patent protection for drugs. At the same time, the cost of innovation is rising due to complex regulatory requirements and extended trial periods. In order to have a successful business model, companies need to develop faster and get products to the market successfully. In developed markets, there is a shift from epidemic and infectious diseases towards more treatment of chronic diseases, and a new trend of individualized/personalized medicine that tailors drugs for a particular person based on genetic and/or medical historic information.

Outsourced R&D.

Research and development teams are increasingly focused on outsourced science, where they have scientists at contract companies working in Asia, who have to collaborate with scientists in the US or Europe. This type of collaboration exacerbates the existing problem of silos of information where, for example, data for drug discovery purposes is sitting in many different data sources.


In just the past five years, it is estimated that nearly 10,000 regulations have been created by federal and industry entities and that in 2005 alone, $15.5 billion was spent on a wide range of compliance programs and $80 billion will be spent over the next five years—not to mention the effects of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and IE&A regulations such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ). Compliance and regulation also affect the cost and speed of innovation—by 2016, pharmaceutical companies are expected to spend $100 billion on clinical trials alone. The distributed nature of many process manufacturing systems and installations creates areas of vulnerability and concern that are unique to the industry and its sub-verticals. Industrial installations may be identified as targets for cyber-attacks and terrorist threats. As control systems move from being isolated to being connected to enterprise networks and to allowing remote access for such purposes as monitoring and maintenance, the potential of cyber threats increases tremendously. Counter measures are being applied by owners and operators of such installations and government agencies. Securing control systems is becoming a priority for companies in these industries.

Security governance.

Securing these systems against cyber-attacks involves implementing the right technology, training people on working securely, and ensuring the right governance and processes are in place. In physical security, technological advances in big data analytics, video surveillance, and cloud computing are opening the door for innovative approaches to implementing tighter security measures. Real time video feeds from “smart” video cameras can be analyzed to produce timely alerts which lead to significant benefits in reducing response time to adverse events.