ZF partners with Microsoft for cloud-based IT infrastructure

ZF says it is moving into the next phase of digitalization by expanding its strategic partnership with Microsoft.

Microsoft will create the ZF Cloud comprehensive information and integration platform to digitalize all ZF industrial and operational production and business processes on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

ZFF’s new capabilities include the use of ZF technologies to streamline the huge amount of data generated by vehicles, to further facilitate the connection of ZF components and enable completely new vehicle functions, including automatic driving and automation.

Using Microsoft’s comprehensive cloud, artificial intelligence, Internet, and information technologies, ZF expects to be a cloud-native mobile service provider that provides clean, secure, convenient and affordable mobile solutions.

“The information provided by ZF products and our business processes will be integrated into the overall cloud architecture in all areas. This will significantly improve our efficiency and speed. We have a good partner to contribute.

“By transforming the digital transformation industry, it will enable mobile service providers to empower employees, increase productivity and deliver faster customer solutions,” said Judson Altoff, Vice President and CEO of Microsoft. “By partnering with Microsoft, ZDF will leverage its digital capabilities and accelerate the delivery of innovative solutions using Microsoft Cloud and AI solutions and streamline business operations in the digital work environment.”

Cloud Functions will benefit from all the strategic areas of technology in which ZF operates. “The new ZF Cloud will enable our fully digital and integrated sales and operations planning process from end to end,” said Dr. Renee Des, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at ZF Digital Transformation. The Integrated Data Platform combines specific customer demand with long-term demand forecasting, which allows ZDF to estimate internal and external capacity based on new market developments. In addition, digitally connecting the ZF supply chain to ZF Cloud provides seamless end-to-end supply chain visibility and material monitoring. Full visibility provides fast response to challenging market developments to reduce or eliminate supply chain disruptions and ensure timely delivery of customers.

Transforming data perceptions into passenger-based automated driving practices and energy-efficient transportation

Microsoft’s cloud-based cloud, data and machine learning capabilities help ZF improve data exchange between ZF-connected cloud components and create new products or business models using artificial intelligence (AI). For example, for automatic and auto-rotation, ZF Cloud enables continuous ZF transmission between autonomous ZF transmitters and their surroundings. ZF shows a number of usage issues that add value to ZF customers and people connected to ZF carriers. Consider mobile applications using live spaces for transportation service, real-time road planning to avoid congestion and save time and energy. Combining data from infrastructure partners and smart city service providers will help make automobiles accessible to more people and address the last mile of transportation needs.

In addition, ZFF provides a comprehensive portfolio to assist in measuring, reducing and reporting carbon emissions, and to monitor energy-efficient transportation for automated buses, pickup ships or road and rail conditions. Building on Azure Cloud and AI services, ZDF provides solutions for public sector organizations to reduce operating costs and improve security and customer satisfaction with new value-added digital technologies.

Simplification of engineering practices

Digital production and development platforms in ZF’s research and development activities can enable seamless data transfer through ZF Cloud. Working with Microsoft, ZF is leveraging Azure cloud services and developer tools as well as Microsoft’s fast software development experience. Microsoft Development and Operations Devices can further enhance its multidisciplinary collaboration in automation, testing, monitoring, and continuous delivery using ZDF.

Azure also helps navigate world-class data for simulations connected to the altitude sensor in the chassis. This new ZF solution can continuously send road status information to the cloud and use an advanced algorithm to protect the driver and other road users.

Increase transparency and monitoring in operations and supply chains

“A standardized information platform can be a useful tool for repairing ZF wind turbine gearboxes,” emphasized ZF Chief Information Officer (CIO) Dr. Jurgen Stur. “It allows for the gradual integration and transformation of all internal systems into a globally integrated business process.” ZF components send information to the cloud, generating automatic notifications when the next maintenance gap is completed. In operations, the new platform helps to increase the transparency of performance and production from individual machines to the entire factory. It can also better map the production process, as well as the product or quality analysis and forecasting. Based on ongoing collaboration with Microsoft and PC Germany, ZDF will draw on valuable experience. The three companies are transforming processes and processes using Microsoft’s roaming infrastructure, data and IOT services to build the ZF Digital Manufacturing Platform (DMP), making production more flexible and efficient. The project will reduce ZF conversion costs, improve storage, performance and quality. Following the successful completion of the DMP pilot project at the Depotz Factory in North Germany, ZF plans to launch the platform on 200 ZF production facilities around the world.

Enabling sustainable learning and development through digital skills initiative and digital work environment

ZF’s new cloud strategy involves cultural change within the company. ZF launches comprehensive staff training initiative for further education. The goal is for all ZF teams to open up the new information platform and expand their skills to accelerate product development and make production and management processes more efficient and effective. In addition, ZF staff are being empowered by digital hybrid workplace and skill initiatives. ZFF will upgrade its business, leading the mobile industry and accelerating customer-centric innovation by equipping nearly 110,000 frontline and office staff with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft teams. In response to the Cowid-19 epidemic, ZF staff used productive and secure ZF work environments, including cloud-based Microsoft devices, to work productively and safely from home or when needed.

Microsoft teams allow employees from all over the world to upload information instantly and collaborate quickly and efficiently. It also allows ZDF staff to publish new applications that work automatically and analyze data in conjunction with Microsoft Power Platform Low Code Enhancement Tools for group users using Microsoft Data for Group. Citizen developers have used teams and Microsoft Power Platform to solve business problems faster, save time and reduce costs.