ZF intensifies Microsoft collaboration, speeds automotive digitalization

November 17, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ZF intensifies Microsoft collaboration, speeds automotive digitalization
Over the next few years, automotive supplier ZF Group plans to invest several billion euros in the digitalisation of vehicles, processes and the supply chain. To this end, the company is expanding its existing collaboration with Microsoft to create an integration platform in the cloud.

ZF is entering the next phase of digitalisation by expanding its strategic collaboration with Microsoft. With the ZF Cloud, the mobility and technology company is creating an all-encompassing data and integration platform to digitalise all of ZF's industrial and operational production and business processes on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. The expansion of cloud capacities is intended to enable the company and its customers to store and process the enormous volume of vehicle data. In this way, ZF engineers want to optimise the connectivity of ZF components and enable entirely new vehicle functionalities - including for automated driving and autonomous shuttles.

By using Microsoft technologies for cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and data technologies, ZF wants to develop into a cloud-based mobility service provider. In order to accelerate the digital transformation, ZF is investing several billion euros in the digital transformation of the company over the next few years; a significant part of this is flowing into the collaboration with Microsoft.

All strategic technology fields in which the ZF Group is active are to benefit from the cloud functionalities. "The new ZF Cloud will enable a fully digitalised and integrated sales and operations planning process along our end-to-end supply chain," says Dr René Deist, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and responsible for digital transformation at ZF. The unified data platform combines the implementation of specific customer requirements with an ongoing long-term demand forecast. This, ZF strategists hope, will enable the company to determine internal and external capacity needs based on new market developments. In addition, the digital connection of the ZF supply chain to the ZF Cloud creates seamless end-to-end supply chain visibility and tracking of material movements. This transparency enables faster response to challenging market developments to minimise or avoid supply chain disruptions and ensure timely delivery to customers.

Microsoft Azure's cloud, data and machine learning capabilities help ZF optimise

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