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Is recourse to the Cloud the solution to the crisis?

“Faced with the Covid-19 epidemic, the government is in total solidarity with companies and their employees, and will continue to be fully mobilized in the days and weeks to come. “

It is with these words that the French government wishes to reassure companies facing a major crisis. It has also set up a partial unemployment scheme in order to preserve employment.

Other brutal phenomena have disturbed and will still disturb the economies of the planet; so how to adapt, How? ‘Or’ What bounce in the post-crisis period, these are questions that will fuel the reflections of managers and entrepreneurs of all sizes for many weeks.

The uncertainty of today’s environment can have long-term consequences for business results and the way people work in the future. Impact on commercial and then financial results, consequences on the availability of personnel and raw materials, everything leads to a digitalization of production and sales and supply channels. Fortunately, our economy is not based solely on events or air travel (for which airlines have accumulated up to $ 35 billion in unused tickets).

In all industries, business continuity and the anticipation of a return to normalcy require massive use of digital tools and new technologies. For example, Bic, which produces 50% for the French market, benefits from very largely robotic production sites. Elsewhere, it is the merger between digital platforms and traditional distribution that has seen its evidence demonstrated, such as the very recent partnership between Uber and Carrefour, in order to ensure smoother deliveries throughout France.

A technological advance emerges in all cases: use of the Cloud. Cloud Computing consists in using remote servers via a network, to store and exploit data. There are several levels of use of the Cloud, IaaS (infrastructure cloud), PaaS (development and data cloud), SaaS (application cloud), but overall we can estimate that the global market will weigh nearly 300 billion dollars in 2020. In twenty years or so, the growth has been gigantic, and nearly 32% of business applications are already delivered in SaaS mode. The evolution is very fast and it is not finished to believe Charles Giancarlo, CEO of Pure Storage, questioned by the JDNet in July 2019: “There are still ten years, the applications were static and confined to designed hardware. specifically for them. Data was mobile and moved easily between these different environments. Today, it’s the other way around: applications are fluid and can be deployed anywhere, but data takes on more and more space, because we always generate and process more. “

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Also read this IDC study on transformation in the cloud.

The GAFAMs are certainly very present in this flourishing market and some large global players are finding their interest there. Thus, Volkswagen announced a year ago that it had chosen Amazon Web Services to collect data in real time from the 122 global factories of the automotive group. Among the improvements expected by Volkswagen: better analysis of forecasts and market trends, while AWS machine learning tools will help optimize equipment in factories. Ultimately, AWS should allow VW to manage in a way that integrates more than 30,000 sites and 1,500 suppliers and partners around the world (source: Forbes).

Beyond this functionality linked to the storage and use of data, the Cloud has now become agile, easy to deploy, allowing both to work remotely and to develop collaboration in an ecosystem. This is why Dassault Systèmes launched the 3dEXPERIENCE, a platform as a business that offers a unified experience around digital solutions covering the needs of production departments to those of Marketing, including sales. Based on the observation that a user’s journey will be different depending on the very type of industry in which he works, the platform 3dEXPERIENCE is fully adaptive. It includes features such as design, engineering, simulation, production, governance and project management, and many other applications.

So you can fully connect your product development data to the cloud and collaborate with your teams from your home… or anywhere else. With a simple internet connection, you can expand your business to a virtual environment where you can easily share information, manage projects, and collaborate in communities.

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So what are the different benefits that the Cloud promises, to users of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in particular:

  • One access common to all on-board applications via an intuitive interface (exactly like what we use via iOS or Android) respecting the sacred principle: any time, any where, any device.
  • The paintings edge are customized according to user groups, in order to bring together the most useful applications according to the business line.
  • Everyone is working on same versions at the same time, thus avoiding any file conflict.
  • Dynamic access to data for customers who can interact more quickly with files and projects in development. Taking customer expectations into account makes it possible to improve projects before the production phase.
  • Use of recent technologies such as 3D printing or XDesign (CAD web application).
  • Finally, a permanent and continuous connection to maintenance and online help services.
  • The list of benefits is not exhaustive here. It suggests a profound change in working and collaboration habits between the teams of a company and even with their customers. The Cloud brings reliability, a continuation of activities in all circumstances, and in particular in times of crisis. If today we have such a vast offer of Cloud solutions on the market, it is important to note that the proliferation of these services can have some negative consequences:

  • The use of numerous dispersed applications can lead to data fragmentation, with the resulting risk of inconsistency.
  • A problem of governance and safety in the face of the varying conditions of each application, leading to a risk of high complexity in use.
  • Problems related to data transfer in all directions, which slow down the network depending on the architecture of the whole.
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    Working in the Cloud is becoming a reflex for a large number of companies. As soon as we evoke the mode collaborative, and that we must realize it at distance, it seems even more obvious to us that a connection to a remote server is the right technical solution. Provided that this solution offers a level of security and of simplicity of high use, it will be possible to make it a practice shared by all. It will undoubtedly be essential to train the teams in this new mode of collaboration, and in the idea that their work data, their projects can circulate freely in the ecosystem.

    Will the Cloud be the future of industrial production? It would be imprudent to proclaim it loud and clear, even if we can already affirm that it will be the guarantor of the continuity of production activities in the face of the various threats or catastrophes that humanity will have to face, sooner or later.

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