Microsoft Stories of Digital Transformation In Automotive Industry

Digital Transformation is happening every day, everywhere around the world. Business leaders are re-imagining what they can do in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. In this post, I’ll share with you a walk through of some of the interesting stories of Digital Business Transformation and Digital Transformation that are happening around the world, start with automotive.

They are exploring new ways to create and capture value, and how to expand to new customer segments in a globally connected world. Cities are looking at new ways to connect with citizens and to re-imagine education, health, safety, and sustainability.

This post will share with you some story of Digital Business Transformation in the world. While all of the stories are public, chances are you may not have heard of them unless you know where to look.  As we walk through the stories of Digital Transformation, I’ll leave signposts and a breadcrumb trail so that you can find your way to some of the key sources that you can use for finding more stories of Digital Transformation.

What is Digital Transformation

You can think of Digital Transformation as the digitization of processes, products, and services.

According to Wikipedia, Digital Transformation “refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society”.  Capgemini explains Digital Transformation as “the use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises”.  Altimeter defines Digital Transformation as “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle.”

Howard King defines transformation as “a whole scale change to the foundational components of a business: from its operating model to its infrastructure” and digital as “as any technology that connects people and machines with each other or with information”.  He then defines Digital Transformation as a visible wholesale restructure to avoid a tipping point caused by digital technologies and downstream market effects.


Before we look at automotive examples of Digital Transformation, let’s set some context for how the automotive industry is evolving.

According to Sanjay Ravi, Sanjay Ravi, Managing Director, Worldwide Discrete Manufacturing, Enterprise and Partner Group, the car is becoming part of broader Internet-of-Things (IoT) ecosystem around smart homes and smart infrastructures is definitely helping to drive industry transformation.  Microsoft is enabling the intelligent car and reinventing productivity in the car.  Along those lines, Microsoft is supporting and enhancing connected car and autonomous vehicle strategies with partners.

These innovations focused on Microsoft’s intelligent cloud, productivity tools, and personal computing technology are providing the technology platform for automotive companies to accelerate their digital transformation efforts and enable their cars to become “companions and assistants to your digital life”, as Sanjay puts it.

If you’re wondering what Microsoft’s role in all of this transformation is, as Peggy Johnson, Microsoft executive vice president of global business development said, “We are partnering to build mutual value, not to compete.”

Delphi. Turn any car into a connected car with affordable, cloud-based telematics.

How Delphi Automotive transformed its business model with connected-car services – One of the best examples of a leader in this business transformation is Delphi Automotive. With 90 million cars produced worldwide, Delphi Automotive recognized the opportunity that today’s cloud technologies presented, to give drivers many exciting ways to remotely monitor and control their cars. And they created Delphi Connect to do that, which can turn any car into a connected car with affordable, cloud-based telematics.

What if your car could text you when your teenager was driving where he shouldn’t? Or instantly turn into a Wi-Fi hotspot? Delphi Automotive created Delphi Connect to give drivers many exciting ways to remotely monitor and control their cars. Delphi used Microsoft Azure to develop the product and uses the Azure cloud to move data between cars and drivers. Using Azure helped Delphi succeed in a new market, offer richer features, reduce development costs (and pricing) by one-third, and scale the service globally.

Nissan. Nissan can remotely charge your vehicle using the Azure cloud

Nissan selects Microsoft Azure to power Nissan Telematics System.  Nissan CTS is coupled to Azure, allowing a remote connection to the vehicle. With CTS, Nissan LEAF drivers can perform a range of functions on their car, while not even inside. These include using mobile phones to turn on and adjust climate controls and set charging functions remotely even when the vehicle is powered down. An onboard timer can also be programmed to start the charging event.  With the standard Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant for all Nissan LEAF around the world, drivers can manage incoming text messages via voice control without taking their hands from the wheel or their eyes off the road. Drivers are alerted to incoming text and, after initiating the system, can hear the text read out loud and respond by voice, or via the steering wheel switches using preset answers such as “driving, can’t text,” “on my way,” “running late,” “okay.” These experiences are powered by the back-end connectivity and support of Azure.  Nissan can also send over-the-air “point of interest” (POI) updates as they become available, enabling customers to have the latest information as the company continues to refresh its services. Connectivity to Azure allows Nissan to bring new connected features to market faster and offer flexibility for the future.

Quoros Automotive. Chinese Car Company Puts IT Systems in the Cloud to Create the Ultimate Connected Car.

Quoros Automotive – What if you could design a car from a clean sheet of paper—no history, no restrictions? This was the opportunity facing Qoros Automotive, a new international car manufacturer from China, which chose to run its cars’ vehicle telematics system in Microsoft Azure. By using Azure, Qoros gained tremendous freedom to create a rich “connected car” experience for modern drivers. Qoros also avoided an 18-month-long effort and multimillion-dollar expense of building a data center and can expand much faster on a global scale.


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