Manufacturing is one of the key industries that has been in the forefront of digital transformation. Leading manufacturing organizations have evolved beyond driving efficiencies within their own processes to automating and including their broader ecosystems of customers, partners and vendors in order to enable rich customer experiences. In this new era of digital manufacturing, these value chain transformations and their capability to enable new customer experiences will drive revenues and help in achieving a sustainable growth.

Ecosystem enablement in digital manufacturing is driven by a seamless, secure integration which requires robust software platforms. Cisco Analytics and Automation Software Platforms is one platform that enables seamless integration and automation within and across an ecosystems. It can help increase speed and responsiveness with automated capabilities that connect vendors, suppliers and design teams leading to a true integration of business systems, IT – OT systems and end products.  Mala Anand, in her blog ‘Analytics: Building a Winning Strategy in Manufacturing‘ describes that data has become a key asset and , “If manufacturers want to gain the agility, innovation, and hyper-awareness needed to compete and win, they must start thinking like technology companies. That means leveraging data — and the real-time insights derived through analytics — in impactful new ways.”

Many of our customers are evaluating how to enable capabilities and systems that will be built and deployed for interconnecting people and things versus just interconnecting systems like they used to do. Some of the most exciting areas for possible improvement include:

  • Process improvement – Operations teams in connected factories are now having the ability to access real-time information on the process, inventory, and order status by integrating and automating business processes.
  • Quality control – R&D teams and product design teams interacting in real- time with shop floor employees to achieve a high level of quality control.
  • Product development – Use of embedded sensors, actuators, connected machines and digital identification tags within production lines and products being used in the field by customers to provide greater insight into methods to improve product quality.
  • Supply chain execution – Operations managers can connect and automate data flow in real time across an ecosystem through cloud-based platforms that provide secure access and data exchange.

Read my article “The Digital Manufacturing Landscape and the Path Forward” to understand the evolution of digital manufacturing and to learn about more examples on how manufacturers are leveraging Cisco Analytics and Automation Software Platforms to transform their value chains. Let me know what possibilities you see for change and improvement in your own value chain. Thanks for reading.


James Jamison

Director, Technical Marketing

Software Platforms Group