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To break down the often silo-like software systems in the manufacturing industry, BMW and Microsoft plan to set up an Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP ), which will serve as a cross-industry technology platform and so help speed up the development of smart factory solutions and drive production efficiency. The new platform will also be open to other companies in the automotive and manufacturing industries and should make it easier for them to share data. BMW and Microsoft want to grow a community, whose members will collaborate on the basis of open industry standards and an open data model, with each company maintaining control of its own data. The goal is to have four to six partners collaborating on the platform by the end of 2019.

The OMP is built on Microsoft Azure’s industrial IoT cloud platform. In the coming months and years over 3,000 machines, robots, and autonomous transport systems should be interconnected here via the Internet of Things (IoT).