Volkswagen sees AWS-built ‘industrial cloud’ as future B2B marketplace

VW

Europe’s largest automaker, is expanding its cloud-based software and data portal, aiming to develop it into an industry-wide marketplace where business customers can buy and sell industrial applications, the company has said.

KEY POINTS:

  • VW is seeking to expand its cloud-based software and data portal into an industry-wide marketplace
  • The “industrial cloud” was designed in partnership with Amazon Web Services

Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker, is expanding its cloud-based software and data portal, aiming to develop it into an industry-wide marketplace where business customers can buy and sell industrial applications, the company said on Thursday.

VW’s “industrial cloud” was designed in partnership with Amazon Web Services and eventually will link more than 120 Volkswagen factories around the world to the automaker’s 1,500 suppliers and their 30,000 plants.

The portal is intended as a place to exchange data and software to help accelerate the digitisation of factory processes from stamping to painting to machinery maintenance, according to Nihar Patel, Volkswagen’s executive vice president for strategic core projects.

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VW has opened the portal to the first group of supplier partners, led by Siemens AG. Those partners are expected to contribute software applications to be shared with VW and among themselves, in what the automaker described as “an App Store approach.”

Among the initial wave of supplier partners are ABB, the Switzerland-based industrial automation specialist, and Dürr, the German supplier of automated paint systems and plant engineering services.

AWS will help manage the portal and will provide a range of cloud-based support services, including data analytics and computing, according to Dirk Didascalou, vice president of the Internet of Things at AWS.

Volkswagen, which is currently one of the top three automakers by market capitalisation behind only Tesla and Toyota Motor Corp, has been working on the industrial cloud for several years with AWS, one of Amazon’s fastest-growing, highest-margin businesses and one that works mainly with corporate customers, from BMW AG and Toyota to Avis Budget Group and Formula One, to manage, analyse and in some cases monetise data.

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Patel said Volkswagen’s efforts to speed up the ongoing digitisation of its factories has the support of the company’s powerful Works Council and its supervisory board.

Via our content partners at Reuters. Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit. Editing by David Gregorio.

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