Can mixed reality help solve your business problems?

  • Posted on February 10, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
mixed reality

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Jens Grambau.

When an ABB Turbocharger needs service, it takes a specialized engineer to provide support. In order to guarantee best-in-class workmanship and the highest level of performance, it’s important that each of these engineers has the most up-to-date training. However, the process of bringing people from all over the world to Switzerland for training is costly and time consuming. This raises the question: how can the training process be simplified?

Using innovation, Avanade is helping businesses like ABB Turbocharging explore ways to overcome specific challenges by using new, game-changing technologies. We’re looking to the future at what’s possible with solutions that enable agility and continual improvement. It’s part of our Future Ready. Now. approach, which helps organizations optimize business processes and delight their employees with end-to-end experiences that go beyond device and location.

Because developing and maintaining employee skills is one of the biggest challenges facing companies today, we're bringing together human experience-led design with advanced technologies, like mixed reality, to drive future-ready manufacturing and field service solutions.

How HoloLens can improve collaboration
Based on an idea that we presented, ABB Turbocharging is currently exploring the possibilities of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 technology – an immersive mixed reality device that combines cloud and AI services to help employees learn, communicate and collaborate more effectively.

By merging the physical and digital worlds, mixed reality offers tremendous opportunity to train and assist manufacturing and field service workers in performing complex activities with precision. And HoloLens 2 is the epitome of mixed reality technology. It enables users to visualize and work with digital content in their real world. Now that’s a seamless workflow.

For example, imagine you’re that ABB Turbocharging engineer. You're sent to a power plant to do a repair, but you are facing unexpected issues when dismantling the Turbocharger. Instead of calling for backup support or searching a manual, which causes delays, you put the HoloLens 2 on your head and immediately see what’s wrong and what tools and actions are needed to fix the problem. No delays. No additional costs. No distant training. The repair is done right there on the spot, and the power plant is back in business.

Once such solutions are fully developed and put into practice, they have the potential to make businesses stand out with real-time intelligence and accelerated decision-making as part of their daily operations. It can mean reduced downtime, faster time to repair, improved service-level agreement compliance rates and greater employee productivity. These benefits are particularly important for industries that deal with complex work, where the right skills are needed with the right people, at the right time, in the right place.

Providing employees with a modern, mobile toolset
The intuitiveness of mixed reality technology, along with its accessibility, helps lower both training and operational costs and speeds business processes. But perhaps more importantly, it makes it easy to attract and retain talent because you’re able to give them the support they need, when they need it, so they can do their best work. You can also use it to capture the knowledge and expertise of your experienced employees (who may be nearing retirement) and transfer it to digital natives through a modern, mobile toolset.

Beyond training, there are many opportunities to take business to the next level with mixed reality. It just requires thinking outside the box – to imagine what’s possible and then make it a reality. And that’s exactly what Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, meant when he introduced the world to HoloLens years ago: “When you change the way you see the world, you change the world you see.”

Are you looking to become future-ready now with innovative technologies like mixed reality? Find out more about our connected sales and service solutions.

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