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Optimize Your Logistics and Supply Chain Operations with VR

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Optimize Your Logistics and Supply Chain Operations with VR

In view of the critical technological improvements in recent years, the use of VR in logistics solutions and the operations of the supply chain is driving innovation across industries.

Trends show that the adoption of virtual reality devices can help organizations with products and processes, virtual collaboration and learning based on experiences.

Virtual reality (VR) is an artificial environment generated by computers. This three-dimensional environment enables a user to experience sensory stimuli. The user can interact in a real or physical way through specialized electronic devices with the environment, including goggles, simple head-mounted screens and 3-D images. Virtual reality technology has come a long way since its origin. In recent years, both the capabilities and use of virtual reality technology have seen an incredible surge. They have evolved from niche devices primarily for hardcore gamers to devices with broader adoption and applications for consumers and businesses. The use of VR in logistics, supply chain management and shipping has opened infinite possibilities due to its various applications in different fields of operations.

Benefits of VR in Logistics and Supply Chain Operations

The successful adoption of VR applications in logistics and the supply chain depends on the orientation of technology value controllers with the applications of the company, operating needs, and organizational preparation, not just a comprehensive approach based on the popularity of the current technology.

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1. Interactive Visualization Capability

Companies are beginning to leverage technology to improve CAD functionality and design staff engagement within their design departments. VR-enhanced layouts enable viewing capabilities not previously available. This allows product engineers, architects and designers to quickly switch between multiple designs and evaluate them on site.

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2. Safety and Security

VR technologies can be crucial to maintain a competitive advantage and ensure efficiency by defining its role in logistics safety and the safety of professionals. These technologies can reduce the likelihood of injury or other fatalities while on the job.

3. Ability to Monitor Operations From a Distant Location

With the audio and video functions of VR in logistics and supply chain operations, employees can cooperate with other colleagues using joint visualization or interact with virtual avatars. These interactions decrease costs and offer manufacturers and suppliers further information in the development of products and processes, especially in distributed digital supply networks.

4. Data Capture and Visualization Capability

These abilities transform the supply chain operations from product development to the end customer. The use of interactive 3D data visualizations, which are not possible on 2D displays, aids in complex decision-making and helps companies see dependencies and the impact of certain decisions on operations. The use of virtual reality applications and devices to facilitate analysis and rapid decision-making can address serious vulnerabilities within and between organizations.

5. Ability to Create High-Fidelity Virtual Environments

High-fidelity virtual environments will have a significant impact on human resources in supply chain organizations. Many industries, including industrial products and services, energy and manufacturing, struggle to prepare employees for high-risk environments. Virtual reality can help workers make the best possible decisions in safety-critical settings. For example, they can develop the ability to identify, prioritize and analyze situational variables that indicate an oil well is about to go live, is in a dangerous state, or that a machine is about to fail.

6. VR-Based Predictive Modeling

Large corporations with a worldwide presence regularly face the project of streamlining the procedure without mistakes, delays and different irregularities even when the human worker isn’t physically there for the entire process. This is precisely where the position of VR primarily based on predictive modeling performs an essential part.

Predictive modeling with VR technology helped massive e-commerce manufacturers like Amazon to streamline the procedure so that mistakes may be saved at a minimum without requiring human intervention in any respect stages. By using VR in logistics and supply chain, delivery and logistics managers can supervise matters at websites in real-time.

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7. Efficient Cargo Loading and Unloading

False and unreasonable estimates of the time required for traffic transit and incorrect information about the location of the cargo can lead to several delays. In any logistics and shipping process,  drivers and carriers spend much of their time loading and unloading goods while staying away from distribution facilities. Due to the inaccurate estimation of the weight of the goods, they often have to spend a lot of unnecessary time. If logistics drivers can be equipped with AR and VR devices to track driver and cargo management information in real-time, much of this excessive time wastage can be avoided and process efficiencies can be significantly optimized.

8. Efficiency in Final Delivery of Products

Until now, we have seen the tremendous benefits of virtual reality in streamlining the warehouse process and finding products quickly. However, the use of VR-based systems for last-mile product delivery still needs to be discussed and focused on. Last-mile delivery efficiency is essential for specific industries like e-commerce, manufacturing, retail, etc. Efficient last-mile delivery will ultimately result in better cost benefits for organizations and businesses. 

When loading a goods delivery truck, the driver can use a VR headset to assess the best way to load the vehicle so that all products can be accommodated in the space efficiently and in the best possible time. This results in optimal workload and delivery time. This technology can also be used to evenly and adequately distribute cargo, resulting in excellent fuel savings for the shipping company.

9. Impact of VR in Logistics and Supply Chain Operations

In broadcast, logistics and management of the supply chain, these technologies can also be essential in increasing efficiency. The most crucial e-commerce companies, manufacturing facilities, and companies of all sizes and niches have already begun to use AR and VR to move and send products. 

In the last few years, virtual reality has made notable progress with regards to computation, processing of data, sensors and related technology. Virtual reality in logistics and supply-chain increases product efficiency, lowers security incidents and increases employee commitment. Employees receive a realistic feeling of their work tasks and a work environment that leads to more efficient operating and confidence. When virtual reality technology develops, the cost is expected to decrease when the hardware and software performance increases. Therefore, the application of VR in logistics solutions and the supply chain has significant growth potential. With continued demand in the global supply chain, companies are looking to become more resilient, efficient and collaborative than ever. Investing in employee training and development is an excellent way to go, especially with programs that use future learning technologies, including virtual reality.


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Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

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As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

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Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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TECHNOLOGY

HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

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Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

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With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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