4 Key Insights Into the Intersection of Manufacturing and Technology in Silicon Valley

Verizon's West Coast Innovation Center in San Francisco was the setting for a unique panel discussion about how the intersection of manufacturing and technology is impacting Silicon Valley.

Verizon's West Coast Innovation Center in San Francisco was the setting for a unique panel discussion about how the intersection of manufacturing and technology is impacting Silicon Valley. Co-hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers' D.A.T.A. (Driving the Agenda for Technology Advancement) Center initiative, the event brought together experts from leading companies and guests from local manufacturing and technology organizations.

Scot Allen with Verizon's Manufacturing practice moderated the discussion with Intel's Shahram Mehraban, Trimble's Doug Brent and Teradata Corporation's Andrew Coleman. The impact of advanced technologies for 21st century manufacturing was the key topic of conversation and each panelist candidly shared his thoughts on the changing market landscape.

Here are four insights from the discussion:

The 'SMAC Stack': Technology is helping to fuel a manufacturing comeback in the U.S. and it's being led by SMAC - social, mobile, analytics and cloud. The SMAC Stack is becoming an essential technology tool kit for enterprises that want to drive higher customer engagement and growth opportunities. The need to innovate is forcing cultural change within a historically conservative "if it's not broke don't fix it" industry, and SMAC is helping manufacturing leaders drive efficiencies and change.

The Internet of Things (IoT): Amidst an aging workforce and looming talent shortage issue, IoT is allowing manufacturers to automate more processes, saving the more sophisticated functions for a higher skilled labor pool

New Career Opportunities: An increase in leading-edge technology opportunities in Silicon Valley is helping redefine what it means to have a career in the manufacturing industry. Hard hats and dirty hands are no longer a job requirement. Manufacturers also must compete for intellectual capital (a fancy way of saying talent) alongside industries that are perceived to be more lucrative, such as financial services. In addition, a challenge to working in Silicon Valley is the high cost of living which means that compensation must be generous.

Capital investment has been a barrier to adopting advanced technologies in the manufacturing market. To penetrate this market, technology vendors must sell solutions at the right price point and tailor to the individual manufacturer all while maintaining reliability.

Stay tuned for an event highlights video on the VES News Center.

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