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Real-time Computing and Volvo

Volvo Car Corporation is a company that prides itself on providing the most modern, efficient, and safe vehicle for today’s consumer. Over the recent years they have incorporated cloud infrastructure into its network. Implementing and evaluating real-time information systems is used to transform data into knowledge, making them the competitive advantage over other car companies.

Volvo has integrated two difference cloud infrastructures within their networks. The first cloud they use is service cloud, which is a platform that supports customer service before and while customers are using their vehicles. Production and design also benefits from the service cloud because the information being transmitted is used to enhance a cars design and performance level. The second cloud Volvo uses is vendor hosting, they had to incorporate hosting since they had separate data warehousing for certain departments.

They decided to integrate the warehouses and add two more departments for the best possible data feedback (Toby, 2010) through Teradata, who consolidates warehouses into one place. Vendor hosting has also allowed Volvo to save money by not having to maintain, operate, or get licenses for doing their own warehousing. Incorporating these cloud infrastructures allows Volvo to receive accurate, fast, and reliable data for improvements or to check on previous improvements to ensure it is working properly.

Volvo uses real-time information systems by implanting hundreds of sensors and CPUs throughout the vehicle, from the brakes to the central locking system (2011, January). This information is looked at when the car comes in for service by uploading the information to a the big data challenges computer that goes to the data warehouse for analyzing. Doing this allows Volvo to make changes to the vehicles performance by upgrading the anti-lock brakes when a customer comes in for service.

They can also make the appropriate changes during the production of the same vehicles and when producing new future vehicles. Another real-time system Volvo does is it uses the data stored in the vehicles that have been in different kinds of accidents to see how it responded during the accident (2011, January), which allows them to see if the vehicle did what it was suppose to do. All car companies should incorporate this evaluation because using a crash dummy to see how a vehicle stands up to an accident is by no means the same as if someone is actually in an accident, where you can see exactly how the accident occurred, and how the driver handled it. Volvo incorporating these real-time systems allows them to transfer data into knowledge by giving them the information they need to make improvements or downgrades.

The knowledge they are receiving helps them to collaborate better within the business as well. The data received from the vehicles may be sent to the warehouse, where the analyst updates the different departments. This data is analyzed for any patterns, trends, or any good or bad teamwork between parts of the vehicle. This gives the different departments within the business an opportunity to work together for the greater good of the business. Production teams can brainstorm with manufacturing teams, who in turn, can brainstorm with quality assurance on where the vehicle went wrong and what needs to be done to correct the infractions. This data also helps Volvo make decisions in the future of their vehicles.

The Big Data strategy gives Volvo Car Corporation a competitive advantage over other car companies because they are using innovative technology in their vehicles. Throughout their business, from service technicians to the CEO, they are bringing quality service to consumers, by making decisions on upgrades; for the vehicles, for the business, and for the consumers. When a consumer researches a vehicle, they want to know they are receiving the most efficient and safe vehicle on the market. When that check engine light comes on it tells the driver, service maintenance is needed.

When the driver takes the car in for service, the car is telling Volvo, it needs an upgrade, or something is not functioning the way it should. No other car company is using technology in this way. Incorporating new data technology like this to a vehicle is essential to a consumer because if they can always receive upgrades to make their car perform better, it makes choosing Volvo that much earlier.