ŠKODA AUTO’s digital transformation is gaining momentum and with the new strategic program AccelerateIT, the car manufacturer reinforces its trust in Microsoft. Employees from the Czech brand’s IT team and other departments are being instructed and certified by Microsoft on working with the Azure cloud platform, data and artificial intelligence (AI). Microsoft will also provide ŠKODA AUTO with special tools and free support from Azure specialists for cloud architecture, data and AI technologies.

ŠKODA AUTO has long been one of the pillars of the Czech economy, currently employing more than 42,000 people worldwide. As it runs over 100 applications on Microsoft Azure, ŠKODA AUTO is already a significant user of this platform within Volkswagen Group and has many years of experience.

Cloud-based AI solutions already help ŠKODA AUTO, for example, to determine how to optimally load the truck containers at the main plant in Mladá Boleslav. Microsoft Azure therefore assists in saving shipping costs and reducing CO2 emissions. Every AI decision to be taken considers an extraordinary number of parameters, which requires very high computing power. Even the smallest inaccuracy could lead to logistical issues, so there is very little room for error. It is crucial to make use of AI. ŠKODA’s car configurator also runs on Azure and is supported by Microsoft data centres in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia as the application is used by people from all over the world.

Microsoft supports AccelerateIT with several main objectives. First, Azure is to serve as a platform for processes and business models that are based on data and AI. The digital customer services created on the cloud-based platform are to assist in setting ŠKODA AUTO apart from its competitors. Developing ŠKODA AUTO’s Competence Centre for Azure further, as well as migrating and updating applications, is the second objective. This will enable continuous connected IT services without any downtimes, based on secure and legally compliant data processing. The third focus area is to create a new and stimulating working environment, so that ŠKODA AUTO will be perceived as the best IT employer in central and eastern Europe. Making self-service platforms – such as Power BI (business intelligence) to create management reports and chatbots to provide all business areas with modern support – available centrally and in a standardized format is the fourth objective.