One reason why Alibaba has been so successful for such a long time is the fact that it keeps innovating relentlessly. Here are three recent examples - the first two just from last week:
WUYING - a Cloud Device for the Rest of us:
“Wuying is not only designed for home-use but can also be used as a replacement for computers across government agencies and enterprises. All you have to do is connect it to a screen, then you can use it to do anything you would use a PC to do,” Alibaba Cloud president Jeff Zhang said during the online event.
“With the evolution of cloud technology, everyone will have a cloud computer. You can purchase resources anytime you want, scale the computing power as you need, and release the resources whenever you are done with them,”
XUNXI - The Future of the Digital Factory:
Since then, New Retail became such an intense focus of Alibaba’s work that they more or less stopped using the term, because it is considered old by now.
Next up New Manufacturing - which got a big push last Thursday when Alibaba revealed a completely re-designed factory concept called Xunxi (fast rhino).
While Industry 4.0 more or less is trying to digitize established manufacturing processes, New Manufacturing is re-inventing it the same way New Retail has re-invented retail.
“When we started our digital factory initiative, the whole driving force was about consumption change
,” Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang said at the WEF event
. “How can we upgrade the supply to meet the quick-changing demands of customers and, most importantly, how can we share the insights of customer behaviors on the digital platforms and create new products fitting to the customer needs
Unlike traditional manufacturing, which takes the "made-to-stock” approach, Xunxi is designed for “made-to-sell” production informed by consumer insights and real-time market trends aggregated from the Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms.
Technology is also leveraged throughout the factory to streamline the production process. For example, there’s an AI-driven advanced planning system that helps with scheduling and adjusting workflows to ensure maximum efficiency. By processing real-time feeds gathered from thousands of IoT touchpoints across the manufacturing floor, the system can alert staff and operators of any issues that arise so that they can be solved on the spot.