German car giant Volkswagen teams up with Amazon to build ‘industrial cloud’

German car giant Volkswagen announced Wednesday a long-term partnership with US technology firm Amazon to develop an online platform connecting its factories and increase productivity.

German car giant Volkswagen teams up with Amazon to build 'industrial cloud'
Photo: DPA

The system, dubbed 'Volkswagen Industrial Cloud', “will bring together the data from all machinery, plants and systems at the 122 factories within the Volkswagen group”, including management schedule software and warehouses, said the manufacturer in a statement.

Currently, the IT infrastructure differs from factory to factory. The 'cloud' should be deployed by the end of 2019, said the world's largest car manufacturer, adding it wants to “optimise production processes and increase productivity”.

Long term, it is hoped the system will integrate Volkswagen's global supply chain, which involves 30,000 locations and more than 1,500 suppliers.

Increasing productivity is one of the goals of Volkswagen's cost savings plan as it embarks on an expensive transition to electric mobility.

SEE ALSO: VW says it can't rule out job cuts amid plans for electric new start

The axing of between 3,000 and 5,000 net jobs within the group's main VW brand by 2023, announced earlier this month, is also expected to boost margins.

The group is already cooperating with computer giant Microsoft to create a separate network, called the 'Volkswagen Automotive Cloud' that brings together all of VW's online services, from software updates to carsharing.

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Spotify reports strong growth in users as it announces price rise

Spotify on Tuesday reported a bigger-than-expected rise in active users at the end of the second quarter, a day after the music streaming giant announced price increases for its premium service.

Spotify reports strong growth in users as it announces price rise

The Swedish company, which is listed on the New York stock exchange, said it’s total active users rose 27 percent to 551 million year-on-year, or 21 million more than it expected. The number of paying subscribers also rose, with a 17 percent jump to 220 million — three million more than expected.

On Monday, the company announced it was raising its prices for premium subscribers “across a number of markets around the world,” following in the footsteps of similar moves by competing music services from Apple and Amazon.

Despite the boost in users, Spotify reported a bigger operating loss of 247 million euros ($273 million) in the second quarter, compared to a loss of 194 million euros for the same period a year earlier.

The company said it was “primarily impacted by charges related to our actions to streamline operations and reduce costs.”

In early June, Spotify announced it would be cutting some 200 positions working with podcasts.

That move came after a January announcement that Spotify was cutting around 600 jobs — equalling about six percent of its workforce — following similar moves by other tech industry giants.

Spotify has invested heavily since its launch to fuel growth with expansions into new markets and, in later years, exclusive content such as
podcasts. It has invested over a billion dollars into podcasts alone.

In 2017, the company had around 3,000 staff members, more than tripling the figure to around 9,800 at the end on 2022.

The company has never posted a full-year net profit and only occasionally quarterly profits despite its success in the online music market.