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2015 Quality Summit Session Spotlight: Driving Product Quality Management across the Consumer Experience Lifecycle

An educational session by Microsoft’s Chris Harries will explore the future role of quality in delivering a cloud-based driving experience.

Vehicles have evolved from a mode of transport to being a platform for enabling a set of integrated experiences — and these days, the experience enablers are often apps and data delivered via the cloud, updated "at consumer speed" throughout the life of the vehicle.

Chris Harries, director, business development at Microsoft, says that for quality to be the guardian of the consumer experience, the quality scope has to expand in two dimensions: (1) to cover these apps and data, and (2) to do this not just in the launch configuration but continually over the product's lifetime.

A speaker at AIAG’s upcoming Quality Summit on September 22-23, 2015, Harries will give attendees insights from Microsoft’s journey from a software company to a services company living in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Harries has over 20 years of experience in delivering solutions and services to the manufacturing and automotive sectors, from OEMs to dealerships, and from product engineering to payroll, developed through an international career spanning strategy development, project delivery, new business start-up, global industry coordination and acquisition integration.

In this interview with AIAG, Harries shares the highlights of what attendees to his Quality Summit session can expect to learn.

AIAG: What can you share that will get people intrigued about your session at the Quality Summit?

Harries: Microsoft has been in the automotive business for decades — really, since the company was born, we’ve been delivering technology solutions to all businesses that develop and sell cars. And that means we’ve observed the industry changing.

Most people don’t buy cars for their engines anymore, and it’s impossible to get a sustainable competitive advantage through design. The battlefield today is in the customer experience with your brand.

The quality organization has always been the guardian of vehicle quality, but today’s customer experience is much more than that. The customer experience is now enabled mostly through software, and that’s 24-7, 365 days a year, for the lifetime of the vehicle.

That means OEMs and suppliers have to start thinking and acting as cloud-based software companies — the exact journey that Microsoft is on. We used to sell software, but today, we deliver services. My Quality Summit presentation is going to draw parallels between the auto industry — now that the connected car has taken over — and the journey that Microsoft is on.

AIAG: What can attendees expect to gain from the presentation?

Harries: A better understanding of the journey ahead for the automotive industry and an awareness of how new technology tools can help with the challenges the industry will face. And we’re going to talk about the specific types of change coming their way.

AIAG: What impact will the cloud have on automotive quality, and how will it affect the job of the automotive quality professional?

Harries:  We see two impacts: (1) Connecting cars to the cloud to enable delivery of personalized, context-aware services, and (2) updating these services “at consumer speed.” This makes the concept of a vehicle much more complex, putting new demands on the quality organization.

Yet, with the cloud we can process much more data, much faster. We can look at data on the move or at rest. We can remotely update technology in the car. Consequently the quality organization gets new tools to help manage the shift from a product focus to one that’s all about enabling the experience.

To hear Chris Harries’ presentation on “Driving Product Quality Management across the Consumer Experience Lifecycle,” register for the Quality Summit online today. You can also view the full 2015 Quality Summit agenda here. This popular annual event will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.

Attendees at the 2015 Quality Summit on September 22 – 23, 2015, will also learn about emerging engineering and quality processes, methods, and tools that have the capability to increase the durability, reliability, and safety of new parts, systems, and vehicles.







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