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AJAX & REA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Pat Romanski, Scott Hirsch

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Michigan Automotive Innovation Takes Flight with Cloud Computing

This week, Detroit’s North American Auto Show (NAIAS) celebrates connectivity with its own “Official NAIAS 2013 Mobile App” to enhance the auto show experience. Apps are the new chassis for delivering better consumer experience, whether it’s customized media experiences, real-time navigation systems, or customized automotive profiles allowing drivers to store seat position, temperature and other preferences.

Indeed, Ford just unveiled its SYNC AppLink API - the industry’s first automotive app developer program - and opened its OpenXC platform to researchers and developers to leverage big data to give “unheard-of access to vehicle data” according to Paul Mascarenas, Ford VP and CTO.

Many 2013 automotive unveils highlight connectivity, apps and customized driver experiences. “Entirely new application categories…can be explored - safety, energy efficiency, sharing, health; the list goes on,” continues Mascarenas.

What is the engine transforming the driving experience? Cloud computing.

Computer servers and applications, or “apps,” used to be much more dependent on specific hardware. Now, most apps are hosted in the cloud instead of on traditional physical servers. “Cloud computing sets app developers free by removing the headache of buying and maintaining hardware; instead, they can focus on the user experience,” explains Mike Klein, Co-CEO of Online Tech, a Michigan data center that offers cloud computing hosting for mission critical applications in the automotive and other industries.

“We’ve seen our clients leverage cloud computing to coordinate just-in-time manufacturing inventory, transportation logistics, and consumer services,” Klein reflects. But cloud computing isn’t just accelerating innovation; it’s protecting the availability and integrity of critical business processes and systems.

With huge fines and significant business loss as the results of disrupting the manufacturing workflow, automotive suppliers can’t afford any downtime. If the right piece isn’t there at the right time, a cascade of consequences can disrupt manufacturing. Cloud computing “protects just-in-time and mission critical services by scaling up resources quickly and allowing faster recovery should the unthinkable happen; it’s all about keeping your options open,” said Klein.

Indeed, the State of Michigan itself is leading the charge as the first state in the nation to define and publish a cloud computing strategy, dubbed “MiCloud.” The hybrid cloud strategy was designed to leverage “emerging cloud computing technologies...to deliver the necessary increase in IT agility.”

Online Tech will be speaking more about clouds and connectivity at the Comcast Business Class Pavilion located at the North American International Auto Show, Wednesday, January 16th, hosted at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan.

About the 2013 Auto Show Preview Days

NAIAS 2012 featured 42 vehicle debuts with 38 of those being worldwide introductions. Over 5,000 journalists attended from 58 countries. Nearly 30 percent of the journalists were international, thus helping to spread automotive news made at NAIAS 2012 to the world. Nearly 771,000 visitors passed through the doors during public days. NAIAS is uniquely positioned to be four shows in one – a media preview, an industry preview, a charity preview and a public show with a 9-day run. Connect with automotive professionals representing almost 2,000 companies and share insights with over 23,000 of your peers during industry preview days January 16-17, 2013.

About Online Tech

Online Tech, Michigan’s largest managed data center is becoming the largest in the Midwest, expanding into at least four new markets. The “Fort Knox’’ for data is known for complete redundancy - “backups for everything” - from multiple back-up generators and backup systems to locations straddling two power grids and even two CEOs.

Online Tech leads in securecompliant hosting services including cloud hostingmanaged dedicated servers, Michigan colocation and disaster recovery. Online Tech’s Midwest data centers assure mission critical applications are always available, comply with government & industry regulations, and continue operating after a disaster. Backed by independent HIPAAPCISSAE 16, and SOC 2, Online Tech delivers the security, privacy, and availability expected from world class data center operators. For more information, call (877)740-5028, email [email protected] or visit www.onlinetech.com.

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