Technology specialist Lectra is building on its collaboration with software provider Microsoft in a move it says will help to bring more powerful solutions to fashion industry players. 

The commercial and technological partnership between the two brands began in 2015, when Lectra chose Microsoft Azure as the cloud computing platform for the development of some of its solutions such as its Kubix Link fashion PLM software.

The latest agreement stipulates a collaborative approach to their customers in the fashion industry in France, Italy, as well as internationally.

Lectra designs smart industrial solutions that help brands, manufacturers and retailers develop, produce and market their products. The company has been using Industry 4.0 technologies since 2015, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and cloud technology. 

"Microsoft Azure provided us with the scalability, security and flexibility we needed to innovate and reduce time-to-market," explains Maximilien Abadie, chief strategy officer at Lectra.

Today, Lectra's ambition is to "become a key player of Industry 4.0 in the fashion, automotive and furniture industries by 2030," adds Abadie. The company intends to achieve this objective by harnessing the full potential of new technologies, in partnership with Microsoft, with a view to constantly providing innovations.

"Combined with the power of Microsoft Azure, the Kubix Link platform offers new opportunities to fashion brands in terms of agility, collaboration, and visibility. It allows us to accelerate the emergence of Industry 4.0 through the winning combination of product lifecycle management (PLM), product information management (PIM) and digital asset management (DAM) solutions," adds Agnès Van de Walle, director of One Commercial Partner, Microsoft France.

Earlier this week, Lectra announced plans to acquire US rival Gerber Technology in a EUR300m (US$360.8m) deal that will enable the two companies to hone their software, equipment, data and services to provide "the ultimate Industry 4.0" offering for the fashion sector.