June 17, 2024


The brand new yr brings alternative for considerate reflection in regards to the previous yr, each personally and professionally. 2022 was a yr of firsts for me—first time having clam chowder at Pike Place Market as an area, first time going looking for heels with my daughter, and first time delivering an Azure keynote at Encourage as a Microsoft worker when pre-COVID-19, I used to be a Companion listening within the viewers. And right here is one other first; the beginning of a brand new weblog sequence the place I plan to share extra about noteworthy and provoking knowledge and AI improvements we’re releasing throughout Microsoft. Given the Nationwide Retail Federation’s Massive Present this week, I’ll additionally spotlight how these improvements affect retail.

Let’s discover what’s new for Azure Knowledge & AI this month:

Microsoft underscores resilient retail at NRF

A bellwether for financial and societal traits, the retail trade continues to be on the entrance line of adaptive innovation. And quite than making an attempt to foretell the long run, retailers are working to attain higher enterprise agility essential to thrive in it. Which means, like Majid Al Futtaim Retail, they automate tedious processes so staff can concentrate on higher-value duties. Like Grupo Bimbo, they unify disparate knowledge factors in actual time in order that staff can entry a central supply of fact when and the place they want it. And, like CCC Group, they keep laser-focused on delivering differentiated buyer experiences to construct loyal followers. Throughout every of those organizations, knowledge is seen as an accelerant for progress, powering extra customized buyer experiences, cost-efficient provide chains, and proactive responses to market traits.

Enterprise agility requires individuals, processes, and applied sciences to work in concord, and to align on how huge quantities of information are managed, analyzed, and actioned to answer market calls for. More and more, these efforts concentrate on driving sustainable progress that limits carbon emissions, for instance through the use of machine studying to extra precisely forecast demand to scale back extra stock and waste.

We all know cloud applied sciences like databases, containers, and AI can allow extra correct choices, however it may be difficult to make sure these applied sciences communicate to one another in the proper means on the proper time on a worldwide scale. That is the place Azure and the Microsoft Clever Knowledge Platform—the outline we use to discuss with all the Knowledge & AI Azure services we provide shine. With managed databases like Cosmos DB, analytics providers like Azure Synapse, and main AI choices, retailers can reap the benefits of the “by design” integration the Microsoft Clever Knowledge Platform presents, which suggests they can make investments extra time in creating worth quite than integrating and managing their knowledge property.

The Microsoft Clever Knowledge Platform got here to life by new immersive demo experiences this yr at NRF and I’m going to briefly spotlight what we showcased on the convention. Earlier this week at NRF, Microsoft’s Alysa Taylor and Shelley Bransten spoke on the subject of Resilient Retail and shared examples of organizations digitizing their companies to do extra with much less. You’ll be able to learn extra about their talks on our Business weblog.

Microsoft additionally met with clients at our NRF sales space to debate methods for making sense of all their knowledge. For instance, these two demos spotlight how tight integrations between knowledge, analytics, and AI will help make resilient retail a actuality.

Vast World Importers (WWI), a worldwide grocery store chain, needs to maximise the worth of their knowledge property. Through the use of Azure Synapse pipelines with Cosmos DB, they get actual time insights that are robotically shared with the proper determination makers by instruments like Azure Knowledge Explorer and Energy BI. They’re in a position to observe their provide chain knowledge in actual time and use predictive AI to scale back prices. They’re additionally in a position to govern their knowledge property from a single utility one pane of glass utilizing Microsoft Purview.

Subsequent, Vast World Importers faucets into the ability of Azure AI to construct a extra linked buyer expertise. They use Azure Kind Recognizer to detect and redeem promotional presents. Azure Cognitive Search helps clients discover product data extra shortly by recognizing their search intent and helps WWI ship extra customized suggestions. Pre-built AI capabilities, resembling speech recognition and pc imaginative and prescient, additionally differentiate the buying expertise and supply a extra accessible movement.

The overall availability of Azure OpenAI Service 

As Eric Boyd talked about in his weblog, we introduced the final availability of Azure OpenAI Service as a part of our ongoing partnership with OpenAI. Azure OpenAI Service offers a commercialization platform for companies to leverage superior AI fashions like GPT-Three.5, Codex, and DALL*E to create modern functions. Prospects of all sizes throughout industries are utilizing Azure OpenAI Service to do extra with much less, enhance experiences for finish customers, and streamline operational efficiencies. 

Microsoft Accountable AI Dashboard now out there

The digitization of retail permits retailers to fulfill buyer expectations with growing precision, from offering customized suggestions on-line to restocking stock based mostly on pc imaginative and prescient in bodily shops. Customers count on the expertise behind their retail expertise to use knowledge and AI responsibly. In December, we started rolling out our new Accountable AI dashboard in Azure Machine Studying, which incorporates capabilities like equity evaluation, interpretability, error evaluation, and causal inferencing. And at present, we’re excited to announce the final availability of the Microsoft Accountable AI dashboard. Retailers can leverage the Accountable AI dashboard to optimize the consumer’s expertise in addition to construct belief and constructive notion for his or her manufacturers.

See how one can be taught extra about Accountable AI.

Full textual content search capabilities come to Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra

Azure Cosmos DB has seen great momentum throughout the retail trade, given its capacity to robotically and immediately scale when visitors is unpredictable with out sacrificing efficiency or price effectivity. Microsoft runs each the Home windows retailer and Xbox Dwell on Azure Cosmos DB for this very goal. This month, we’re saying a number of efficiency enhancements to Azure Cosmos DB to make it simpler and quicker for builders to question knowledge shops in Azure Cosmos DB. These embody the flexibility to do full textual content searches in Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra by a local integration with Azure Cognitive Search, and help for GraphQL and REST by Knowledge API builder.

For extra technical element about these and different updates to Azure Cosmos DB, go to our developer weblog.

JSON help for Azure Cache for Redis Enterprise typically out there

Help for JSON paperwork in Azure Cache for Redis Enterprise tiers, delivered through the RedisJSON module, has been made typically out there as of November 2022. This turns Azure Cache for Redis Enterprise right into a high-performance NoSQL doc retailer and drives effectivity for builders to modernize their functions. The brand new RedisJSON module replace is properly suited to retail clients seeking to retailer, search, and index product catalogs and shopper knowledge through a single atomic operation.

To be taught extra on Azure Cache for Redis Enterprise and the RedisJSON module please take a look at the weblog.

Microsoft named a Chief within the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Perception Engines

In December, Microsoft was named a frontrunner within the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Perception Engines, which evaluates the capabilities of varied distributors out there for offering enterprise-scale seek for app improvement. Organizations profit, irrespective of the trade, however Cognitive Search is an exceptionally highly effective instrument for retailers, serving to them to shortly discover and analyze knowledge associated to buyer conduct, gross sales, and stock. It may also be used to personalize the buying expertise for particular person clients based mostly on their previous interactions and preferences.

Be taught extra and obtain the report.

Prospects innovating with Azure Knowledge & AI

I’d like to shut my inaugural “what’s new” weblog publish with my favourite means of creating every thing I’ve coated above actionable—by sharing examples of our clients succeeding. I share them as a means of serving to spark the understanding—perhaps even somewhat creativeness—in order that others can higher envision how this superb new Knowledge & AI expertise can be utilized in their very own organizations.

I hope you loved studying this month’s version of what’s new in Azure Knowledge & AI. We sit up for sharing extra insights and inspiration within the months forward.


Grupo Bimbo transforms the info evaluation of economic areas with Microsoft Options

Mexico—The worldwide baking firm carries out tons of of hundreds of transactions globally and wanted a means for collaborators to shortly entry and act on insights to enhance gross sales. By adopting Energy BI and Azure Synapse, Grupo Bimbo was in a position to unify inner and exterior knowledge, improve enterprise agility, and democratize insights for elevated productiveness throughout the group. Learn the total Case Examine.


How on-line market CDON used AI to turn out to be a market chief

Sweden—CDON started as a small on-line retailer of CDs, DVDs, and video games and shortly grew to become the Nordic’s largest on-line market. When CDON realized legacy applied sciences had been holding it again, the corporate seemed to Azure to speed up its innovation and scale. Now their builders use Azure Cognitive Search, Azure DevOps, and different providers to higher perceive the consumer expertise on their web site and improve personalization for higher efficiency. Learn the total CDON Case Examine.


How AEON Group elevated earnings and maximized stock with knowledge and AI

Japan—Since opening its first retailer in December 2005, Maibasuketto, a member of the AEON Group’s grocery store enterprise, has expanded its footprint at a tempo of 100 shops yearly. To make sure its progress was sustainable, the corporate launched into an initiative to optimize retailer ordering and operations utilizing Azure Cognitive Providers, maximizing provide chain and stock based mostly on promoting patterns all through the day.


How Fashable reimagines vogue design with Azure Machine Studying and PyTorch

Portugal—Utilizing Azure Machine Studying, Fashable created an AI utility that generates authentic clothes designs to shortly get a pulse on client preferences. This helps vogue corporations perceive buyer demand, get to market quicker, and cut back clothes waste by solely producing what they know will promote. Learn the total Fashable Case Examine.


WTW accelerates supply time with Azure Migration and Analytics

United Kingdom—Working in additional than 140 nations with over 40,000 staff, Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has many years of expertise working with the world’s largest loyalty applications. To effectively govern the exponential progress in knowledge for these applications and apply improvements in superior analytics and AI, WTW moved its workload to Azure. Now their staff have extra time to concentrate on uncovering insights for purchasers. Learn the total WTW Case Examine.


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