The brand new yr brings alternative for considerate reflection concerning 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 Associate listening within the viewers. And right here is one other first; the beginning of a brand new weblog collection 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 Huge Present this week, I’ll additionally spotlight how these improvements influence retail.
Let’s discover what’s new for Azure Information & AI this month:
Microsoft underscores resilient retail at NRF
A bellwether for financial and societal traits, the retail business continues to be on the entrance line of adaptive innovation. And reasonably than attempting to foretell the long run, retailers are working to realize larger enterprise agility essential to thrive in it. Which means that, like Majid Al Futtaim Retail, they automate tedious processes so workers can give attention to higher-value duties. Like Grupo Bimbo, they unify disparate knowledge factors in actual time in order that workers 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 development, powering extra personalised 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 large quantities of information are managed, analyzed, and actioned to answer market calls for. More and more, these efforts give attention to driving sustainable development that limits carbon emissions, for instance by utilizing 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 selections, however it may be difficult to make sure these applied sciences communicate to one another in the appropriate means on the proper time on a world scale. That is the place Azure and the Microsoft Clever Information Platform—the outline we use to consult with the entire Information & AI Azure services and products we provide shine. With managed databases like Cosmos DB, analytics companies like Azure Synapse, and main AI choices, retailers can reap the benefits of the “by design” integration the Microsoft Clever Information Platform provides, which implies they can make investments extra time in creating worth reasonably than integrating and managing their knowledge property.
The Microsoft Clever Information 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 may 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.
Broad World Importers (WWI), a world grocery store chain, desires to maximise the worth of their knowledge property. By utilizing Azure Synapse pipelines with Cosmos DB, they get actual time insights that are mechanically shared with the appropriate choice makers by instruments like Azure Information Explorer and Energy BI. They’re capable of observe their provide chain knowledge in actual time and use predictive AI to scale back prices. They’re additionally capable of govern their knowledge property from a single software one pane of glass utilizing Microsoft Purview.
Subsequent, Broad World Importers faucets into the facility of Azure AI to construct a extra linked buyer expertise. They use Azure Kind Recognizer to detect and redeem promotional provides. Azure Cognitive Search helps clients discover product data extra shortly by recognizing their search intent and helps WWI ship extra personalised suggestions. Pre-built AI capabilities, resembling speech recognition and pc imaginative and prescient, additionally differentiate the procuring expertise and supply a extra accessible circulation.
The overall availability of Azure OpenAI Service
As Eric Boyd talked about in his weblog, we introduced the overall availability of Azure OpenAI Service as a part of our ongoing partnership with OpenAI. Azure OpenAI Service gives a commercialization platform for companies to leverage superior AI fashions like GPT-3.5, Codex, and DALL*E to create revolutionary 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 obtainable
The digitization of retail allows retailers to satisfy buyer expectations with growing precision, from offering personalised suggestions on-line to restocking stock based mostly on pc imaginative and prescient in bodily shops. Consumers 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 immediately, we’re excited to announce the overall 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 study extra about Accountable AI.
Full textual content search capabilities come to Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra
Azure Cosmos DB has seen large momentum inside the retail business, given its potential to mechanically and immediately scale when visitors is unpredictable with out sacrificing efficiency or value effectivity. Microsoft runs each the Home windows retailer and Xbox Dwell on Azure Cosmos DB for this very function. 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 embrace 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 Information 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 usually obtainable
Assist for JSON paperwork in Azure Cache for Redis Enterprise tiers, delivered through the RedisJSON module, has been made usually obtainable 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 nicely suited to retail clients trying to retailer, search, and index product catalogs and shopper knowledge through a single atomic operation.
To study 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 pacesetter within the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Perception Engines, which evaluates the capabilities of assorted distributors available in the market for offering enterprise-scale seek for app growth. Organizations profit, regardless of the business, however Cognitive Search is an exceptionally highly effective instrument for retailers, serving to them to shortly discover and analyze knowledge associated to buyer habits, gross sales, and stock. It may also be used to personalize the procuring expertise for particular person clients based mostly on their previous interactions and preferences.
Be taught extra and obtain the report.
Prospects innovating with Azure Information & AI
I’d like to shut my inaugural “what’s new” weblog submit 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 a little bit creativeness—in order that others can higher envision how this superb new Information & 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 Information & AI. We look ahead to sharing extra insights and inspiration within the months forward. When you’ve got a query or concept you’d like to listen to perspective on, please share within the feedback part.
Grupo Bimbo transforms the information 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 capable of unify inside and exterior knowledge, enhance enterprise agility, and democratize insights for elevated productiveness throughout the group. Learn the complete Case Research.
How on-line market CDON used AI to develop into 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 companies to raised perceive the person expertise on their web site and enhance personalization for higher efficiency. Learn the complete CDON Case Research.
How AEON Group elevated income 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 development was sustainable, the corporate launched into an initiative to optimize retailer ordering and operations utilizing Azure Cognitive Companies, maximizing provide chain and stock based mostly on promoting patterns all through the day. Learn the complete AEON Group Case Research.
How Fashable reimagines trend design with Azure Machine Studying and PyTorch
Portugal—Utilizing Azure Machine Studying, Fashable created an AI software that generates authentic clothes designs to shortly get a pulse on client preferences. This helps trend firms perceive buyer demand, get to market quicker, and cut back clothes waste by solely producing what they know will promote. Learn the complete Fashable Case Research.
WTW accelerates supply time with Azure Migration and Analytics
United Kingdom—Working in additional than 140 international locations with over 40,000 workers, Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has many years of expertise working with the world’s largest loyalty packages. To effectively govern the exponential development in knowledge for these packages and apply improvements in superior analytics and AI, WTW moved its workload to Azure. Now their workers have extra time to give attention to uncovering insights for shoppers. Learn the complete WTW Case Research.