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 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 galvanizing information 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 impression 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 developments, the retail business continues to be on the entrance line of adaptive innovation. And slightly than making an attempt to foretell the longer term, retailers are working to attain better enterprise agility essential to thrive in it. Which means that, like Majid Al Futtaim Retail, they automate tedious processes so staff can give attention to higher-value duties. Like Grupo Bimbo, they unify disparate information factors in actual time in order that staff can entry a central supply of reality 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, information is seen as an accelerant for development, powering extra customized buyer experiences, cost-efficient provide chains, and proactive responses to market developments.

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 reply to 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 choices, however it may be difficult to make sure these applied sciences converse to one another in the appropriate method on the proper time on a worldwide scale. That is the place Azure and the Microsoft Clever Knowledge Platform—the outline we use to check with the entire 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 provides, which suggests they’re able to make investments extra time in creating worth slightly than integrating and managing their information property.

The Microsoft Clever Knowledge Platform got here to life by way of 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 Trade weblog.

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

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

Subsequent, Large World Importers faucets into the facility of Azure AI to construct a extra related buyer expertise. They use Azure Kind Recognizer to detect and redeem promotional provides. Azure Cognitive Search helps clients discover product info extra rapidly by recognizing their search intent and helps WWI ship extra customized suggestions. Pre-built AI capabilities, comparable to speech recognition and pc imaginative and prescient, additionally differentiate the buying expertise and supply a extra accessible stream.

The final 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 supplies a commercialization platform for companies to leverage superior AI fashions like GPT-3.5, Codex, and DALL*E to create revolutionary functions. Clients 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 permits retailers to satisfy buyer expectations with growing precision, from offering customized suggestions on-line to restocking stock based mostly on pc imaginative and prescient in bodily shops. Buyers anticipate the expertise behind their retail expertise to use information 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 patron’s expertise in addition to construct belief and optimistic 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 super momentum inside the retail business, given its capacity to routinely and immediately scale when visitors is unpredictable with out sacrificing efficiency or price effectivity. Microsoft runs each the Home windows retailer and Xbox Reside 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 information shops in Azure Cosmos DB. These embody the power to do full textual content searches in Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra by way of a local integration with Azure Cognitive Search, and assist for GraphQL and REST by way of Knowledge API builder.

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

JSON assist for Azure Cache for Redis Enterprise usually obtainable

Assist for JSON paperwork in Azure Cache for Redis Enterprise tiers, delivered by way of 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 properly suited to retail clients trying to retailer, search, and index product catalogs and shopper information by way of a single atomic operation.

To study extra on Azure Cache for Redis Enterprise and the RedisJSON module please try 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 varied distributors out there for offering enterprise-scale seek for app growth. Organizations profit, regardless of the business, however Cognitive Search is an exceptionally highly effective device for retailers, serving to them to rapidly discover and analyze information 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.

Clients innovating with Azure Knowledge & AI

I’d like to shut my inaugural “what’s new” weblog publish with my favourite method of constructing every part I’ve lined above actionable—by sharing examples of our clients succeeding. I share them as a method of serving to spark the understanding—perhaps even a bit 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 look ahead to sharing extra insights and inspiration within the months forward.


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

Mexico—The worldwide baking firm carries out a whole lot of 1000’s of transactions globally and wanted a method for collaborators to rapidly 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 information, 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 grow to be a market chief

Sweden—CDON started as a small on-line retailer of CDs, DVDs, and video games and rapidly grew to become the Nordic’s largest on-line market. When CDON realized legacy applied sciences had been holding it again, the corporate appeared 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 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 information 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 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 unique clothes designs to rapidly get a pulse on client preferences. This helps vogue firms perceive buyer demand, get to market quicker, and scale 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 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 development in information for these applications and apply improvements in superior analytics and AI, WTW moved its workload to Azure. Now their staff have extra time to give attention to uncovering insights for shoppers. Learn the complete WTW Case Research.

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