What’s new in Azure Information & AI: Empowering retailers to streamline operations and speed up time to worth | Azure Weblog and Updates

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 Accomplice 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 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 developments, the retail trade 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 higher enterprise agility essential to thrive in it. Because of this, like Majid Al Futtaim Retail, they automate tedious processes so staff can deal with higher-value duties. Like Grupo Bimbo, they unify disparate knowledge 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, knowledge is seen as an accelerant for development, powering extra personalised buyer experiences, cost-efficient provide chains, and proactive responses to market developments.

Enterprise agility requires folks, processes, and applied sciences to work in concord, and to align on how large quantities of knowledge are managed, analyzed, and actioned to reply to market calls for. More and more, these efforts deal with driving sustainable development that limits carbon emissions, for instance through the use of machine studying to extra precisely forecast demand to cut 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 fitting 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 we provide shine. With managed databases like Cosmos DB, analytics providers like Azure Synapse, and main AI choices, retailers can make the most of the “by design” integration the Microsoft Clever Information Platform affords, which implies they’re able to make investments extra time in creating worth slightly than integrating and managing their knowledge property.

The Microsoft Clever Information Platform got here to life by means 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 may learn extra about their talks on our Business weblog.

Microsoft additionally met with prospects 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 can assist make resilient retail a actuality.

Extensive 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 routinely shared with the fitting choice makers by means of instruments like Azure Information Explorer and Energy BI. They’re in a position to observe their provide chain knowledge in actual time and use predictive AI to cut back prices. They’re additionally in a position to govern their knowledge property from a single software one pane of glass utilizing Microsoft Purview.

Subsequent, Extensive World Importers faucets into the ability of Azure AI to construct a extra linked buyer expertise. They use Azure Type Recognizer to detect and redeem promotional affords. Azure Cognitive Search helps prospects discover product info extra shortly by recognizing their search intent and helps WWI ship extra personalised suggestions. Pre-built AI capabilities, similar to speech recognition and laptop imaginative and prescient, additionally differentiate the procuring 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 overall 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 modern 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 fulfill buyer expectations with growing precision, from offering personalised suggestions on-line to restocking stock primarily based on laptop imaginative and prescient in bodily shops. Consumers count on the know-how 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 right now, we’re excited to announce the overall 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 large momentum inside the retail trade, given its capability to routinely and immediately scale when site 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 embody the power to do full textual content searches in Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra by means of a local integration with Azure Cognitive Search, and help for GraphQL and REST by means of 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

Help 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 prospects trying to retailer, search, and index product catalogs and shopper knowledge 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 available in the market for offering enterprise-scale seek for app improvement. Organizations profit, regardless of the trade, however Cognitive Search is an exceptionally highly effective software for retailers, serving to them to shortly discover and analyze knowledge associated to buyer habits, gross sales, and stock. It can be used to personalize the procuring expertise for particular person prospects primarily based on their previous interactions and preferences.

Study extra and obtain the report.

Clients innovating with Azure Information & AI

I’d like to shut my inaugural “what’s new” weblog publish with my favourite means of constructing all the things I’ve lined above actionable—by sharing examples of our prospects succeeding. I share them as a means of serving to spark the understanding—perhaps even slightly creativeness—in order that others can higher envision how this superb new Information & AI know-how 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.


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

Mexico—The worldwide baking firm carries out lots of of 1000’s 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 inside and exterior knowledge, enhance enterprise agility, and democratize insights for elevated productiveness throughout the group. Learn the total Case Examine.


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 shortly turned the Nordic’s largest on-line market. When CDON realized legacy applied sciences have 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 person expertise on their web site and enhance personalization for higher efficiency. Learn the total CDON Case Examine.


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 primarily based on promoting patterns all through the day.


How Fashable reimagines trend design with Azure Machine Studying and PyTorch

Portugal—Utilizing Azure Machine Studying, Fashable created an AI software that generates unique clothes designs to shortly get a pulse on client preferences. This helps trend 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 a long time of expertise working with the world’s largest loyalty applications. To effectively govern the exponential development 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 deal with uncovering insights for shoppers. Learn the total WTW Case Examine.

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