Enhancing your business potential through data and intelligent technology

Lisa Hunt

Lisa Hunt

Former Surface Business Group Lead

Read Time, 3 min.

“Whether it’s expanding into new markets faster by using AI and video conferencing to translate multiple languages in real time, providing augmented reality shopping experiences to customers, or benefitting from equipment that tells you when it’s about to fail or needs to be replaced, digital transformation is changing our world.” 

Throughout the course of your day, you’ll interact with many AI-powered tools, making use of different sources of data, without even knowing it. Whether it’s a recommended story in your newsfeed, a suggested song, or fraud detection protecting your credit card, AI and data already work hard to make your life better. They’re present in the Microsoft tools you use every day, too; from Cortana helping you to organise your schedule, to QuickStarter and Researcher & Editor, helping you work smarter in PowerPoint and Word.

While many think of data as lifeless ones and zeros, it is in fact all around us, and can be harnessed to deliver spectacular results. Drawing information from sources such as inventories, sales figures, social media, web traffic, machinery and devices, among many others, can help paint a previously inaccessible picture of your business and its processes. You just need the tools that enable you to gather and harness that data. With the right technology, you can spot trends, find new ways to cut costs, better manage stock and your supply chain, and help your employees to make better informed decisions.

From these useful applications, all the way to major initiatives, like the partnership between Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies, using AI to decode the immune system to diagnose and treat disease: the way we harness and manipulate data is changing our world for the better.

But the innovation doesn’t end there. With Microsoft Cognitive Services, all organisations have the opportunity to transform their business with data they already have and the power of AI. Through a collection of powerful Microsoft APIs, you can infuse your apps, websites and bots with intelligent algorithms to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret your user needs through natural methods of communication. With just a few lines of code, you can enhance the productivity of your staff or deliver exciting new experiences for your customers through apps that can learn, adapt and advance over time, across platforms and devices, all with the peace of mind that comes from using platforms and solutions with best-in-class security built in.

“By combining data and AI, the business opportunities are endless, from gaining a competitive edge and achieving faster growth to satisfying customers with experiences personalised to their needs and tastes. It extends from science to business the promises of “The 4th paradigm”, already published in 2009 by Microsoft Research.”  – Bruno Schroder, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Belgium & Luxembourg

Combining the computing power of the cloud with the data you already have and extending its application through AI provides a multitude of opportunities for your business to gain a competitive edge, unlock new levels of efficiency, and surprise and delight customers through more personalised experiences. For example, imagine if a website could handle customer queries automatically, suggest products and recommend shipping options, while seamlessly updating the product inventory and informing back-office staff when new stock was required. Taking it a step further, data collected by AI on the website could even inform retail staff as to a customer’s previous purchases and products of interest, helping them to provide a more holistic experience in-store and online.

Of course, preparing and handling data and developing applications for it through algorithms requires specific skills, and the time to begin developing them is now. Staff must be assured that this new technology and approach is crucial for success and not something to be feared, which is why it’s essential to engage your workforce, hiring and upskilling where necessary, so you are able to quickly embrace a modern approach to your business’s data and see benefit from AI.

With employees inspired, your data secured and managed, and your business prepared for the future, just imagine the possibilities.

Free AI Report: Artificial Intelligence in Ireland. How 277 major European companies benefit from AI

Discover how your Western European and Irish peers use AI to digitally transform their organisation

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

    Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

    Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education All teachers in the region now being equipped with Surface Pro laptops Transforming how education is provided in Northern Ireland over the next decade is a crucial goal for the region’s Education Authority.  To meet digital skills needs over that period and beyond, the authority is implementing a versatile […]

  • a person sitting at a desk in front of a computer

    Reimagining Uninterrupted Learning at Sacred Heart School in Tullamore

    As students and teachers found themselves away from the classroom environment and learning from home, schools were again adapting to different ways of learning to ensure quality education continues. For the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore, Co Offaly, the staff and student body were well prepared to deal with this upheaval and continued to deliver […]

Finance & Insurance

Government

  • Two people inside using Surface Go in office

    How technology is transforming the work of governments

    Governments have the ultimate responsibility to their citizens. People depend on the services they provide like no other institution. Whether in healthcare, education, business, roads, railways, water – it’s essential that government institutions are always at the forefront of social and digital trends. Cloud-powered technologies are playing a critical role in helping government agencies to […]

Healthcare

Manufacturing

  • a man holding a paint spray

    What we can learn from AkzoNobel’s digital transformation

    Savvy businesses are always on the lookout for ways to improve what they do and differentiate themselves from the competition. From organisational restructure to the development of entirely new business models, the quest for continuous improvement takes many forms. But one common factor in almost all modern business leaders’ plans is an emphasis on technological […]

  • 5 ways you know you’re ready for connected field service

    5 ways you know you’re ready for connected field service

    More and more often, customer satisfaction is becoming the key to success. Emergency repairs often lead to high costs and great frustration for customers, so, understandably, you want to do everything you can to avoid them. Data and the Internet of Things help make this task a lot easier by enabling you to offer a […]

Retail

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Kinetic Reimagining in-store advertising with AI

    Kinetic Reimagining in-store advertising with AI

    With Intouch.com’s AI solution using Microsoft Azure, Kinetic has experienced 39% sales increases for some brands.   Outdoor advertising is one of the oldest forms of advertising in the world, and over the years it has evolved and embraced new technology, moving from traditional billboards to digital, and more recently to smart digital. Now, an […]

Digital Transformation

  • a person sitting at a table

    Innovation in Challenging Times, Our first Microsoft Talk 

    Innovation in Challenging Times, Our first Microsoft Talk   When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and some people build windmills  Chinese proverb   I had the pleasure of opening our first virtual Microsoft Talk which explored Innovation in Challenging Times. It was a great session, with some stellar speakers like Margaret Burgraff, a Venture Capitalist who talked about what opportunities may […]

Press

  • Image of a man and woman smiling

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc It’s an exciting time to be working in the technology sector in Northern Ireland. More than ever before we’re seeing increased numbers of entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and indeed multinationals setting up in the North. Working together and learning from each other encourages a strong technology ecosystem and ultimately yields […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]