Enhancing your business potential through data and intelligent technology

Leentje Chavatte

Leentje Chavatte

Microsoft, Data & AI and Digital Transformation

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 Western Europe - How 277 major European companies benefit from AI

Discover how your Western European peers use AI to digitally transform their organization

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

Finance & Insurance

  • External shot of Fire Group offices building

    The Fire Group: how data-driven processes are reshaping sustainable credit management

    “We want to change the way credit management is perceived, because we play an important social role in this sector. Data and technology allow us to show the critical role that we play in a more direct way.” Sonia Di Nuzzo, Corporate Communication Leader at Fire is outlining the ambitious goal the company is setting for the industry it operates in with data. As Italy’s largest independent credit management solutions provider, Fire plays a pivotal role […]

  • How to transform banking with Personetics’ revolutionary app

    How to transform banking with Personetics’ revolutionary app

    A new generation of customers now expects much more from banking. The customer journey, not the product, needs to be the focus for financial services. And the key to enhancing it is data.   Personetics is responding to this demand with its white label solution that allows any bank to start to maximize the benefits of […]

Government

  • a woman sitting on a sidewalk

    How to digitally transform citizen services

    “Having a website, call centre and information desk isn’t enough. Citizen services need to be streamlined to empower citizens and government employees alike.” The eBook ‘The digital transformation of citizen services’ is honest in its appraisal of the urgent challenge facing governments worldwide, whose citizens expect their digital experiences to match the quality of those […]

  • A skyscraper in a city

    The ‘Gov Pod’ series: Microsoft in Government

    Learn how cloud computing, emerging technologies and blockchain can enhance the lives of employees and citizens.

Healthcare

  • A woman working in healthcare talking to another woman

    How Capio is using interoperability and conversational intelligence to transform healthcare

    “Our doctors and staff were running faster and faster. Like mice on a wheel trying to keep up,” recalls Niklas Sundler, Technology Innovation Director at Ramsay Santé and Capio, as he explains how COVID-19 changed the rules of healthcare delivery as it swept across Sweden in early 2020. “Everything happened so quickly,” Sundler continues. “We […]

  • two people working in a lab

    Terumo migrates its SAP environment from ‘on-premise’ to Azure

    Terumo, a major player in the healthcare industry, has been active for nearly 100 years – and operating from Belgium for 50. The global company is a leading provider of medical devices, from hypodermic needles and stents, to life-saving heart and lung machines. Recently, the company’s EMEA headquarters fully migrated its SAP Enterprise Resource Planning […]

Manufacturing

  • Man with a tattoo pointing at a tablet in a factory

    2020 has shown manufacturers the true value of digital transformation

    At the start of 2020, there were all manner of manufacturing topics to be discussed. And then suddenly, there was only one. It would be difficult to overstate the impact of Covid-19’s disruption on manufacturers. Almost across the board, this industry has seen supply chains breaking, cash ceasing to flow and production lines grinding to […]

  • Two Engineers preparing to service a clean room

    ASML: Redefining customer support with mixed reality technology

    “In our industry, the stakes are high. If one of our machines were down for a day, the cost for a chipmaker could run into the millions.” Working under pressure is something that Michiel Haverkorn Van Rijsewijk has grown used to since he started as the Director of Customer Support at ASML in February 2020. Within a month of starting at the world’s largest semiconductor lithography equipment maker, the company’s long-established […]

Retail

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Girl studying

    Secondary school Kirchdorf: Reimagining hybrid learning with Surface and Teams

    “What we really wanted to achieve was simplicity for both our students and our educators. Through our digitalization efforts, we’ve seen that using technology to complement traditional teaching and learning is an investment for the future, not just for children, but for everyone.” Martin Schnetzer, teacher and IT admin at Mittelschule Kirchdorf, Austria, reflects on […]

Digital Transformation

  • Whitepaper: Retail Insights – Harnessing the Power of Data

    Whitepaper: Retail Insights – Harnessing the Power of Data

    The retail industry contributes a significant portion to the GDP of many countries, employs tens of millions of people and touches nearly everyone. In order to gain insight at a particularly volatile time for the industry, we recently conducted a survey with 100 retail executives to gain insight into their business challenges and learn about […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Male store associate helping female customer in tech shop

    Creating great experiences for employees and the customers they serve

    Retail is experiencing ongoing labor shortages in the aftermath of the pandemic. Many people have retired early, found new jobs, or have simply decided to leave the labor market. As competition for skilled and experienced staff has become fiercer, attracting talent and retaining staff is crucial for survival and success.  While increasing wages and benefits […]