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What’s new in Azure Knowledge, AI, and Digital Functions: Harness the facility of clever apps 


As firms race to construct or modernize clever apps that incorporate generative AI, many are discovering gaps of their tech-stack modernization efforts as they discover and check use instances. 

Not too long ago, Microsoft commissioned Forrester Consulting to judge modernization efforts at world organizations. The research discovered that just about 90% of resolution makers stated they’ve a contemporary tech basis and are prepared for the long run. The research additionally discovered there’s a notion hole and plenty of aren’t as prepared as they assume they’re. Some nonetheless take care of rigid, outdated, and brittle legacy software program programs that stifle innovation and go away substantial room for enchancment. 

A few of this comes from a cloud strategy targeted on migration. There’s a lot to achieve merely in migrating to the cloud, however modernization is rather more than raise and shift—it’s about what you are able to do when you get there. 

The research additionally discovered that one in 5 firms surveyed are overcoming foundational obstacles of their utility modernization journey to deliver crucial worth again to the enterprise. These firms are doing a couple of widespread issues: implementing a transparent expertise technique constructed round AI and coaching, integrating analytics and key metrics to attach with enterprise outcomes, and upgrading expertise stacks, supported by strategic partnerships with related suppliers. In adopting these practices, these firms can transfer quickly to deal with inside gaps and overcome thorny challenges in the best way of their modernization objectives. 

Is your tech stack AI-ready? Are you on the lookout for finest practices to assist execute your modernization technique? Need to study extra in regards to the Forrester research? Be part of us on Could 8, 2024 for our subsequent Microsoft Azure webinar: “Harness the Energy of Clever Apps: Modernize with Azure.” Along with listening to from me, you’ll hear from: 

  • Amanda Silver on “Powering Future Innovation with Azure Utility Platform”
  • Ali Powell on “Imaginative and prescient to Worth: Accelerating Modernization to Azure with Azure Buyer Success”
  • Cyril Belikoff on “Empowering Modernization with Microsoft Applications, Gives, and Associate Ecosystem (Closing Keynote)”

And we’ll be joined by Invoice Martorelli, Principal Analyst at Forrester, who will talk about the research. 

Person talking to a group of people in conference room.

Be part of us for the Azure webinar sequence

“Harness the Energy of Clever Apps: Modernize with Azure”

Subsequent, right here is the most recent from Microsoft information, AI, and digital apps that will help you along with your modernization.

What’s new in information, AI, and digital purposes 

Snowflake partnership extends Azure choices on your information 

One of the empowering issues Microsoft does for purchasers is forge partnerships with firms who lengthen the worth of our platform. Snowflake is a good instance of this in motion. I had the chance to affix Snowflake Chief Advertising Officer Denise Persson to speak about how we work collectively to assist prospects take advantage of their information to drive AI transformation. Partnerships like these are simply another reason why Azure is one of the best cloud on your information. 

Extra alternativeMicrosoft Azure AI mannequin catalog of open and frontier fashions simply received greater with additions from Snowflake, Microsoft Analysis, Meta, Databricks, and extra 

Azure AI Catalog screenshots showing featured models

The Azure AI mannequin catalog now affords greater than 1,600 basis fashions (massive language fashions (LLMs) and small language fashions (SLMs)) enabling Azure prospects to decide on one of the best mannequin for his or her use case. Our catalog continues to develop, with the addition of latest cutting-edge fashions, together with Snowflake Arctic, Meta Llama 3, databricks/dbrx-base and databricks/dbrx-instruct, and Microsoft’s Phi-3 household of open fashions, probably the most succesful and cost-effective small language fashions accessible, outperforming fashions of the identical dimension and subsequent dimension up throughout a wide range of language, coding, and math benchmarks. The brand new fashions not solely broaden our catalog, but in addition improve our potential to satisfy various enterprise calls for.  

Azure AI Search now has considerably elevated storage capability and vector index dimension at no extra value. To help elevated demand for retrieval augmented technology (RAG) and generative AI purposes at scale, AI Search has drastically raised storage limits, giving prospects extra vectors per greenback with out compromising excessive efficiency. With this variation, prospects can obtain extra scalability at a decrease value, belief AI Search to deal with their massive RAG workloads, and apply superior search methods to navigate advanced information to innovate in methods beforehand unimaginable. 

Microsoft pronounces new industrial AI improvements from the cloud to the manufacturing unit ground 

We introduced new AI-driven options for manufacturing that goal to unify information estates, improve operational resilience, and empower front-line staff with AI copilots for environment friendly information querying and subject decision. The personal preview consists of Microsoft Cloth information options and the Microsoft Copilot for Azure AI template, promising to optimize operations and speed up AI integration throughout world manufacturing websites. 

From cloud to edge, CPUs to GPUs, and application-specific built-in circuits (ASICs), the AI {hardware} and software program panorama is increasing at a formidable charge. Our new “Microsoft Azure: The State of AI Infrastructure” report helps you retain up with the present state of AI, its developments and challenges, and to study finest practices for constructing and deploying scalable and environment friendly AI programs. Learn the inaugural weblog in our new Infrastructure for the Period of AI sequence for extra and to obtain the report. 

Mirroring in Microsoft Cloth for Azure SQL Database and Azure Cosmos DB now in public preview 

Azure SQL Database Mirroring in Microsoft Cloth constantly replicates your SQL information into Delta tables in Microsoft Cloth’s OneLake in close to real-time. This new function helps keep away from advanced and time-consuming extract, rework, load (ETL) processes and permits sooner time to insights. Mirroring additional reduces your general whole value of possession with zero compute and storage prices to copy, serving to you shortly and cost-effectively reply to modifications in your corporation. 

With Azure Cosmos DB Mirroring in Microsoft Cloth, you may seamlessly deliver your Azure Cosmos DB information into OneLake in Microsoft Cloth with no-ETL and close to real-time insights in your operational information, permitting you to react extra shortly to modifications in your corporation atmosphere and market circumstances. 

Microsoft Azure Database for PostgreSQL: New AI capabilities in Azure AI extension and new migration service 

The Azure AI extension in public preview now consists of real-time predictions to invoke machine studying fashions hosted on Microsoft Azure Machine Studying on-line endpoints. That is extraordinarily useful for constructing fraud detection in banking, product suggestions in retail, affected person predictions in healthcare, and extra. Additionally new is real-time textual content translation utilizing Microsoft Azure AI Translator to translate textual content from inside SQL. This facilitates constructing clever multilingual purposes on Azure Database for PostgreSQL. It additionally helps robotically detecting the language of the enter textual content and filtering profanities.  

A new migration service now typically accessible simplifies the method of shifting PostgreSQL databases from wherever to Azure. The service affords each offline and on-line migration choices from an on-premises server, AWS RDS for PostgreSQL, Azure Digital Machines (VMs), and Azure Database for PostgreSQL—Single Server. The service helps prospects transfer to Azure Database for PostgreSQL—Versatile Server with ease and confidence. 

Microsoft Defender for Cloud now helps Azure Database for MySQL—Versatile Server 

Shield databases from threats with out affecting efficiency or availability, and decrease the danger of information breaches, assaults, and unauthorized entry with safety monitoring of anomalous or suspicious actions. Clients can simply allow Defender for Cloud from the Azure Portal to begin getting safety alerts and insights for Azure Database for MySQL—Versatile Server and obtain suggestions to mitigate probably dangerous threats. Study extra about Defender for Cloud

Healthcare information options in Microsoft Cloth in public preview 

The healthcare information options present information fashions and transformation actions that assist prospects create a multi modal warehouse. It permits prospects to align with {industry} requirements, similar to Quick Healthcare Interoperability Sources (FHIRs) and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medication (DICOM), and helps compliance with rules, such because the Well being Insurance coverage Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and Basic Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR). Study extra about healthcare information options.

Empowering AI globally with investments in Japan and United Arab Emirates, a brand new AI Hub in London, and a worldwide partnership with Cognizant 

Microsoft will make investments USD2.9 billion over the subsequent two years to extend our hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Japan. We will even broaden our digital skilling applications, open our first Microsoft Analysis Asia lab in Japan, and deepen our cybersecurity collaboration with the Authorities of Japan. 

We’re investing USD1.5 billion in Abu Dhabi’s G42 to speed up AI improvement and world growth, and to strengthen our collaboration on bringing the most recent Microsoft AI applied sciences and skilling initiatives to the United Arab Emirates and different international locations all over the world. 

Microsoft AI Chief Govt Officer Mustafa Suleyman introduced Microsoft AI is opening a brand new AI hub within the coronary heart of London. Microsoft AI London will drive pioneering work to advance state-of-the-art language fashions and their supporting infrastructure, and to create world-class tooling for basis fashions, collaborating intently with our AI groups throughout Microsoft and with our companions, together with OpenAI. 

Cognizant and Microsoft are increasing our partnership to combine Microsoft’s generative AI and Microsoft Copilot into Cognizant’s digital transformation companies. With a major funding in generative AI, the partnership is ready to drive AI adoption and create industry-specific options, whereas upholding moral AI requirements. The initiative additionally consists of intensive coaching for Cognizant builders and the deployment of Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 to an unlimited consumer base.  

Study one thing new 

Microsoft Study helps deal with the AI expertise hole 

With greater than 6 million folks globally engaged with AI studying, Microsoft Study is your AI skill-building associate in addressing the AI expertise hole. We designed a easy framework that will help you chart your personal course for constructing the mandatory AI expertise to understand the worth of the Microsoft platform. Study extra with the “Speed up AI transformation with ability constructing” place paper. For extra, see the weblog from Kim Akers, Company Vice President, Enablement and Operations for Microsoft Buyer and Associate Options, on easy methods to rework your corporation with AI ability constructing on Microsoft Study

Easy methods to customise your generative AI mannequin 

There are three key methods to customizing a LLM: immediate engineering, RAG, and fine-tuning. On this weblog, you’ll learn to:  

  • Optimize prompts to make sure a mannequin produces extra correct responses.  
  • Retrieve info from exterior sources for higher accuracy. 
  • Train a mannequin new expertise and duties. 
  • Train a mannequin new info from a customized dataset. 

LLMOps Maturity Mannequin Evaluation and framework, plus new educational video sequence 

LLMOps describes the operational practices and techniques for managing LLMs in manufacturing. Undecided what your group’s LLMOps maturity stage is? Take a 10-minute evaluation to search out out. Then get steerage on easy methods to advance your capabilities in LLMOps primarily based in your group’s maturity stage.  

There are numerous intricacies concerned in constructing programs that use LLMs: deciding on simply the precise fashions, orchestrating LLM flows, and monitoring them utilizing accountable AI toolchains. LLMOps is greater than expertise or product adoption. It’s a confluence of the folks engaged, the processes used, and the merchandise carried out. In a new educational video sequence, we’ll discover the idea of LLMOps in depth, alongside introducing the most recent Azure AI instruments designed to facilitate the adoption of sturdy LLMOps practices for enterprises. 

New weblog: Bettering Azure Capabilities chilly begins 

Our new weblog, “Easy methods to Conquer Chilly Begins for Higher Efficiency” is now dwell on The New Stack, the platform for the most recent information and sources for cloud native applied sciences. Ability-up totally free on leveraging AI with cloud-native and serverless applied sciences on Azure.

Insights Tomorrow: A podcast for information fans 

Insights Tomorrow options in-depth conversations with information leaders and specialists in regards to the revolutionary journeys they’re taking on the earth of information, analytics, and governance. Be part of host Patrick LeBlanc to discover how unlocking worth from information is trailblazing the best way to digital transformation. 

Clients innovating with generative AI  

MultiChoice boosts consumer satisfaction with Azure Machine Studying and Microsoft Azure Databricks 

Have you ever ever wished for a viewing expertise that is aware of your style higher than you do? MultiChoice, Africa’s premier leisure vacation spot, has made {that a} actuality with Azure Machine Studying. Customers get pleasure from extremely personalised suggestions that cater to their tastes, making each view depend. As MultiChoice is making the viewing expertise higher, smarter, and extra pleasurable, it has seen a exceptional uptake in consumer engagement and satisfaction. 

Nexi makes use of Microsoft Azure App Service to modernize its FinTech apps to offer a personalised fee resolution to prospects 

Nexi is a European PayTech firm that helps its prospects pay and settle for digital funds via an entire and personalised vary of straightforward, intuitive, and safe options. To simplify transactions and empower folks and companies to get pleasure from nearer relationships and prosper collectively, Nexi wanted a unified resolution with extra flexibility to permit its builders to spend a lot much less time on infrastructure actions and supply extra worth on delivering merchandise. Working with Microsoft and cVation, Nexi moved ahead to implement app modernization and transformation

Coles accelerates from month-to-month to weekly utility deployments with Azure 

Coles, which operates greater than 800 shops in Australia, wanted to modernize its expertise to satisfy rising buyer demand for an omnichannel expertise that served them equally effectively in retailer and on-line. Within the extremely aggressive grocery enterprise, which means quickly evolving in response to buyer enter. Coles gained wonderful effectivity with Azure DevOps, shifting from month-to-month to weekly deployments, decreasing construct occasions, and enabling fast deployment of modifications to manufacturing. The client expertise is additional optimized with Azure Cosmos DB, which gives an aggregated view throughout channels to allow additional buyer insights, permitting Coles to offer an much more custom-made expertise. 

Alternatives to attach 

Construct multimodal apps with Microsoft and win at Microsoft Generative AI Hackathon—now via Could 6, 2024

Do you wish to learn to use Azure AI and GitHub Copilot to construct multimodal apps that mix textual content, picture, video, or voice inputs and outputs for a huge impact? Do you wish to win money prizes, Azure credit, and recognition on your work? In case you answered sure to any of those questions, then you must be a part of us for the Microsoft Generative AI Hackathon, an internet problem the place you need to use your expertise to create thrilling generative AI options. 

Microsoft Construct—Could 21 to 23, 2024 

Develop the AI expertise wanted for tomorrow, right now. At Microsoft Construct 2024, you’ll study from in-demand specialists, expertise the most recent improvements in breakouts, and make connections with a group that may assist you obtain extra. Register for Construct

Microsoft Builders AI Studying Hackathon, win as much as $10,000 in prizes! Now via June 17, 2024

This hackathon challenges you to push the boundaries of what’s doable by constructing your very personal AI app utilizing Azure Cosmos DB for MongoDB. Concentrating on each Node.js and Python builders, the hackathon guides you thru complete studying to delve into the basics of AI apps— and also you may win as much as $10,000 in prizes. By the top of the hackathon, you’ll know easy methods to construct your very personal customized AI copilot with Azure Cosmos DB for MongoDB. Get began now

Azure Cosmos DB Conf 2024 accessible on-demand 

Missed the thrill and innovation-packed Azure Cosmos DB Convention in April? No worries, we’ve received you coated! The occasion introduced collectively the sharpest minds within the {industry}, together with product leaders, chief technical officers, and group members who shared insights on constructing groundbreaking generative AI purposes powered by Azure Cosmos DB. Whether or not you missed a bit or missed all of it, catch the replays on-demand

Microsoft’s AI Classroom Hackathon winners 

Microsoft’s AI Classroom Hackathon winners had been chosen from greater than 3,700 college students from over 100 international locations, taking part in Microsoft’s name to construct the subsequent technology of clever purposes that reimagine the way forward for training utilizing Azure AI and Azure databases. Among the many winners is Dialogues By means of Time, that permits you to have interactive AI-driven dialogues with historic figures like Socrates and Leonardo DaVinci. Additionally, EquEdu, an AI-powered content material accessibility software that makes on-line academic content material accessible for the visually impaired. A number of inspirational concepts right here—take a look at the winners and their initiatives. 


What’s new?  

Jessica shares insights on expertise transformation together with vital updates and sources in regards to the information, AI, and digital utility options that make Microsoft Azure the platform for the period of AI. Discover Jessica’s weblog posts right here and remember to observe Jessica on LinkedIn



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