What’s new in Azure Information, AI, and Digital Functions: Harness the ability 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 take a look at use instances. 

Just lately, Microsoft commissioned Forrester Consulting to guage modernization efforts at international organizations. The examine discovered that just about 90% of resolution makers mentioned they’ve a contemporary tech basis and are prepared for the long run. The examine additionally discovered there’s a notion hole and lots of aren’t as prepared as they suppose they’re. Some nonetheless take care of rigid, outdated, and brittle legacy software program programs that stifle innovation and depart substantial room for enchancment.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 carry and shift—it’s about what you are able to do when you get there. 

The examine additionally discovered that one in 5 firms surveyed are overcoming foundational boundaries of their software modernization journey to carry crucial worth again to the enterprise. These firms are doing just a few frequent issues: implementing a transparent know-how technique constructed round AI and coaching, integrating analytics and key metrics to attach with enterprise outcomes, and upgrading know-how stacks, supported by strategic partnerships with related suppliers. In adopting these practices, these firms can transfer quickly to handle inside gaps and overcome thorny challenges in the best way of their modernization targets. 

Is your tech stack AI-ready? Are you in search of greatest practices to assist execute your modernization technique? Wish to be taught extra in regards to the Forrester examine? Be part of us on Could 8, 2024 for our subsequent Microsoft Azure webinar: “Harness the Power of Intelligent 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 Packages, Provides, and Companion Ecosystem (Closing Keynote)”

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

Person talking to a group of people in conference room.

Table of Contents

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 knowledge, AI, and digital apps that will help you together with your modernization.

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

Snowflake partnership extends Azure choices to your knowledge 

Probably the most empowering issues Microsoft does for patrons 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 Marketing Officer Denise Persson to speak about how we work collectively to assist clients benefit from their knowledge to drive AI transformation. Partnerships like these are simply another reason why Azure is the very best cloud to your knowledge. 

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

Azure AI Catalog screenshots showing featured models

The Azure AI model catalog now gives greater than 1,600 basis fashions (giant language fashions (LLMs) and small language fashions (SLMs)) enabling Azure clients to decide on the very best mannequin for his or her use case. Our catalog continues to develop, with the addition of recent cutting-edge fashions, together with Snowflake Arctic, Meta Llama 3, databricks/dbrx-base and databricks/dbrx-instruct, and Microsoft’s Phi-3 family of open models, essentially the most succesful and cost-effective small language fashions accessible, outperforming fashions of the identical dimension and subsequent dimension up throughout quite a lot of language, coding, and math benchmarks. The brand new fashions not solely broaden our catalog, but additionally improve our skill to fulfill numerous enterprise calls for.  

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

Microsoft publicizes new industrial AI improvements from the cloud to the manufacturing facility ground 

We introduced new AI-driven solutions for manufacturing that goal to unify knowledge estates, improve operational resilience, and empower front-line staff with AI copilots for environment friendly knowledge querying and challenge decision. The personal preview consists of Microsoft Material knowledge options and the Microsoft Copilot for Azure AI template, promising to optimize operations and speed up AI integration throughout international 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 fee. Our new “Microsoft Azure: The State of AI Infrastructure” report helps you retain up with the present state of AI, its tendencies and challenges, and to find out about greatest 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 Material for Azure SQL Database and Azure Cosmos DB now in public preview 

Azure SQL Database Mirroring in Microsoft Fabric constantly replicates your SQL knowledge into Delta tables in Microsoft Material’s OneLake in close to real-time. This new function helps keep away from complicated and time-consuming extract, remodel, load (ETL) processes and permits quicker time to insights. Mirroring additional reduces your total whole value of possession with zero compute and storage prices to copy, serving to you shortly and cost-effectively reply to modifications in your small business. 

With Azure Cosmos DB Mirroring in Microsoft Fabric, you possibly can seamlessly carry your Azure Cosmos DB knowledge into OneLake in Microsoft Material with no-ETL and close to real-time insights in your operational knowledge, permitting you to react extra shortly to modifications in your small business surroundings 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 generally available simplifies the method of shifting PostgreSQL databases from wherever to Azure. The service gives 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 clients transfer to Azure Database for PostgreSQL—Versatile Server with ease and confidence. 

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

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

Healthcare knowledge options in Microsoft Material in public preview 

The healthcare knowledge options present knowledge fashions and transformation actions that assist clients create a multi modal warehouse. It permits clients to align with {industry} requirements, reminiscent of Quick Healthcare Interoperability Assets (FHIRs) and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medication (DICOM), and helps compliance with laws, such because the Well being Insurance coverage Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and Normal Information Safety Regulation (GDPR). Study extra about healthcare data solutions.

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 invest 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 packages, 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 international 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 nations world wide. 

Microsoft AI Chief Govt Officer Mustafa Suleyman introduced Microsoft AI is opening a 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 carefully with our AI groups throughout Microsoft and with our companions, together with OpenAI. 

Cognizant and Microsoft are expanding our partnership to combine Microsoft’s generative AI and Microsoft Copilot into Cognizant’s digital transformation providers. With a big funding in generative AI, the partnership is about 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 enormous person base.  

Study one thing new 

Microsoft Study helps deal with the AI abilities hole 

With greater than 6 million individuals globally engaged with AI studying, Microsoft Study is your AI skill-building associate in addressing the AI abilities hole. We designed a easy framework that will help you chart your individual course for constructing the required AI abilities to comprehend the worth of the Microsoft platform. Study extra with the “Accelerate AI transformation with skill building” place paper. For extra, see the weblog from Kim Akers, Company Vice President, Enablement and Operations for Microsoft Buyer and Companion Options, on the way to remodel your small business with AI skill building on Microsoft Learn

How you can customise your generative AI mannequin 

There are three key strategies to customizing a LLM: immediate engineering, RAG, and fine-tuning. In this blog, you’ll learn to:  

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

LLMOps Maturity Mannequin Evaluation and framework, plus new tutorial 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 assessment to search out out. Then get steerage on the way to advance your capabilities in LLMOps based mostly in your group’s maturity stage.  

There are quite a lot of intricacies concerned in constructing programs that use LLMs: deciding on simply the proper fashions, orchestrating LLM flows, and monitoring them utilizing accountable AI toolchains. LLMOps is greater than know-how or product adoption. It’s a confluence of the individuals engaged, the processes used, and the merchandise applied. In a new instructional video series, we are going to 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, “How to Conquer Cold Starts for Better Performance” is now dwell on The New Stack, the platform for the most recent information and assets for cloud native applied sciences. Talent-up without cost on leveraging AI with cloud-native and serverless applied sciences on Azure.

Insights Tomorrow: A podcast for knowledge fanatics 

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

Prospects innovating with generative AI  

MultiChoice boosts person 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 Learning. Customers get pleasure from extremely personalised suggestions that cater to their tastes, making each view rely. As MultiChoice is making the viewing expertise higher, smarter, and extra satisfying, it has seen a outstanding uptake in person engagement and satisfaction. 

Nexi makes use of Microsoft Azure App Service to modernize its FinTech apps to offer a customized fee answer to clients 

Nexi is a European PayTech firm that helps its clients pay and settle for digital funds by way of a whole and personalised vary of straightforward, intuitive, and safe options. To simplify transactions and empower individuals and companies to get pleasure from nearer relationships and prosper collectively, Nexi wanted a unified answer 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 software deployments with Azure 

Coles, which operates greater than 800 shops in Australia, wanted to modernize its know-how to fulfill 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 superb efficiency with Azure DevOps, shifting from month-to-month to weekly deployments, decreasing construct instances, and enabling fast deployment of modifications to manufacturing. The shopper expertise is additional optimized with Azure Cosmos DB, which supplies 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 by way of 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 big effect? Do you wish to win money prizes, Azure credit, and recognition to your work? In the event you answered sure to any of those questions, then it is best to be a part of us for the Microsoft Generative AI Hackathon, an internet problem the place you should utilize your abilities to create thrilling generative AI options. 

Microsoft Construct—Could 21 to 23, 2024 

Develop the AI abilities wanted for tomorrow, at this time. At Microsoft Construct 2024, you’ll be taught from in-demand consultants, expertise the most recent improvements in breakouts, and make connections with a group that may enable you obtain extra. Register for Build

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

This hackathon challenges you to push the boundaries of what’s attainable by constructing your very personal AI app utilizing Azure Cosmos DB for MongoDB. Focusing 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 tip of the hackathon, you’ll know the way to construct your very personal customized AI copilot with Azure Cosmos DB for MongoDB. Get started now

Azure Cosmos DB Conf 2024 accessible on-demand 

Missed the joy and innovation-packed Azure Cosmos DB Convention in April? No worries, we’ve obtained 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 somewhat 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 nations, 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 lets you have interactive AI-driven dialogues with historic figures like Socrates and Leonardo DaVinci. Additionally, EquEdu, an AI-powered content material accessibility instrument that makes on-line instructional content material accessible for the visually impaired. Numerous inspirational concepts right here—check out the winners and their tasks. 

What’s new?  

Jessica shares insights on know-how transformation together with necessary updates and assets in regards to the knowledge, AI, and digital software options that make Microsoft Azure the platform for the period of AI. Discover Jessica’s weblog posts right here and you should definitely follow Jessica on LinkedIn