Tag Archives: Commercial

Bringing together deep bioscience and AI to help patients worldwide: Novartis and Microsoft work to reinvent treatment discovery and development   – The Official Microsoft Blog

In the world of commercial research and science, there’s probably no undertaking more daunting – or more expensive – than the process of bringing a new medicine to market. For a new compound to make it from initial discovery through development, testing and clinical trials to finally earn regulatory approval can take a decade or more. Nine out of 10 promising drug candidates fail somewhere along the way. As a result, on average, it costs life sciences companies $2.6 billion to introduce a single new prescription drug.

This is much more than just a challenge for life sciences companies. Streamlining drug development is an urgent issue for human health more broadly. From uncovering new ways to treat age-old sicknesses like malaria that still kills hundreds of thousands of people every year, to finding new cancer treatments, or developing new vaccines to prevent highly-contagious diseases from turning into global pandemics, the impact in terms of lives saved worldwide would be enormous if we could make inventing new medicines faster.

As announced today, this is why Novartis and Microsoft are collaborating to explore how to take advantage of advanced Microsoft AI technology combined with Novartis’ deep life sciences expertise to find new ways to address the challenges underlying every phase of drug development – including research, clinical trials, manufacturing, operations and finance. In a recent interview, Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan spoke about the potential for this alliance to unlock the power of AI to help Novartis accelerate research into new treatments for many of the thousands of diseases for which there is, as yet, no known cure.

In the biotech industry, there have been amazing scientific advances in recent years that have the potential to revolutionize the discovery of new, life-saving drugs. Because many of these advances are based on the ability to analyze huge amounts of data in new ways, developing new drugs has become as much an AI and data science problem as it is a biology and chemistry problem. This means companies like Novartis need to become data science companies to an extent never seen before. Central to our work together is a focus on empowering Novartis associates at each step of drug development to use AI to unlock the insights hidden in vast amounts of data, even if they aren’t data scientists. That’s because while the exponential increase in digital health information in recent years offers new opportunities to improve human health, making sense of all the data is a huge challenge.

The issue isn’t just a problem of the overwhelming volume. Much of the information exists in the form of unstructured data, such as research lab notes, medical journal articles, and clinical trial results, all of which is typically stored in disconnected systems. This makes bringing all that data together extremely difficult. Our two companies have a dream. We want all Novartis associates – even those without special expertise in data science – to be able to use Microsoft AI solutions every day, to analyze large amounts of information and discover new correlations and patterns critical to finding new medicines. The goal of this strategic collaboration is to make this dream a reality. This offers the potential to empower everyone from researchers exploring the potential of new compounds and scientists figuring out dosage levels, to clinical trial experts measuring results, operations managers seeking to improve supply chains more efficiently, and even business teams looking to make more effective decisions. And as associates work on new problems and develop new AI models, they will continually build on each other’s work, creating a virtuous cycle of exploration and discovery. The result? Pervasive intelligence that spans the company and reaches across the entire drug discovery process, improving Novartis’ ability to find answers to some of the world’s most pressing health challenges.

As part of our work with Novartis, data scientists from Microsoft Research and research teams from Novartis will also work together to investigate how AI can help unlock transformational new approaches in three specific areas. The first is about personalized treatment for macular degeneration – a leading cause of irreversible blindness. The second will involve exploring ways to use AI to make manufacturing new gene and cell therapies more efficient, with an initial focus on acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And the third area will focus on using AI to shorten the time required to design new medicines, using pioneering neural networks developed by Microsoft to automatically generate, screen and select promising molecules. As our work together moves forward, we expect that the scope of our joint research will grow.

At Microsoft, we’re excited about the potential for this collaboration to transform R&D in life sciences. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained, putting the power of AI in the hands of Novartis employees will give the company unprecedented opportunities to explore new frontiers of medicine that will yield new life-saving treatments for patients around the world.

While we’re just at the beginning of a long process of exploration and discovery, this strategic alliance marks the start of an important collaborative effort that promises to have a profound impact on how breakthrough medicines and treatments are developed and delivered. With the depth and breadth of knowledge that Novartis offers in bioscience and Microsoft’s unmatched expertise in computer science and AI, we have a unique opportunity to reinvent the way new medicines are created. Through this process, we believe we can help lead the way forward toward a world where high-quality treatment and care is significantly more personal, more effective, more affordable and more accessible.

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Author: Steve Clarke

ZF expands Partnership with Microsoft to Develop Digital Services

Whether in the passenger car sector or for commercial vehicles, ZF is well on the road toward Vision Zero. Autonomous vehicles, innovative safety systems and intelligent mobility solutions contribute to a future of road traffic with zero accidents and zero emissions. This will be accompanied by digitalizing the entire value chain. The technological backbone for these applications is the ZF Cloud based on Microsoft Azure. The closer collaboration with Microsoft allows ZF the development of even more customer focused and tailor-made solutions.

“The strategic partnership with Microsoft will allow us to work even more intensely on intelligent and networked mobility solutions of the future,” explains Mamatha Chamarthi, chief digital officer at ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “This puts us in the position of developing new digital services, on the one hand, and to adapt them perfectly to specific customer needs, on the other.”

Sanjay Ravi, General Manager, Automotive Industry, at Microsoft, adds: “We are excited to expand our collaboration with ZF. Microsoft Azure’s cloud, AI and IoT capabilities enable ZF to deliver highly secure mobility services at a global scale with a faster time to market and respond to the unique needs of their customers and partners worldwide.”

At the CES trade show, ZF will present their initial application options for the expanded platform. These options were developed with various partners and will encompass diverse areas of use:

Comprehensive fleet management

VDL, one of the leading manufacturer groups in the bus sector, uses the ZF IoT platform not only for its fleet management solution being sold to its customers, but also for its own fleet. The platform provides VDL a complete overview of the efficiency of its electric and diesel vehicles. By the end of 2018, more than 300 VDL electric buses had been equipped with the solution. In the process, VDL uses the entire bandwidth of Microsoft Azure services – from the Edge device to the cloud-based platform.

Smart transmissions through predictive maintenance

With the new Predictive Maintenance function, ZF is preparing its successful modular TraXon transmission for the digital future in the commercial vehicle industry. Starting in 2019, vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators can proactively plan vehicle maintenance using the cloud solution.

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Author: Caitlin Karpinski

What are the key System Center DPM 2016 features?

There are many commercial data protection tools, but Microsoft updated System Center Data Protection Manager 2016…

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with a number of enterprise-grade features to aid IT pros in their backup and recovery efforts.

System Center DPM 2016 protects and restores data resources deployed in multiple ways — at the system, file, application and VM levels — across the organization to give IT enormous flexibility and granularity in data protection policies and practices.

At the system level, System Center DPM 2016 creates bare-metal backups for 32- and 64-bit client systems that run Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. System Center DPM 2016 protects 32- and 64-bit server systems on Windows Storage Server 2008, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 with SP1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016.

But backups are not an all-or-nothing proposition. DPM also protects at the file level to back up system volumes, folders and individual files on Windows systems.

At the application level, DPM provides native backup and restoration services for major enterprise applications. DPM covers SQL Server, including SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 with SP1, SQL Server 2012 with SP2, SQL Server 2014 and SQL Server 2016. DPM also protects Exchange Server, including Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016. DPM supports backups for SharePoint, including SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016. DPM 2016 also protects System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), specifically VMM 2012 and VMM 2016 — along with the SP1 and R2 versions.

DPM 2016 supports backup and restoration of VMs in Windows environments. Administrators deploy DPM protection agents in Hyper-V host servers, Hyper-V clusters and individual VMs. DPM safeguards VMs that run Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016. DPM also protects Linux that runs as a Hyper-V guest operating system.

DPM 2016 supports three principal backup targets: disk, cloud and tape. Disk is the most common and traditional backup target. The administrator can enlist pools of low-cost, high-volume disks — such as Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or Serial-Attached SCSI — for backup tasks. For additional security, the IT admin can set up replication of this disk storage to an off-site location, such as a secondary data center.

DPM 2016 hooks into the public cloud — specifically through the Azure Backup service — as a backup target. This feature gives the enterprise flexibility and satisfies the need for off-premises storage. While the traditional disadvantages of tape storage mean many organizations have moved on to other options, DPM 2016 works with local and remote tape storage.

A key feature of DPM 2016 is its restoration flexibility … DPM gives the option to rebuild data to alternate destinations.

A key feature of DPM 2016 is its restoration flexibility. Admins can restore data to its original location. However, if that is not possible or desirable, DPM gives the option to rebuild data to alternate destinations or targets.

In System Center DPM 2016, Microsoft introduced what it calls Modern Backup Storage on machines that run Windows Server 2016. The company said the incremental backup feature — which uses Resilient File System block cloning and VHDX functionality — cuts storage needs by 50 percent and shortens backup times by three. Microsoft also added support for resilient change tracking, which eliminated consistency checks and backs up only changed blocks.

Microsoft cloud continues to grow, powers first quarter results – News Center

Commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate reaches $20.4 billion

REDMOND, Wash. — October 26, 2017 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the following results for the quarter ended September 30, 2017:

  • Revenue was $24.5 billion and increased 12%
  • Operating income was $7.7 billion and increased 15%
  • Net income was $6.6 billion and increased 16%
  • Diluted earnings per share was $0.84 and increased 17%

“This quarter we exceeded $20 billion in commercial cloud ARR, outpacing the goal we set just over two years ago,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “Our results reflect accelerating innovation and increased usage and engagement across our businesses as customers continue to choose Microsoft to help them transform.”

Microsoft returned $4.8 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. During the quarter, the company announced an 8% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.42 per share.

“Our strong start to the fiscal year reflects the impact of our continued investment in product innovation and sales capacity to capture expanding market opportunities,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Microsoft.

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $8.2 billion and increased 28% (up 28% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Office commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 10% (up 10% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 42% (up 42% in constant currency)
  • Office consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 12% (up 10% in constant currency) and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 28.0 million
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 13% (up 12% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 69% (up 69% in constant currency)
  • LinkedIn contributed revenue of $1.1 billion during the quarter

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $6.9 billion and increased 14% (up 13% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 17% (up 17% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 90% (up 89% in constant currency)
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 1% (0% in constant currency) with growth in Premier Support Services offset by declines in custom support agreements

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $9.4 billion and relatively unchanged (down 1% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue increased 4% (up 4% in constant currency), ahead of the overall PC market
  • Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 7% (up 6% in constant currency) driven by annuity revenue growth
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 15% (up 15% in constant currency) driven by higher revenue per search and search volume
  • Surface revenue increased 12% (up 11% in constant currency) driven by sales of the new Surface Laptop
  • Gaming revenue increased 1% (0% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue growth of 21% (up 20% in constant currency) offset by lower hardware revenue

Business Outlook

Microsoft will provide forward-looking guidance in connection with this quarterly earnings announcement on its earnings conference call and webcast.

Webcast Details

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, John Seethoff, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, and Chris Suh, general manager of Investor Relations, will host a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time (5:30 p.m. Eastern time) today to discuss details of the company’s performance for the quarter and certain forward-looking information. The session may be accessed at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor. The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on October 26, 2018.

New Accounting Standards

We adopted new accounting standards related to revenue recognition and leases effective July 1, 2017. The prior periods presented here have been restated to reflect adoption of these new standards.

Constant Currency

Microsoft presents constant currency information to provide a framework for assessing how our underlying businesses performed excluding the effect of foreign currency rate fluctuations. To present this information, current and comparative prior period results for entities reporting in currencies other than United States dollars are converted into United States dollars using the average exchange rates from the comparative period rather than the actual exchange rates in effect during the respective periods. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year. Microsoft has provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company’s performance. The non-GAAP financial measures presented in this release should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

 

Financial Performance Constant Currency Reconciliation

Three Months Ended September 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2016 As Reported $21,928 $6,715 $5,667 $0.72
2017 As Reported $24,538 $7,708 $6,576 $0.84
Percentage Change Y/Y 12% 15% 16% 17%
Constant Currency Impact $95 $12 $28 $0.00
Percentage Change Y/Y Constant Currency 11% 15% 16% 17%

Segment Revenue Constant Currency Reconciliation

Three Months Ended September 30,
 ($ in millions) Productivity and Business Processes Intelligent Cloud More Personal Computing
2016 As Reported $6,436 $6,097 $9,395
2017 As Reported $8,238 $6,922 $9,378
Percentage Change Y/Y 28% 14% 0%
Constant Currency Impact $24 $32 $39
Percentage Change Y/Y Constant Currency 28% 13% (1)%

Selected Product and Service Revenue Constant Currency Reconciliation      

Three Months Ended September 30, 2017
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) Constant Currency Impact Percentage Change Y/Y Constant Currency
Office commercial products and cloud services 10% 0% 10%
Office 365 commercial 42% 0% 42%
Office consumer products and cloud services 12% (2)% 10%
Dynamics products and cloud services 13% (1)% 12%
Dynamics 365 69% 0% 69%
Server products and cloud services 17% 0% 17%
Azure 90% (1)% 89%
Enterprise Services 1% (1)% 0%
Windows OEM 4% 0% 4%
Windows commercial products and cloud services 7% (1)% 6%
Search advertising excluding traffic acquisition costs 15% 0% 15%
Surface 12% (1)% 11%
Gaming 1% (1)% 0%
Xbox software and services 21% (1)% 20%

 

Commercial Cloud Annualized Revenue Run Rate

Commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate is calculated by multiplying revenue for the last month of the quarter by twelve for Office 365 commercial, Azure, Dynamics 365, and other cloud properties.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release that are “forward-looking statements” are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors such as:

  • intense competition in all of Microsoft’s markets;
  • increasing focus on services presenting execution and competitive risks;
  • significant investments in new products and services that may not achieve expected returns;
  • acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances that may have an adverse effect on our business;
  • impairment of goodwill or amortizable intangible assets causing a significant charge to earnings;
  • a change in Microsoft’s ability to earn expected revenues from its intellectual property rights;
  • claims that Microsoft has infringed the intellectual property rights of others;
  • the possibility that we may fail to protect our source code;
  • the possibility that we may not be able to protect information on our products and services from use by others;
  • cyber-attacks and security vulnerabilities in Microsoft products and services that could reduce revenue, increase costs, harm us competitively, or lead to liability;
  • disclosure of personal data that could cause liability and harm to Microsoft’s reputation;
  • abuse of our advertising or social platforms that may harm our reputation or user engagement;
  • outages, data losses, and disruptions of our online services if we fail to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure;
  • government litigation and regulatory activity that may limit how Microsoft designs and markets its products;
  • potential liability under trade protection, anti-corruption, and other laws resulting from our global operations;
  • laws and regulations relating to the handling of personal data that may impede the adoption of our services or result in increased costs, legal claims, or fines against us;
  • Microsoft’s ability to attract and retain talented employees;
  • adverse results in legal disputes;
  • additional tax liabilities;
  • quality or supply problems;
  • exposure to increased economic and operational uncertainties from operating a global business, including the effects of foreign currency exchange;
  • catastrophic events or geo-political conditions that may disrupt our business;
  • adverse economic or market conditions that may harm our business; and
  • changes in our sales organization that may impact revenues.

For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with Microsoft’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of Microsoft’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft’s Investor Relations department at (800) 285-7772 or at Microsoft’s Investor Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

All information in this release is as of October 26, 2017. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Chris Suh, general manager, Investor Relations, (425) 706-4400

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers, and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information, as well as today’s 2:30 p.m. Pacific time conference call with investors and analysts, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

Lenovo announces more devices for home and work

Lenovo had another busy day at IFA in Berlin today. They just announced a refresh to their ever popular ThinkPad Helix, responded to customer request for a thinner and lighter dual mode PC by showing off the Edge 15, and they announced two new devices—the HORIZON 2S/2Ea new set of table PCs, and the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One 23, a brand new modular all-in-one desktop.

Let’s start first with the HORIZON 2s and 2e—a pair of table PCs that are ideal for the whole family. From homework, to games, to movies, and beyond, this is a device the entire family can enjoy. The HORIZON 2s (“s” stands for slim) is 10 pounds lighter (and way easier to carry) than the original HORIZON 2. While the HORIZON 2e is a more budget friendly option boasting a 4th generation Intel Core processor and Windows 8.1.

 2014-09-XX_Horizon

The Edge 15 is Lenovo’s answer to customer requests for an even thinner and lighter dual mode laptop. This PC has a 15.6-inch Full HD touchscreen making it ideal for taking notes in class, surfing the web, and watching movies at home or on the go. The new Windows really brings the Edge 15 to life. You can personalize your Start screen, multitask with ease, and you can ensure that your files are always with you with OneDrive. If you are looking for a way to keep all your homework, or life organized, check out OneNote.

Edge 15

Now, let’s transition to the latest devices for work. Lenovo has made some awesome improvements in its already popular ThinkPad Helix. This detachable 2-in-1 is even thinner, lighter and has a better battery life than the previous model. Powered by Windows 8.1 Pro, you get business grade security, the ability to join a domain, and more.

 2014-09-XX_ThinkPad-Helix

And, last but not least is the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One 23. This nifty all-in-one desktop was designed in response to customers requesting more flexibility to mix and match Lenovo monitors and Tiny PCs. Lenovo’s ThinkCentre Tiny PC, sold separately, attaches directly to the back of the 23-inch monitor. This allows for easy hardware refreshes and repairs

 2014-09-XX_ThinkCentre-TIO

All of these new devices will start to become available in October. The HORIZON 2s and 2e will be priced at $949 and $749 respectively. The ThinkPad Helix will start at $999, while the Edge 15 will start at $899, and finally, the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-one 23 will start at a very compelling $279. If you want to learn more, make sure to check out Lenovo’s press release.