Go to Original Article
Venture into digital worlds instead of the real one!
The world is upside down right now. We’re learning lots of new phrases like social distancing, contact tracing, and stop snacking just because you’re bored. Everyone around the world is coming together to do their part, whether that’s working on finding a vaccine, delivering food and supplies, or staying indoors. Whatever the case, all of our daily routines have been thrown completely out of whack. It’s easy to get scared at a time like this, which is why focusing on something can help you stay calm.
Educators around the world are doing everything they can to provide digital lessons for the half a billion students who are out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not an easy task and we want to do our part to help keep young minds sharp and stimulated.
If you head over to the Minecraft Marketplace, you will find some of our favorite lessons from Minecraft: Education Edition in a brand new Education category. These educational worlds can be played on your own, with your kids, parents or friends. From the comfort of your home, you can tour the International Space Station or even explore the inside of a human eye. We’ve also included ten worlds from our Marketplace creator community! Thanks to creators Everbloom, Jigarbov, Lifeboat, Razzleberries, The World Foundry, Blockworks, and Imagiverse you can explore renewable energy, marine biology, Greek history, and more! The worlds include lesson plans like creative writing activities, build challenges, and tricky puzzles.
All of these worlds are launching today and are free to download through June 30, 2020.
Anyone with Minecraft for Bedrock platforms can find these worlds by launching Minecraft and visiting the in-game store. Minecraft is available on Android & iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows 10 PC, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, Fire TV, Xbox One, Windows MR, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.
You can find the complete content list here: https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/marketplace/education
To learn more about distance learning with Minecraft: Education Edition, visit: https://aka.ms/remote-learning-blog
Stay safe, wherever you are. We’ll get through this.
Go to Original Article
Author: Microsoft News Center
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, one of the largest insurance firms in Japan, began the process of digital transformation several years ago. The company launched multiple projects, and continues to start new projects, to send it further into the digital age.
One of MSI’s more ambitious undertakings is the MS1 Brain platform, an AI in insurance project to create a more personalized experience for customers.
Released earlier this year, the MS1 Brain platform uses machine learning and predictive analytics, along with customer data, including contract details, accident information and lifestyle changes, to recommend products and services to customers based on their predicted needs.
The platform also generates personalized communications for customers.
“Our business model is B to B to C [business to business to consumer]. We provide our products through agencies,” said Teruki Yokoyama, deputy manager of digital strategy in the department of digital business at MSI. “Until now, we have provided products to customers, both individuals and corporations mostly by leveraging experienced agents’ intimate knowledge of client needs.”
“By providing the needs analysis outcomes of each customer to the agency by MS1Brain, now even an inexperienced agency can make optimal proposals to customers with higher demands,” he continued.
To build the platform, MSI chose dotData, a startup automated machine learning vendor based in San Mateo, Calif.
MSI first connected with dotData in 2017, when MSI‘s CIO visited Silicon Valley for a technical survey, Yokoyama said.
At that time, dotData was just getting started, and it hadn’t released a product. Still, MSI was intrigued by its automated machine learning platform, which claims to provide full-cycle machine learning automation. DotData competitors include DataRobot, H2O.ai and Auger.ai.
Teruki YokoyamaDeputy manager of digital strategy, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance
“When it comes to data analysis, model accuracy often gets the most attention; dotData, on the other hand, focuses on how quickly you can move from raw data to working models — the AI-based feature engineering is what stood out,” Yokoyama said.
MSI had to build a lot of intelligent models, said Ryohei Fujimaki, CEO and founder of dotData. But, the firm didn’t have the data science team to build them.
DotData’s platform was scalable and enabled MSI to automate the entire AI building process, from feature generation to model implementation, Yokoyama said.
“Everyone should embrace this approach,” said Yokoyama of the automated machine learning approach.
“Automation of the data science process is the only way a company can truly deliver value from AI/ML investments and provide competitive differentiation by investing in predictive analytics,” he said.
Go to Original Article
Organizations around the world are going through rapid digital transformation. This is especially true in the US Market, where we see this phenomena being accelerated by the scale and agility of the Cloud and fueled by the latest innovation in machine learning and artificial intelligence. As they progress through their transformations and examine impacts on employees, partners, customers, and society, new strategies are emerging with socio-environmental factors with sustainability at the center.
We’re just at the beginning of what is possible with AI, endless possibilities not only for companies and partners but for everyone to benefit from improved societal impact, social good and sustainability. All requiring the need for a strong ecosystem and strategic private & public partnerships to build a trusted and secure future with new AI innovations and solutions. I’m delighted to share I’ve taken a new role at Microsoft to address both of these challenges: Vice President, AI Country Strategy & Sustainability Partnership for the US Microsoft Subsidiary. Focused on driving cross-boundary collaboration and transformation at scale, my new team and I will build strategies and partnerships that strengthen Microsoft’s position in the US as the leader in Cloud & AI, and leverage that knowledge into delivering in the US on Microsoft’s sustainability promise to be carbon negative by 2030.
Microsoft is making big, strategic bets on Cloud & AI and I look forward to driving digital transformation the US with a holistic view of the partner ecosystem—from customers and partners to developers and other strategic partnerships. Through the development of private and public partnerships we will drive technology innovation and ecosystem activation and begin to utilize Microsoft’s $1B investment in support of sustainability agendas across the US.
I have always been passionate about building teams that help shape the future of new technologies; and this new role creates the connections and opportunities for expansion of Microsoft’s mission to empower people, and drive growth and economic prosperity at a global level. The chance to leverage AI and sustainability to help us solve the world’s most vexing challenges is an opportunity for us all—and I’m grateful to be at a company that supports this mission.
While this will be a transition from my current charter in leading Go-To-Markets as a strategic advantage for Microsoft’s commercial partners, I’m excited to see the role the Microsoft community and its tens of thousands of partners will play in driving the future of AI and sustainability.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we are partnering with customers, commercial partners, developers, students and startups, follow along!
Go to Original Article
Author: Microsoft News Center
NEW YORK — The Episerver CMS is morphing into a digital experience platform, led by CEO Alex Atzberger, the former SAP C/4HANA customer experience platform lead. He departed SAP in October and joined Episerver last month.
We sat down with Atzberger at NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show to discuss recent Episerver acquisitions such as Insite Software, future acquisitions, how digital experience and customer experience differ, why he left SAP and his vision for Episerver’s acquisition and product roadmap.
How did you end up at Episerver? Things happened kind of fast after you left SAP.
Alex Atzberger: It happened very fast. When I desired to leave SAP, I looked for a cloud company with triple-digit [hundreds of millions of dollars in] cloud revenue. I was looking for something in CX, the most exciting and fastest-growing part of enterprise software. And I was looking for something that had the right strategic mindset.
[Episerver] had been acquired by Insight Partners, which had put money into the business, so they’re at an inflection point. They are the leader in what is still king, which is content. Even if you look at commerce-centric businesses, content matters a lot. And how do you marry content and commerce together? There are very few companies that have both of those embedded, and Epi is one of them. It worked out well, and the timing was perfect, very fast.
You’ve only been at Episerver for a month, but how would you describe your vision for the company and the product roadmap moving forward?
Alex AtzbergerCEO, Episerver
Atzberger: We have an untold story. People are really, really happy with this technology. One big part of the strategy, going forward, is expansion in North America, and telling the story of Epi.
Because of the size of the U.S. market, we have to decide on which specific verticals to focus on. There’s a large part of the economy that is not digital, that is somehow forgotten. These companies will not work with [platform vendors] that are too large; they need [vendors] that are large enough to serve, but small enough to care about the results. … Ultimately commerce and content are the face of so many brands, the heart of your business. … We’re going to focus on that market, and bringing automation to content, using AI and automation to scale [digital operations].
Do you feel like you’re competing with your old company SAP, since Episerver CMS is now on its way to being a full-featured digital experience platform with content and commerce clouds?
Atzberger: When I built the SAP CX platform, we built it under the notion of connecting supply chain and demand chain. It was really a relevant message for very large companies that were looking at one platform. Epi is much more focused on the digital experience, truly understanding the digital customer, and doing it in such a way that companies between, say, a million and a billion, are the sweet spot. It’s 80% or 90% whole different [market].
What happened at SAP? Bill McDermott left [in October], and you weren’t far behind. It was all very quick.
Atzberger: If you look at the big picture, it was 15 years [at SAP]. We all want to be CEO of a company. At one point it becomes harder, and you basically end up being part of a company for life.
There’s too much innovation going on, too much excitement going on that I wanted to be part of as well. Ariba and CX are a massive part of SAP. I’m very proud of that and I’m proud of what SAP has done as a company. With the CEO change it was a natural point [to depart].
How do your past experiences at SAP and SAP Ariba color what you’ll be doing at Episerver?
Atzberger: Those involved transformation, and I think it’s going to be a bit of the same here, rallying people around a common cause and a common brand.
The acquisition of B2B e-commerce company Insite Software, which caters to manufacturers and distributors, happened within days after you joined Epi. The deal probably was in the works before you started, right? Did you have final sign-off on the acquisition, or was the deal finished before?
Atzberger: Yes, it was in the works. The strategic direction was important in speaking about it with [Epi’s private equity owners] Insight Partners. There’s a huge B2B commerce opportunity.
When the acquisitions of Insite and [product content tagging automation technology] Idio were discussed with me, not only was I supportive of them but also it attracted me to Episerver as a company. The acquisitions made it so much more compelling to be at this place, at this time. I went to Minneapolis and met [Insite Software CEO] Steve Shaffer, and saw how well they executed against their goals. It left me inspired. I left Minneapolis thinking, ‘This is part of the future of Epi.’
What can you tell me about how you’re thinking about future acquisitions? You’re growing, you’re flush with cash. You can’t be done. What’s next?
Atzberger: We’re not done. Our focus now is the integration of Idio and Insite. What’s interesting to me is that there are a couple of trends that continue to be very important: One, understanding everything about your customer, and two, serving up the next best action. Everything that we do in the foreseeable future will be focused on the digital experience, and helping our customers get better and more informed data about their customers so they can make better decisions.
Go to Original Article
Companies at the forefront of digital transformation recognize how critical it is to enable all of their people with the right technology and tools. That’s why, in industries like retail, hospitality, and manufacturing, there’s a movement underway to digitally empower the Firstline Workforce—the more than 2 billion people worldwide who work in service- or task-oriented roles.
With Microsoft 365, the world’s productivity cloud, we’re in a unique position to help companies of all sizes and across all industries provide their employees the tools and expertise they need to do their best work, without sacrificing the security of their organization or customers’ data. Giving Firstline Workers the tools they need requires companies to address unique user experience, security and compliance, and IT management.
Microsoft 365 combines intuitive best-in-class productivity apps with intelligent cloud services to empower your Firstline Workforce.
It’s inspiring to see how industry leaders, like IKEA and Mattress Firm, are driving higher levels of employee engagement and enhancing the customer experience by putting tools like Microsoft Teams into the hands of their Firstline Workforce. IKEA is connecting everyone in the organization with familiar features like chat and video calls and digitizing firstline processes such as shift management to save time and cost.
This video was created by Microsoft, with the agreement of Ingka Group.
Mattress Firm is empowering Firstline Workers with real-time access to the information, resources, and expertise they need to delight customers and provide a better shopping experience.
Ahead of next week’s National Retail Federation (NRF) tradeshow, we are excited to introduce new capabilities for Firstline Workers coming to Microsoft 365. Here’s a look at what’s coming soon:
Intuitive push-to-talk experience to connect team members across departments and locations.
Corporate headquarters can target, assign, and track tasks across locations. Firstline Workers can view tasks assigned to them and across the store.
One-time SMS codes on mobile devices to streamline the sign-in experience for Firstline Workers.
With one click, Firstline Workers can sign out of a shared Android device and log out of all applications and browser sessions to prevent sensitive data being shared with another device user.
Display a message and/or disable access to Teams app when Firstline Workers are off shift.
Through the My Staff portal, delegated user management enables a Firstline Manager to manage their team’s credentials and assist with password resets.
With Azure AD’s user provisioning service now integrated with SAP SuccessFactors, as well as Workday, it’s easier than ever to onboard Firstline Workers user identities at scale. Shown here, you can start the provisioning cycle and use the progress bar and provisioning logs to track the provisioning process.
All of these capabilities are expected to roll out in the first half of this year except where noted.
New research in partnership with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services highlights the untapped potential of Firstline Workers in retail.
This is just the next step in our journey to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We aim to build tools and experiences for the modern workplace and for workers at all levels of the organization. We’ll continue to develop and bring to market purpose-built Firstline Worker capabilities and experiences in partnership with our customers and industry leaders. And we’ll continue to innovate and build features that simplify work, bring people together, and help organizations big and small achieve more. Come see us next week at NRF 2020 in booth #4501.
Go to Original Article
Author: Microsoft News Center
Alfresco Software introduced new information governance capabilities this week to its Digital Business Platform through updates to Alfresco Governance Services.
The updates include new desktop synchronization, federation services and AI-assisted legal holds features.
“In the coming year, we expect many organizations to be hit with large fines as a result of not meeting regulatory standards for data privacy, e.g., the European GDPR and California’s CCPA. We introduced these capabilities to help our customers guarantee their content security and circumvent those fines,” said Tara Combs, information governance specialist at Alfresco.
Federation Services is a new addition to Alfresco Governance Services. Users can search, view and manage content from Alfresco and other repositories, such as network file shares, OpenText, Documentum, Microsoft SharePoint, Dropbox.
Users can also search across different databases with the application without having to migrate content. Federation Services provides one user interface for users to manage all the information resources in an organization, according to the company.
Organizations can also store content in locations outside of Alfresco platform.
The legal holds feature provides document search and management capabilities that help legal teams identify relevant content for litigation purposes. Alfresco’s tool now uses AI to discover relevant content and metadata, according to the company.
“AI is offered in some legal discovery software systems, and over time all these specialized vendors will leverage AI and machine learning,” said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder and principal analyst at Deep Analysis. He added that the AI-powered feature of Alfresco Governance Services is one of the first such offerings from a more general information management vendor.
“It is positioned to augment the specialized vendors’ work, essentially curating and capturing relevant bodies of information for deeper analysis.”
Another new feature added to Alfresco Governance Services synchronizes content between a repository and a desktop, along with the records management policies associated with that content, according to the company.
With the desktop synchronization feature, users can expect to have the same record management policies when they access a document on their desktop computer or viewing it from the source repository, according to the company.
When evaluating a product like this in the market, Pelz-Sharpe said the most important feature a buyer should look for is usability. “AI is very powerful, but less than useless in the wrong hands. Many AI tools expect too much of the customer — usability and recognizable, preconfigured features that the customer can use with little to no training are essential.”
The new updates are available as of Dec. 3. There is no price difference between the updated version of Alfresco Governance Services and the previous version. Customers who already had a subscription can upgrade as part of their subscription, according to the company.
According to Pelz-Sharpe, Alfresco has traditionally competed against enterprise content management and business process management vendors. It has pivoted during recent years to compete more directly with PaaS competitors, offering a content- and process-centric platform upon which its customer can build their own applications. In the future, the company is likely to compete against the likes of Oracle and IBM, he said.
Go to Original Article