Tag Archives: national

AI, data analytics, recruiting tech among HR priorities, leaders say

LAS VEGAS — HR leaders at top national companies want tech that delivers insights and improves talent management. The top HR priorities included boosting candidate and employee experience through stellar technology. That was the message to vendors and attendees at the 2018 HR Technology Conference & Expo from a panel on what it takes to create top-notch HR. Improved recruiting platforms, AI, data analytics and user-driven learning platforms were all listed as important.

The HR chiefs from Accenture, BlackRock, Delta Air Lines, Johnson & Johnson and The Walt Disney Co., who appeared on a panel, discussed their technology priorities and interests. They weren’t picking and choosing vendors, and they made a point of avoiding mentioning any of the vendors at the conference.

But this group of global HR leaders had a clear idea of what they thought was important to conference attendees and vendors. It was a strategic, but pointed, overview of how they are using technology and what their firms want from it.

Stellar HR requires a candidate-focused recruiting system

Johnson & Johnson interviews a million people a year to hire 28,000 individuals. “So, how do you make sure that they [the candidates] have visibility [into] how they’re tracking through the process, like you would track a Domino’s pizza or a UPS or a FedEx package?” asked Peter Fasolo, executive vice president and chief human resources officer (CHRO) at Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, N.J.

At BlackRock, talent is an ongoing executive board-level discussion, said Matt Breitfelder, managing director and chief talent officer. The New York-based company is using technology to help improve the diversity of its hiring.

The firm wants diversity on its teams, so its employees are “challenging each other to think more clearly about what they’re seeing in markets,” Breitfelder said.

BlackRock is using tools in its hiring process to make sure it is “not just replicating an industry that has tended to have one way of thinking,” Breitfelder said. “We know it’s about teams, not about individual stars.”

Data analytics makes us more human

We democratized all of our learning.
Ellyn Shookchief leadership and human resource officer at Accenture

“Data analytics makes us more human, because our own data analytics shows there’s a lot of liberal arts majors who make great investors, which is very counterintuitive,” Breitfelder said. 

Delta Air Lines has begun using machine learning and AI technologies to help discover “good predictors of success” in its hiring, said Joanne Smith, the company’s executive vice president and CHRO. “That’s going to help us get smarter and smarter and smarter about hiring,” she said.

Learning and a focus on employee experience

Learning technology was also mentioned as a priority, and Accenture explained why that is. In response to the competition in the labor market, the firm decided to go big on training employees on entirely new skills.

“We democratized all of our learning,” said Ellyn Shook, chief leadership and human resource officer at Accenture, based in Dublin. Learning “is now in real time, on demand and available to our people anytime, anywhere, any device,” she said.

Some 300,000 of Accenture’s 450,000 employees have taken advantage of it in the last two years, which includes some “leading-edge technical areas that there would be no way we could have hired at that scale,” Shook said.

A common theme for the conference panel was the need for consumer-like HR technologies.

“Help me do what I’m doing. Help my employees be better at what we’re doing. But have a consumer mindset to it,” said Jayne Parker, senior executive vice president and CHRO of Disney.

National FFA Organization and Microsoft announce initiative to bring transformational innovation to over 650,000 students nationwide – Stories

FARGO, N.D., and REDMOND, Wash. — July 26, 2018 — The National FFA Organization and Microsoft Corp., on Thursday announced their collaboration to bring innovative technology, science, research and entrepreneurship to the classrooms of the more than 650,000 FFA student members nationwide through an initiative known as Blue 365.

FFA logoFFA members are the future of the food industry, which is relying on this generation to meet unparalleled challenges to feed a growing world population. In a modern world where the food and agriculture industries are reliant on precision agriculture, big data, cloud technology, robotic systems, advanced communications and other sophisticated technologies, Blue 365 will serve as a catalyst for evolving sustainability, innovative efficiency and preparing the future leaders who will solve the world’s critical agricultural challenges. At an event in Fargo today, National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl and Microsoft’s Brad Smith and Mary Snapp were joined by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, USDA State Director Clare Carlson, and North Dakota State FFA President Brianna Maddock.

“Today’s FFA members are our future industry leaders,” Poeschl said. “The future relies on connecting diversity of innovational approach, solutions-orientation and cutting-edge technology. We are excited that Microsoft shares our vision of Blue 365. Through agricultural education and FFA, our members are evolving their skill sets for the 21st century demands; they will be the change in our industry. Blue 365 can be the spark needed to create the next big idea in agriculture.”

Blue 365 will be unveiled in Indianapolis, Indiana, this October at the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo, the nation’s largest student convention. With the vision and commitment of title sponsors Microsoft and AgriNovus Indiana, The Blue Room, a 17,000-square-foot interactive space, will showcase the cutting-edge technology, research and innovation happening across the spectrum. Through experiential learning and specific focus on the most critical challenges facing our communities — from respecting the planet to the urgent matter of feeding the world — The Blue Room experience serves to inspire and equip students to activate their potential.

“While digital technology is transforming every part of the American economy, not everyone is acquiring the skills to thrive,” said Brad Smith, president, Microsoft. “As a company, we’re focused on ensuring everyone, regardless of their geography or circumstance, has access to the digital skills they need to compete and prosper. And our partnership with the National FFA will expand this work, helping students across the country prepare for digital jobs and the farms of the future.”

Microsoft’s participation in Blue 365 is part of its commitment to helping people who may be impacted by technological advances and builds on its TechSpark initiative launched last year. TechSpark is a civic program fostering greater opportunity and job creation in smaller metropolitan areas. The initiative is in six regions, including in North Dakota, and focuses on five program areas: digital transformation, digital skills and computer science education, career pathways, rural broadband connectivity, and support for nonprofits.

“Technology is changing every job, every industry and every organization, and agriculture is no exception,” Burgum said. “Today’s announcement from Microsoft and FFA will provide a valuable tool for our educators as they work to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in a 21st century economy. Given FFA’s long and storied history in North Dakota and Microsoft’s commitment to investing in the future of our young people, Blue 365’s potential to support student learning is undeniable.”

“FFA students across America will lead the food and agriculture industry into the future. They must have opportunities to integrate digital skills into both their classroom studies and project-based learning,” said Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and lead for Microsoft Philanthropies. “Our partnership will help ensure that curriculum is up to date so that these young leaders can use technology to drive innovation in farms of the future, sustain and renew our planet, and enrich their communities.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 653,359 student members as part of 8,568 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

About National FFA Foundation

The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees composed of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA Alumni, the foundation is a separately registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.

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.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

[email protected]

Kristy Meyer, National FFA Organization, (800) 293-2387, [email protected]

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

National Oilwell Varco selects Microsoft Dynamics 365 to enhance sales and service operations | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 18, 2018 — On Wednesday, National Oilwell Varco, a leading provider of technology, equipment and services to the global oil and gas industry, and Microsoft Corp. announced an agreement to collaborate on digitally enhancing NOV’s sales platform and field service operations to deliver premier experiences, including project management and drilling operations, to the oil and gas industry.

As oil and gas producers continue to push to optimize productivity and minimize downtime, NOV is leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 to streamline business processes, access real-time data and insights, and revolutionize field service operations with a digital, mobile-first approach. With Microsoft cloud-powered solutions, NOV is enriching legacy systems and processes to drive consistency and visibility across platforms. The goal is to increase revenue generation while reducing revenue leakage and improve service margins through greater efficiencies, higher levels of customer satisfaction, and better retention rates. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 is enabling employees across NOV’s departments to be more adaptable, reliable and efficient.

“At NOV, we’re passionate about delivering the highest level of customer service,” said Clay Williams, chairman, president, and CEO. “Field service is the link between our customers and manufacturing, and with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power BI, we’re able to better understand our customers’ needs, identify the appropriate resources for each task, and effectively address the issue, creating a seamless experience.”

Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning solutions, allowing NOV’s sales and commercial teams to effectively identify and capture field service opportunities and service managers to better allocate jobs and resources. Field technicians can also access detailed job descriptions complete with customer information, service needs, and the equipment necessary to accurately and efficiently complete the task.

“NOV continues to invest in state-of-the-art technology and innovations to support the goal of delivering premier customer service,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “Today, NOV is doubling down on its commitment to customers with Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and business applications by enabling customer- and data-driven insights and actions.”

About NOV

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE: NOV) is a leading provider of technology, equipment, and services to the global oil and gas industry. NOV has been pioneering innovations that improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of oil and gas operations since 1862. The depth and breadth of NOV’s offerings support customers’ full-field, drilling, completion, and production needs. NOV powers the industry that powers the world. Visit www.nov.com for more information.

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.

For more information, press only:

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

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

National Oilwell Varco selects Microsoft Dynamics 365 to enhance sales and service operations | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 18, 2018 — On Wednesday, National Oilwell Varco, a leading provider of technology, equipment and services to the global oil and gas industry, and Microsoft Corp. announced an agreement to collaborate on digitally enhancing NOV’s sales platform and field service operations to deliver premier experiences, including project management and drilling operations, to the oil and gas industry.

As oil and gas producers continue to push to optimize productivity and minimize downtime, NOV is leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 to streamline business processes, access real-time data and insights, and revolutionize field service operations with a digital, mobile-first approach. With Microsoft cloud-powered solutions, NOV is enriching legacy systems and processes to drive consistency and visibility across platforms. The goal is to increase revenue generation while reducing revenue leakage and improve service margins through greater efficiencies, higher levels of customer satisfaction, and better retention rates. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 is enabling employees across NOV’s departments to be more adaptable, reliable and efficient.

“At NOV, we’re passionate about delivering the highest level of customer service,” said Clay Williams, chairman, president, and CEO. “Field service is the link between our customers and manufacturing, and with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power BI, we’re able to better understand our customers’ needs, identify the appropriate resources for each task, and effectively address the issue, creating a seamless experience.”

Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning solutions, allowing NOV’s sales and commercial teams to effectively identify and capture field service opportunities and service managers to better allocate jobs and resources. Field technicians can also access detailed job descriptions complete with customer information, service needs, and the equipment necessary to accurately and efficiently complete the task.

“NOV continues to invest in state-of-the-art technology and innovations to support the goal of delivering premier customer service,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “Today, NOV is doubling down on its commitment to customers with Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and business applications by enabling customer- and data-driven insights and actions.”

About NOV

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE: NOV) is a leading provider of technology, equipment, and services to the global oil and gas industry. NOV has been pioneering innovations that improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of oil and gas operations since 1862. The depth and breadth of NOV’s offerings support customers’ full-field, drilling, completion, and production needs. NOV powers the industry that powers the world. Visit www.nov.com for more information.

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.

For more information, press only:

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

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Getting back to nature with AI: Why Microsoft and National Geographic Society are working together to advance conservation science with computer science – Microsoft on the Issues

Camper sitting at creek with night sky above
Photograph by Devlin Gandy/National Geographic

By Dr. Jonathan Baillie, chief scientist at National Geographic Society, and Dr. Lucas Joppa, chief environmental scientist at Microsoft

Yesterday, Microsoft and National Geographic Society announced a new, joint grant program that will equip explorers working on the most challenging environmental issues of the 21st century with the most advanced technologies available today. “AI for Earth Innovation” grants will fund new solutions that leverage AI and cloud technologies to monitor, model and manage Earth’s natural resources. Application forms are available today, here, to anyone working at the intersection of computer science and environmental science, especially in the areas of agriculture, biodiversity, climate change and water.

As scientists that have spent our entire respective careers focused on conservation, we’ve come to believe that increased adoption of technology, including AI, is critical to make the progress needed – and at the pace needed – to protect our planet. From producing the foundational estimates on how rapidly species are going extinct to determining the effectiveness of our current conservation efforts, we realized that progress was slow or impossible without deploying scalable technology solutions.

There have been some notable success stories – including those we featured in a book we jointly published on the role of protected areas in conservation. But they are, frustratingly, the exception to the rule.

Now, in our roles as chief scientists at global organizations (for science and exploration and innovative technology, respectively), we hope to solve the root cause of that frustration. That is the goal of this partnership, and why Microsoft and National Geographic Society are bringing $1 million and access to our experts and technology together in this new partnership.

While different, both organizations are focused on pushing the boundaries of science and exploration for the benefit of the planet. National Geographic is synonymous with science and exploration. For 130 years, the organization has opened minds to the natural world, challenged perceptions of what is possible and set the stage for future exploration. For more than 35 years, Microsoft, too, has explored and pushed forward the boundaries of what technology can do, and what it can do for people and the world.

Our organizations have a unique combination of expertise in conservation and computer science, capacity building and public engagement, providing incredible potential to drive fundamental change. We will work together to empower people everywhere to respond to some of the most challenging environmental issues of the 21st century.

We realize that to some, it may seem counterintuitive to try to protect the planet with technology. It’s true that past industrial revolutions and technology development has directly contributed to our current climate crisis. Certainly, we recognize it’s not a panacea. But we’re fundamentally optimistic, because over the course of human history, every solution to a major societal challenge has been the result of human ingenuity and new technologies. It’s been the combination of scientific exploration and technological advances that has fueled new discoveries and led to major breakthroughs in our understanding of the planet and life on Earth. It’s as true today as it was when National Geographic Explorer Bob Ballard discovered new forms of life at the bottom of the ocean using then-cutting edge underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) technology.

Lately, innovation in technology has far outpaced anything imaginable before, but scientific knowledge isn’t keeping pace. We have often imagined a future where that is no longer the case, and our individual organizations have worked tirelessly to change this, too.

By partnering, we’re ready to move from imagining to enabling. With AI and the cloud, researchers can stay focused on new discoveries, rather than data collection and sorting. Their findings can more easily be shared with other researchers around the world, creating new economies of scale that accelerate and improve the state of conservation science in near-real time.

While there are only a handful of grants, the program is structured to provide exponential impact. By ensuring that all models supported through this grant follow an open source approach and are publicly available, we will allow environmental researchers and innovators around the globe to take advantage of these new innovations immediately and directly in their own vital work.

For the health of our planet and our future, we all need to get back to nature with the help of technology. Microsoft and National Geographic are ready to put our tools and skills to work for researchers working to make that more sustainable future a reality. Come join us!

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Microsoft’s AI for Earth Innovation Grant gives data scientists access to AI tools

Microsoft and National Geographic are teaming up to support data scientists who are tackling the “world’s biggest challenges.” The two companies today announced the AI for Earth Innovation Grant program, a $1 million grant that’ll provide recipients financial assistance, access to AI tools and cloud services, and more to advance conservation research.

The grant program, which is accepting applications until October 8, will support between five and 15 projects in five core areas: agriculture, biodiversity, conservation, climate change, and water. In addition to funding, researchers will gain access to Microsoft’s AI platform and development tools, inclusion in the National Geographic Explorer community, and affiliation with National Geographic Labs, National Geographic’s research incubation and accelerator initiative.

“[I]n Microsoft, we found a partner that is well-positioned to accelerate the pace of scientific research and new solutions to protect our natural world,” Jonathan Baillie, chief scientist and executive vice president at the National Geographic Society, said in a statement. “With today’s announcement, we will enable outstanding explorers seeking solutions for a sustainable future with the cloud and AI technologies that can quickly improve the speed, scope, and scale of their work, as well as support National Geographic Labs’ activities around technology and innovation for a planet in balance.”

The aim is to make trained algorithms broadly available to the global community of environmental researchers, Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s chief environmental scientist, said in a press release.

“Microsoft is constantly exploring the boundaries of what technology can do, and what it can do for people and the world,” Joppa said. “We believe that humans and computers, working together through AI, can change the way that society monitors, models, and manages Earth’s natural systems. We believe this because we’ve seen it — we’re constantly amazed by the advances our AI for Earth collaborators have made over the past months. Scaling this through National Geographic’s … network will create a whole new generation of explorers who use AI to create a more sustainable future for the planet and everyone on it.”

Selected recipients will be announced in December.

The AI for Earth Innovation Grant is an expansion of Microsoft’s AI for Earth program, announced in June 2017. In December, the Redmond company committed $50 million to an “extended strategic plan” that includes providing advanced training to universities and NGOs and the formation of a “multi-disciplinary” team of AI and sustainability experts.

Microsoft claims that in the past two years, the AI for Earth program has awarded more than 35 grants globally for access to its Azure platform and AI technologies.

Apple transparency report shows national security requests rising

The Apple transparency report for the second half of 2017 showed national security requests on the rise, and the number of devices included in requests is up sharply.

The latest semiannual Apple Report on Government and Private Party Requests for Customer Information detailed requests by governments around the world from July 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017. According to Apple, although overall device requests are down, governments around the world have been using fewer requests to attempt to get information on far more accounts.

The Apple transparency report showed a slight year-over-year decrease in the total number of device requests received worldwide (30,184 in the second half of 2016 versus 29,718 in H2 2017), but the number of devices impacted by those requests more than doubled from 151,105 to 309,362.

Apple is not alone in receiving more government data requests; Google has reported similar increases, but Apple noted it has complied with a higher percentage of government data requests in the second half of 2017 (79%) compared to the same time period in 2016 (72%).

Apple’s transparency report shows the company has been complying with more of the government requests across multiple request types. Apple’s compliance with financial information requests was up year over year from 76% to 85%; account-based request compliance was up from 79% to 82%; and only compliance with emergency requests went down from 86% to 82%.

National security requests also rose sharply, according to the Apple transparency report. In the second half of 2016, Apple received between 5,750 and 5,999 national security requests and complied with the majority of them (between 4,750 and 4,999). In the same time period in 2017, Apple received more than 16,000 national security requests, but only provided data to the U.S. government in about half of those cases.

Richard Goldberg, principal and litigator at the law firm Goldberg & Clements in Washington, D.C., said he was struck by the large percentage of U.S. government requests made by either national security request or subpoena.

“Although Apple has challenged certain government requests aggressively in public, we don’t know how aggressive the company has been in private — which is especially relevant because these requests typically do not require a judge’s approval,” Goldberg said via email. “So the government collects this information, and it may never see the inside of a courtroom.”

Additional information

Goldberg added that the general level of detail in Apple’s transparency report is helpful, but suggested Apple “should break out administrative subpoenas from all other types.”

“Administrative subpoenas can have broad scope, because they often need only be related to something the agency is permitted to investigate, and they need not be connected to a grand jury proceeding or active litigation,” Goldberg said. “It’s a one-sided way for the government to demand information with little to no oversight, unless the recipient chooses to fight. And we don’t know how Apple makes that decision.”

According to Apple, the predominant reason for financial information requests around the world was credit card and iTunes gift card fraud and in multiple regions — including the U.S. — a “high number of devices specified in requests [was] predominantly due to device repair fraud investigations, fraudulent purchase investigations and stolen device investigations.”

It is unclear what data in the Apple transparency report correlates to the allegedly large number of devices the FBI and other law enforcement cannot access due to encryption, nor is it clear which data in the report correlates to iCloud backup data, which Apple has previously admitted to handing over to law enforcement.

SearchSecurity contacted Apple for clarification on these issues and Apple referred to its Legal Process Guidelines, which detailed the types of data in iCloud backups that Apple would be able to provide to law enforcement, including the subscriber’s name, address, email, telephone, mail logs, email content, iMessage data, SMS, photos and contacts.

However, Apple did note in the report that it would be adding “government requests to take down Apps from the App Store in instances related to alleged violations of legal and/or policy provisions,” starting with the transparency report for the second half of 2018.

NRF 2018: Where Microsoft partners bring intelligent retail – Microsoft Partner Network

The National Retail Federation’s annual trade show, NRF 2018, is the largest retail trade show in the US, and I’ll be there next week in New York City with some of our most innovative partners. NRF 2018 is the best place to experience the latest trends in retail, discover how brands of all sizes are approaching digital transformation, and get an early look at the latest retail technologies, innovations, and solutions. Thanks in part to Microsoft Azure, retailers are utilizing data, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize learnings and grow their businesses.

Microsoft understands that data-driven insights are key to a successful digital transformation for intelligent retailers. Leveraging data in smart and strategic ways helps retailers offer differentiated and personalized shopping experiences––and much more. Armed with the right data and solutions, retailers are transforming their online and brick-and-mortar offerings.

Here are the three Microsoft retail partners who will showcase their Azure-based solutions at NRF 2018:

Bunsar

Bunsar is based in Istanbul, Turkey, and created an Azure-based app that uses AI for visual search and product matching. The product is a real-time “recommendations mirror” that brick-and-mortar stores can use to draw foot traffic. The technology identifies the outfit you’re wearing, matches it to similar outfit options in its database, and makes recommendations for matching accessories and clothing. The Turkish equivalent of Macy’s­, Boyner Group, has an affiliate application called Hopi that is now tapping into Bunsar’s platform.

Xenia

Software developer Xenia Retail designed a seamless retail experience that eliminates shopping carts and check out lines. Shoppers use an app on their phone or on a tablet provided by the retailer. The app gives them tools and data that a sales associate would normally have, including crowd-sourced reviews, buying history, and suggestions for additional items. Shoppers simply hold the phone in front of the product, select the quantity, add it to their cart, and complete the purchase in the app or at a self-checkout terminal. There’s no scanning required, and employees in the back room fulfill the order. Xenia is based on Windows and runs on Azure. The company is integrating Power BI, Dynamics 365 and Outlook into its offerings.

Aprimo

Aprimo provides marketing operations and digital asset management technology to brands such as CVS, Pandora, IKEA, DICK’S Sporting Goods, and Samsonite. A major home-improvement retailer has also adopted Aprimo’s Azure-based solution to improve brand consistency and provide a single source for content. Role-based permissions control access to content, and users get advanced enterprise search to quickly find and reuse content.

Visit Microsoft and our partners at booth #2803 to gain inspiration, experience how retail is changing, and find out how we are collectively helping retail businesses transform to exceed customer expectations. I’ll also be speaking about Digital Leadership in Retail, joined by customers Luxottica and the Schwarz Gruppe on Monday, January 15 from 11:30 AM–12:30 PM. I look forward to seeing you there and exploring the exciting technology innovations that are powering the retail industry.

Join the conversation at the Microsoft Partner Community here.

Explore Bunsar Discover Xenia Check out Aprimo