Microsoft announces new cloud platforms built for financial services firms, nonprofits and manufacturers

Microsoft announces new cloud platforms built for financial services firms, nonprofits and manufacturers

CEO Satya Nadella said these new services will help businesses make faster and more intelligent decisions and build their own tech solutions.

Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president for business applications and global industry at Microsoft, explains the building blocks of the company’s new industry specific cloud offerings.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on Wednesday three new industry clouds to bring a modern and comprehensive tech stack to customers in financial services, nonprofits and manufacturing. These new services will help businesses make faster and more intelligent decisions and build their own tech solutions, the CEO said in a video presentation.

Companies can use these capabilities to improve time to value, increase agility, and reduce costs, according to Nadella.

“Across all these sectors, it’s no longer sufficient for organizations to just adopt technology, they need to build their own technology to compete and grow,” he said.

In a video announcement of the news, Nadella described how customers in each sector are using these tailored cloud services. Novartis is using artificial intelligence to make it easier and cheaper to build new medicines. BlackRock is migrating its stock trade platform to the cloud. Johnson Controls is using digital twins to change how buildings are designed, built and managed.

“All three companies used our platforms and tools to build tech intensity and overcome big challenges,” he said.

SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players (TechRepublic)

Nadella described “tech intensity” as a combination of tech adoption and tech capability which is also influenced by the degree of trust in both elements. Employees and customers have to have confidence in the business model alignment and the tech platform for these solutions to succeed, he said.

Nadella said Microsoft uses these four principles to guide this work:

  • Building trust in business model alignment 
  • Ensuring customer ownership and control of data
  • Using subject matter experts to guide industry customization 
  • Collaborating with a strong partner ecosystem  

Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president for business applications and global industry at Microsoft, joined Nadella in the video presentation to explain how these three new cloud products are tailored to the needs and challenges of the specific industries. According to a blog post by Taylor, Microsoft created these customized cloud services by bringing together common data models, cross-cloud connectors, workflows, APIs, and industry-specific components and standards with Microsoft 365 and Teams, Azure, Microsoft Power Platform, Dynamics 365 and security solutions. 

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services

This offering combines APIs, security and compliance for banks and other financial institutions. According to Microsoft, retail banks use this cloud service to create a 360-degree view of the customer with greater insight to determine the next best action. A feature called Loan Manager makes it possible to close loans faster by streamlining workflows and increasing transparency through automation. Microsoft announced that a public preview of this cloud will start in March and that ABN AMRO and Manulife are already using some of the functionality.

Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing

This industry-specific product is meant to combine new and existing capabilities to connect people, assets, workflows and business processes, according to Microsoft. Taylor said during a video presentation that companies that contributed to the Ventilator Challenge UK used some of these capabilities to take production of ventilators from 50 per week to 1,500. This cloud product will be available for public preview by the end of June.

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits

This service is designed to make it easier for charitable organizations to engage supporters, fundraise, design and deliver programs, and manage volunteers by using a common data model. Right to Play used these cloud services to increase donors from 100 per month to more than 3,000, according to Microsoft. 

Microsoft launched cloud services for healthcare companies last year and is planning the first update in April. This includes support for eight new languages and new services for remote patient monitoring, care coordination, and patient self-service. 

The company announced cloud services for retail companies in January and is planning to make those services available for public preview in March.

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