Microsoft is to add new generative artificial intelligence capabilities to the Microsoft Industry Clouds in the 2024 release wave 1, which will be available from 1 April to 30 September 2024.
In the release, Microsoft is incorporating the solutions based on customer and partner feedback. Additions include new capabilities for Microsoft Cloud for Retail; Azure Data Manager for Agriculture; Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services; Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability; Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare; Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit; and Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty.
Microsoft Cloud for Retail 2024 release wave 1 includes the introduction of a new copilot template for personalised shopping on Azure OpenAI Service, which enables retailers to build tailored shopping experiences using natural language. The template can be embedded into existing experiences, such as a website or application, using a retailer’s current systems and data, allowing shoppers to find and purchase products more easily.
The Copilot template for store operations on Azure OpenAI Service has been updated to address customer feedback and requests. The template offers store associates on-demand access to store operational policies and tools to learn from customer behaviour, allowing them to personalise the shopping experience.
Finally, with retail data solutions in Microsoft Fabric, retailers can plan, architect and design data solutions for retail data governance, reporting, business intelligence and advanced analytics. Retailers can also bring commerce data from Sitecore OrderCloud connector into a standardised format and produce actionable insights.
The release for Azure Data Manager for Agriculture, meanwhile, provides enhancements for analytics scenarios with leading industry scenarios. These will include enhanced ability for data set curation, compatibility with analytics services, more powerful geospatial scenario support and repeatable data transformation workflows, which will work together to provide new analytics and AI capabilities.
Plans for Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services include the release of Meeting Prep for Financial Service. This solution is intended to ease data discovery and curation for investment bankers as they prepare for customer meetings.
Wave 1 will expand the breadth of Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability with new features in Microsoft Sustainability Manager, including large language model-based Q&A and qualitive summary for environmental, social and governance reporting. Organisations will be able to use product carbon footprint data exchange, discovery, customisation and testing of custom models and factor libraries, and AI-based suggestive labelling on waste data. This will help them to measure their carbon or waste to take steps on reporting and reducing their environmental impact.
Microsoft is continuing to improve its data model for Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare in the next release. This will support additional fast healthcare interoperability resources in virtual health data tables, along with updates to healthcare data solutions in Microsoft Fabric.
Customers using Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit will be able to customise their general-purpose models to the specific goals and objectives of their marketing and fundraising teams from June 2024, which may include adjusting model parameters such as predicting a specific time frame or targeting a specific gift size. Microsoft is also rebuilding the payments architecture for Fundraising and Engagement, as well as providing guidance on customising and extending it to any modern payment gateway. The new configurations, extension points and reference implementations will allow nonprofits to more easily extend and customise fundraising and engagement to their specific needs.
Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty is now generally available across all Azure regions, and new capabilities are moving into preview. These include a new drift analysis tool, which inspects a deployment and generates a list of non-compliant settings, as well as a severity rating, making it easier to identify any discrepancies to address and to verify the compliance of specific environments.
Customers can also request access to transparency logs, which provide visibility into the instances where Microsoft engineers have accessed customer resources through just-in-time access in response to a support request. Finally, new configuration tools in the Azure portal will allow customers to create a new sovereign landing zone in two simple steps using a guided experience.