P LU S : Microsoft’s Nicole Dezen discusses the value of business partnerships Johnson Controls helps customers accelerate the journey to net zero, says Nicole Denil Avanade’s digital twin solutions could be the answer to modern manufacturing issues Microsoft and its partners can improve retail resiliency, says Shelley Bransten Schneider Electric is helping to address carbon emissions and energy costs I S S U E 2 7 : WI NT E R 2 0 2 2 £ 2 4 . 0 0 The evolution of AI Microsoft’s Lili Cheng and Darren Bennett discuss how the progress of intelligent technologies is empowering businesses to achieve more
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OFFER CONSUMERS A CHOICE O er them choices such as “Eco-light” packaging, recycle damaged clothes REDUCE EMISSIONS Reduction of GHG Emissions (Scope 1, 2 & 3) across all operations, make Supply Chain Greener across Upstream & Downstream HELP CUSTOMERS/EMPLOYEES OFFSET THEIR IMPACT Help customers/employees to feel empowered, that their decisions leaves a positive long-term impact & di erence REDUCE WASTE & INTRODUCE CIRCULARITY Wastage reduction across the value chain during procurement, manufacturing & delivery through planning, forecasting, initiatives SET TARGETS & ENSURE PROGRESS IS REAL Plan, set aspirational targets and measure actuals to understand progress, publish for consumer consumption COLLABORATE WITH OTHERS, WITH BROADER SUPPLY CHAIN Educate & include Suppliers in the overall supply chain landscape as the suppliers have limited exposure to new brand of consumers INVEST IN DIVERSITY, EQUALITY & INCLUSION Create initiatives & programs to prevent attrition, improve Social & Governance structure What Retail Companies should focus on? More & more consumers of today are questioning how the food they eat, the cloth they wear are produced. Therefore, Sustainability has become a necessary step for Retail Companies. Prioritizing Sustainability in the Retail is key, & the Push for Sustainability in Retail is coming through - 89% Consumer industry CxOs believe that, with immediate action, they can limit the worst impacts of climate change & move toward an improved future. The Sustainable Conscious Consumer Shareholders & Investors Sentiment Ripple E ects in the Boardroom
At Microsoft Practice, we o er Infosys EcoWatch Platform for Retail Companies to drive & publish sustainability goals across your facilities, buildings, plants by managing data collection, reviewing, and publishing across teams & stakeholders. Water Data Model Such as Water Consumption, Usage for Water E ciency in textile dyeing, nishing facilities, supplier facilities Waste Data Model With E ciency in tracking enabling reduction per unit of manufacturing, distribution levers & packaging related waste Energy Data Model Tracking across facilities of owned sites, as well as energy generated from supply chain, logistics sites, stores, other retail spaces Emissions Data Model & framework across Scope 1, 2 & 3 tracking of emissions from home deliveries, reduction from transport used such as long-haul trucks etc. Social & Governance Data Model for tracking KPIs across Wages, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Plan to Publish Process ow for Seamless Collaboration across stakeholders Green Supplier Connect for Green Supply Chain Employee Carbon Footprint Scorecard for Increased Awareness Plan, Ingest, Audit, and Publish your Sustainability Goals and Data leveraging INFOSYS ECOWATCH PLATFORM FOR RETAIL LIVE ON INFOSYS COBALT To learn more please visit our website: https://www.infosys.com/services/microsoft-dynamics.html or you can also reach out to Ashish Saxena for more details.
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7 WE LCOME : WI NT E R 2 0 2 2 Success in challenging times With 2022 drawing to a close, economic forecasts for the year ahead are, at best, challenging. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, a slower than anticipated re-emergence of the Chinese economy from Covid-19 lockdown and the threat of recession looming large across a growing number of countries has led many leading industry analysts to predict growth in worldwide markets of no more than two per cent for the coming year. During this period of uncertainty industry and civic leaders around the globe are looking to technology in a bid to drive productivity and further reduce cost. As we learn in our cover story, the answer for many organisations will come from the rapidly emerging world of artificial intelligence. Corporate vice president for AI and research Lili Cheng and worldwide general manager of mixed reality applications Darren Bennett tell us more about Microsoft’s strategies for the AI space, whilst a selection of the corporation’s leading partners showcase a broad spectrum of industry solutions and services. You’ll find that story beginning on page 48. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from recently appointed chief partner officer and corporate vice president of global partner solutions Nicole Dezen about the reasons behind the creation of this entirely new role and her aspirations for Microsoft and its global ecosystem of partners in the year ahead. Our interview with Nicole starts on page 42. As this edition of the magazine is published, the National Retail Federation prepares for its annual NRF Big Show in New York. We talk with Shelley Bransten, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of worldwide retail and consumer goods industries, about the structural resilience which digital technology is bringing to the retail industry, the innovation which is driving competitive advantage at all levels, and the tools that both Microsoft and its community of partners are bringing to the retail arena. The feature begins on page 156. Unpredictable times ahead, no doubt, but in this issue of Technology Record we bring you encouraging news of industry and public sector leaders rising to the challenge of the coming year through the adoption of exciting new technology tools. I hope you enjoy the read. ANDY C L AY TON - SM I TH : E X E CUT I V E ED I TOR
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9 CONT ENT S 48 THE E VOLUT I ON OF A I Microsoft’s Lili Cheng and Darren Bennett discuss how Microsoft and its partners are driving technological evolution to empower businesses to achieve more 16 MAR K E TWATCH The latest news from Microsoft and its partners, including Microsoft’s involvement with COP27 42 A passion for partners Microsoft’s chief partner officer Nicole Dezen discusses how the firm is helping partners to navigate a tumultuous business landscape 62 Tony Velleca of CyberProof advises businesses to adopt a cloud-native architecture to protect their IT infrastructure 65 ContraForce’s Hannah Gerstner highlights the value of going back to basics in cybersecurity 66 Gareth Burton of Orbus Software explains why digital transformation may now be a meaningless phrase 68 Johnson Controls is helping businesses balance their daily operations with the journey to net zero 72 D igital technologies will be key to reducing carbon emissions and softening the impact of soaring energy prices, says Schneider Electric’s Olivier Blum 75 A s part of Microsoft’s Supply Chain Center, Overhaul will transform experiences for Microsoft partners and customers 76 Anywhere365’s Enrico Karsten explains how artificial intelligence and machine learning empower contact centre agents 78 i Server365 enables businesses to make the most of their application data. Orbus Software’s Reda Gadiri and OBASA’s Mankgopo Moroaswi tell us more 80 PMI’s Power Platform University Hub is helping students with low-code training 82 A FAS has expedited customer query response times with Anywhere365 solutions 83 According to Metafile’s Alyssa Putzer, businesses must invest in artificial intelligence to attract and retain employees I S S U E 2 7 : WI NT E R 2 0 2 2
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11 84 E POS devices use next-generation technology and artificial intelligence to create optimal listening experiences 86 JourneyTEAM helped Xyngular migrate from a legacy on-premises solution to Dynamics 365 Business Central 87 Microsoft Viva helps to engage employees, combat burnout and streamline operations. Synergy Technical’s Dan Finn explains 88 A VIXA’s Sean Wargo explains the value of communication in resolving audiovisual supply chain issues 90 A few examples of how Johnson Controls is helping organisations use its solutions for improved environmental strategies 92 Barracuda’s data protection applications can safeguard files in Microsoft 365, especially with the rise of hybrid cloud environments 93 Kyndryl’s Levi Norman shares how distributed cloud environments enable users to access edge computing and meet performance and compliance needs 94 Lisa Stewart of Teradata outlines five ways that businesses can use third-party data analytics to make the most of their data 96 Carla Granger discusses how Microsoft 365 has enabled Kyndryl to support customers’ digital transformations 98 The AV and IT sectors are collaborating to develop technologies that transform how people work and live. AVIXA’s Dan Goldstein tells us more 100 Richard Baird explains how Kyndryl and Microsoft’s approach to mainframe data helps customers realise new possibilities 102 Attilio Licciardello shares how Mida Solutions helps enterprises to interact with customers within the Microsoft Teams environment CONT ENT S F E ATUR ED PARTNE R S 185 A selection of Microsoft partners operating across all business sectors 192 THE L A S T WORD Technology industry analyst Jeff Kagan discusses the challenges and opportunities presented by the metaverse
12 CONT ENT S F I NANC I A L S E RV I C E S I NDUS T R I A L S & MANUFAC TUR I NG 122 Oil and gas players must adopt data management technology to achieve decarbonisation goals, says AVEVA’s Rashesh Mody 124 Avanade’s Chris Lowndes and Barry Maybank share the role of digital twins and service-centric business models in solving manufacturing challenges 126 Steel manufacturer Troax has used Barracuda Backup products to secure its global data more quickly and smoothly 127 Manufacturers should use a predictive maintenance model to manage and protect their production process, says ICONICS’ Melissa Topp 128 PTC’s Steve Dertien explains how digital thread and digital twin technologies can help manufacturers to reach their digital transformation goals 130 AVEVA’s Simon Bennet shares his predictions on the evolutions of the industrial metaverse 134 Experlogix helped Thermo Fisher Scientific to reduce quote times, while improving instrument accuracy and business processes 108 Best of both worlds Microsoft’s Indranil Sircar discusses how weaving together digital and physical environments could transform manufacturing 118 M icrosoft and Ansys have developed a new approach to training artificial intelligence models using digital twins 120 Osem-Nestlé is using Augury’s Machine Health solutions to predict and prevent machine failures MED I A & COMMUN I CAT I ONS 136 A personal revolution Leonard Arul and Scott Davis of Microsoft discuss the potential of personalised services to improve experiences and revenue 104 Empowering workforces to strengthen customer loyalty Microsoft and its partners can help financial services leaders to balance efficiencies with customer experiences
13 R E TA I L & CG 156 Retail resilience How solutions from Microsoft and its partners are aiding retailers and consumer good organisations 166 RSM is focusing on understanding consumers to help clients create premium customer experiences 168 M icrosoft and Blue Yonder are working together to improve retail experiences for employees and customers PUB L I C S E C TOR 170 R etailers need a smarter approach to customer engagement, says Seb Reeve of Nuance Communications 172 Diebold Nixdorf ’s Reint Jan Holterman shares three strategies that can help retailers find success 174 Rahul Kumar and Ravi Sharma explain how Infosys’ REF-OR-M Smart Retail Solution is helping stores build customer loyalty 176 Flooid’s Donna Stevens tells us how cloud and omnichannel offerings can help brands meet customer expectations 177 How Axis Communications has helped RC Willey to reduce theft and vandalism with security and analytics technologies 178 Osotspa has used Tollring’s Analytics 365 solution to support remote workers by improving communication and collaboration 180 According to Richard Meeus of Akamai, retailers should prioritise cybersecurity as they fight to keep the trust of consumers 182 Heineken has improved the productivity of sales and account managers by implementing Experlogix CPQ 142 Connected urban transport Microsoft and its partner ecosystem are helping cities deliver next-generation transportation systems 146 Automated Intelligence’s Paul Hudson shares how organisations can improve information management 147 How SignUp Software’s solution has helped Reliable Medical Supplies reduce employee workloads 148 Louisa Barker of IDC discusses the ways technology is improving the lives of displaced peoples 150 Gamma’s Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams has helped believe housing ease hybrid working for its employees 152 Microsoft’s Sally Frank and Tim Gray discuss how technological evolution is aiding inclusive healthcare
PUB L I SHED I N COL L ABORAT I ON WI TH Microsoft is the world leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential. I S S U E 2 7 : WI NT E R 2 0 2 2 Executive editor Andy Clayton-Smith Production editor Elly Yates-Roberts Editorial team Alice Chambers, Rebecca Gibson, Jacqui Griffiths, Amber Hickman, Richard Humphreys, Lindsay James, Alex Smith Production manager Stuart Fairbrother Design Bruce Graham, Libby Sidebotham, Dhanika Vansia Website development Chris Jackson Partner managers Tim Grayson, Ricky Popat, Daniel Thurlow, Thomas Wills, Paul Zmija Subscriptions For subscription enquiries, please contact Tudor Rose on email@example.com or visit the website www.technologyrecord.com/subscribe Circulation Ritwik Bhattacharjee Publisher Toby Ingleton Photography courtesy of contributors and www.istockphoto.com Business management Rachael Heggs, Richard Pepperman Published by Tudor Rose Tudor House, 6 Friar Lane, Leicester LE1 5RA Tel: +44 116 222 9900 www.tudor-rose.co.uk Technology Record is a quarterly magazine about technology solutions for enterprise organisations, published by Tudor Rose in collaboration with Microsoft. For further information and to subscribe, please visit: www.technologyrecord.com/subscribe Visit www.technologyrecord.com for up-to-date news and articles about Microsoft technology for enterprise businesses, a comprehensive directory of Microsoft partners that provide solutions for enterprise businesses, and to find out more about our printed publications. ISSN 2754-3277 (Print) and 2754-3285 (Online). Printed in Great Britain by Micropress. © 2022 Tudor Rose Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be stored or transmitted or reproduced in any form or by any means, including whether by photocopying, scanning, downloading onto computer or otherwise without the prior written permission from Tudor Rose Holdings Ltd. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Microsoft or the publishers. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply official endorsement of the products or services concerned. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy of content, no responsibility can be taken for any errors and/or omissions. Readers should take appropriate professional advice before acting on any issue raised herein. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject advertising material and editorial contributions. The publisher assumes no liability for the return or safety of unsolicited art, photography or manuscripts. Follow Technology Record: Experlogix solutions simplify and humanise complex products and processes to unlock workflow velocity and create a better customer experience. EPOS delivers high-end audio and video solutions with design, technology and performance in mind. Johnson Controls is a global leader in smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, and reimagines building performance to serve people, places and the planet. Kyndryl and Microsoft are delivering solutions that enable modern work experiences and support mission-critical workloads and hybrid cloud adoption. Infosys is a global leader in nextgeneration digital services and consulting, enabling clients to navigate their digital journeys. PTC enables global manufacturers to realise value with software solutions that accelerate product and service innovation, improve operational efficiency, and increase workforce productivity. AVEVA creates industrial software that inspires people to shape the future, by delivering solutions across the asset and operations life cycles. Augury provides insights into the health of machines, processes and operations to transform how people work and what they create to benefit business outcomes and the environment. AVIXA, the international trade association for the audiovisual industry, believes technology changes the way people experience the world. Schneider Electric drives digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies for homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries. Orbus Software provides cloud solutions for digital transformation to accelerate its customers’ success and enable them to build operational resiliency. PUB L I SH I NG PAR TNE R S
15 S PONSOR S ANA LY S T S AND I NDU S T R Y ORGAN I S AT I ONS Where Manufacturing Meets IT
16 MAR K E TWATCH Microsoft was the strategic technology partner and principal sponsor of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) this year, which took place between 6 and 18 November 2022 in Sharm-El Sheikh, Egypt. In recent years, the technology firm has established environmental, societal and governance goals, which involve reducing the production and use of carbon to combat climate change. Microsoft has successfully committed to remove 2.5 million tonnes of carbon in the financial years of 2021 and 2022, according to its 2022 Impact Summary, which was published in October 2022. However, it recognises that much more must be done to combat climate change. “The world needs to move faster and COP27 will provide an important forum to move from pledges to progress,” said Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft. “We are proud to partner with the Egyptian government and support this urgent effort.” Smith spoke at the First Movers Coalition Leaders Panel on 8 November at COP27. “People sometimes look at this COP and say its only about implementation,” he said. “I think implementation is a fancy word for getting real work done.” During the summit, some of the world’s most influential political leaders, including heads of states and prime ministers, came together to plan a course of action to implement change. In its role as strategic technology partner, Microsoft aimed to help people and organisations better understand how technology can be used in solutions to the complex climate challenges facing the world today. For example, Microsoft Azure’s data analysis and artificial intelligence capabilities can predict and evaluate an organisation’s production of harmful emissions, and inform reduction measures. Microsoft leads sustainability initiatives as COP27’s strategic technology partner From monitoring data in the cloud to predicting natural disasters with AI, Microsoft revealed how technology can be used to combat the cause and impact of climate change at the summit in November Photo: Microsoft Microsoft’s pavilion at COP27 was built primarily from recycled materials
17 During COP27, Microsoft announced its partnership with weather technology provider Tomorrow.io. Both organisations will support governments, businesses and farmers in Africa to adapt to the increasing impact of climate change on the weather and agricultural produce. Tomorrow.io will also deploy its satellite coverage of real-time data with an AI-powered global weather model on Microsoft Azure’s High Performance Computing services to provide a cloud-based solution for climate adaptation and early weather warnings. This will allow users to prepare for disasters and adapt their farming techniques accordingly. “We are excited to collaborate with Tomorrow.io to bring climate adaptation solutions to Africa, where there is such an urgent need to address the effects of climate change,” said Kunle Awosika, managing director of the Africa transformation office at Microsoft. “Technology has the ability to accelerate the transition beyond sustainability pledges to progress, and collaborations like these are needed to shift the momentum to build a more sustainable future for all.” In addition, Microsoft Egypt revealed its intention to work with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) during COP27 to accelerate sustainability management. The joint initiative includes establishing a Government Center of Excellence for Emissions Accounting and Reporting, delivering training programmes in cloud computing and using AI to improve Egyptian agriculture. They will co-develop digital techniques to help farmers improve the use of water in irrigating crops and to take preventative measure to protect them. “We are working closely with MCIT to provide the necessary technology solutions that support the Egyptian government’s efforts to reduce the negative effects of climate change in line with the National Climate Change Strategy 2050,” said Mirna Arif, general manager of Microsoft Egypt, during the summit. DID YOU KNOW? Microsoft’s Airband programme, which aims to advance digital equity, has already connected some of the most remote rural areas to the internet and plans to continue increasing global digital skills. According to Microsoft, this new level of connectivity will allow farmers to develop new business models, production chains and electronic commerce, which will result in better produce and farming profits, as well as reducing carbon production. It will also help them use data to increase their yield and prepare for natural disasters. Photo: Microsoft Photo: Flickr/UN Climate Change “I think implementation is a fancy word for getting real work done,” said Microsoft’s vice chair and president Brad Smith at COP27
18 MAR K E TWATCH Emotet malware has resurfaced as a threat to financial organisations, despite international efforts to disrupt its spread in 2021. According to cybersecurity provider Akamai, there has been a strong increase in infections by Emotet since November 2021 as it returned to being one of the most prevalent forms of malware. The trojan spreads via phishing emails, launching its service once a user clicks a link opening a macro-enabled attachment. It then primarily functions as a downloader of other malware code and can evade many types of detection by blending in with general email communications. Akamai’s cloud-based secure web gateway (SWG) looks at all outbound Domain Name System (DNS) and URLs, blocking requests to Emotet delivery sites early and before any connection is made. Read more at: https://bit.ly/3uO58Mq Akamai protects against re-emerging financial services malware Engineering and simulation software provider Ansys has added new Hybrid Analytics capabilities to its digital twin creation solution. Ansys Twin Builder enables users to quickly create digital twins of in-service assets, which in turn facilitates enhanced life cycle management and predictive maintenance. The new Hybrid Analytics capabilities are comprised of a set of machine learning tools that combine physics and data in different ways so that users can increase their digital twin prediction accuracy. Hybrid Data Enhancing Sim Sim Enhancing ML Models Physics and Simulation Data and ML Ansys enriches digital twin solution DID YOU KNOW? Daryl Plummer, chief of research at Gartner, presented the predictions at Gartner IT Symposium Orlando on 18 October 2022 Photo: Gartner By 2025, the variable nature of labour will cause 40 per cent of organisations to report a material business loss, forcing a shift in talent strategy from acquisition to resilience. Also by 2025, artificial intelligence will consume more energy than the human workforce, significantly contributing to the production of carbon, if sustainable practices aren’t adopted. By 2027, fully virtual workspaces will account for 30 per cent of the investment growth by enterprises in metaverse technologies, reimagining the office experience. Read more about the above predictions in Gartner’s Top Strategic Predictions for 2023 and Beyond.
19 Orbus Software named leader for enterprise architecture Orbus Software has been named as a 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for enterprise architecture tools. The firm was recognised for its ‘Ability to Execute’ and ‘Completeness of Vision’. Gartner also highlighted Orbus’s strengths in demonstrating strong growth and market momentum, having a variable product, pricing and marketing approach, and portraying a faster time to value with industryspecific guidance. “Orbus Software’s placement in the Gartner Leaders Quadrant truly validates our strategy and strong execution,” said Gareth Burton, CEO at Orbus. “The recognition is testament to the hard work of our team, who have delivered against our vision of guiding our customers along successful digital transformation journeys.” PMI and Microsoft have released the Power Platform University Hub, which provides students with an integrated curriculum focused on using lowcode platforms to accelerate digital transformation. Following completion of the courses, students can earn a PMI Citizen Developer-Trained Practitioner micro-credential and a Microsoft PL-100 Power Platform App Maker certification. “We are committed to helping equip the next generation of leaders with tools that will enable them to excel in the workforce,” said Sam Sibley, global head of citizen developer at PMI. “And that’s why we’ve collaborated with Microsoft to create the Power Platform University Hub, which teaches students how to solve a wide range of business problems with low-code – one of the fastest growing technologies in the job landscape today.” Learn more about how PMI and Microsoft are expanding access to citizen development to drive employability on page 80. PMI partners with Microsoft to upskill students to drive tech-enabled projects
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22 MAR K E TWATCH Schneider Electric has become a founding member of SEMI’s Semiconductor Climate Consortium, which is the first global collaboration of semiconductor ecosystem companies focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) across the value chain. This collaboration underlines Schneider’s ongoing commitment to climate action as the Group has pledged to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2025 and net zero across its entire value chain in 2050. The consortium’s members are committed to working towards aligning common approaches, technology innovations and communications channels to reduce GHGs, as well as publicly reporting progress on Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions annually. Find out more at: www.bit.ly/3XQMCAk Microsoft launched its new Cloud Partner Program in October 2022, with the aim of helping partners create and sell solutions for customers in any scenario and industry. The relaunch of its partner network is designed for Microsoft partners involved in building and selling services, software or devices and focuses on six areas aligned with the Microsoft Cloud: data and artificial intelligence, infrastructure, digital and app innovation, business applications, modern work, and security. Microsoft will offer partners opportunities to develop and sell solutions to customers around the globe, as well as to grow their businesses and expand customer connections. According to Nicole Dezen, chief partner officer and corporate vice president of global partner solutions at Microsoft, the programme will also help customers get more from their Microsoft investments to keep them and their customers at the forefront of cloud innovation. Read more about the programme on page 42. Microsoft to support partners in new Cloud Partner Program Automation technology provider Crestron has released a new e-book titled Virtual Control Solutions for the Modern Workplace, which outlines the value of its Virtual Control software in helping businesses deliver modern workplace experiences. The publication highlights the need for control systems in enabling consistent and productive interactions with in-room technologies, and how the Virtual Control suite meets these needs. The software platform features a single software package than can be used across an entire organisation and can help users reduce costs, improve scalability as the business grows, repeat room configurations for mass deployment, and is easy to customise and update. Read the full e-book at: www.bit.ly/ crestronvirtual-control Crestron outlines value of Virtual Control in new e-book Schneider Electric becomes founding member of Semiconductor Climate Consortium
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24 MAR K E TWATCH : R E TA I L ROUND - UP Flooid updates Mobile POS for better retail experiences Retail technology provider Flooid has updated its Mobile POS solution to deliver fast, frictionless and personalised retail experiences. The firm has refreshed the point of sale (POS) solution’s user interface to make it lighter and more efficient, while extending its ‘click and collect’ and ‘save the sale’ omnichannel journeys. The update also enables more complex workflows such as refunds and returns, and now integrates with new partners including Adyen and Klarna. “Mobile POS brings together your customer, digital and store strategy,” said Donna Stevens, senior vice president of product and marketing management at Flooid. “We offer years of mobile POS experience, a cloud-enabled platform and ease of integration with users’ technology ecosystems, supporting them to create more flexible, modern and mobile ways to engage and transact.”
25 The latest Akamai Web Application and API Threat Report has highlighted three key trends for retailers to take note of in the 2022 holiday season and beyond: 1Retail is now the most attacked industry, taking the top spot from hotel and travel in April 2022. Retailers can expect to see more attack traffic during the holiday season than ever before. 2Local file inclusion – in which an application is tricked into exposing files – is now the most common web application attack technique. This is followed by cross-site scripting, with Structured Query Language injection dropping to third. 3The USA is now the most common source and destination of cyberattacks. According to the report, retailers will now have to leverage more advanced detections. Read more at: https://bit.ly/3uT009L Retailer security insights DID YOU KNOW? Analyst firm IDC predicts that businesses will invest in customer data platforms, artificial intelligence, Web3 and other technologies to transform the customer experience in 2023 and beyond. According to the IDC FutureScape: Top 10 Predictions for the Future of Customer Experience report, customers are demanding greater value, more memorable and immersive experiences, and greater control over how they interact with enterprises to feel like equal stakeholders in the customer experience ecosystem. RSM has released the Fall 2022 issue of its Retail and restaurant industry outlook report, which highlights trends and insights within the industries. According to the report, consumers are getting creative to stretch their budgets as disposable incomes reach the lowest figures since 2009. For example, consumers will continue buying earlier in the holiday season, allowing them to look for discounts. Budget-conscious customers are also increasingly focused on generic and store brands. Contrastingly, the report highlighted that monthly spending on food outside of the home continues to rise. RSM report highlights trends in retail and hospitality Infosys POS solution enhances customer experience Infosys’s Store Associate point of sale (POS) solution now leverages Microsoft Power Platform to provide a more personalised shopping experience. The all-in-one POS application has everything a store associate would need to guide conversation with customers. “The role of the retail store is evolving rapidly post-pandemic because consumers are also evolving,” said Diptendu Konar, Power Platform solution lead at Infosys. “While consumers are moving towards omnichannel shopping experiences, bridging the gap between technology and the human workforce can be achieved by guided selling. Self-checkout, curbside pickup, buy-online-pick-up-in-store are helping to speed up the buying process, where assisted selling is enhancing the in-store consumer experience.”
26 MAR K E TWATCH Axis Communications revealed four new security products at the 2022 Global Security Exchange. These comprise the AM3057-PLR Mk II Dome Camera solution, which delivers a 180- to 360-degree view of an area, regardless of light conditions; the A1210 Network Door Controller, that can store up to 250,000 credentials or event logs per unit; and the D3100 Connectivity Hub, which offers secure integration of sensors and audio equipment into network systems, increasing scene awareness through high-quality audio. A feature update to AXIS Object Analytics feature also tracks objects that stay in a monitored area longer than a user-defined time, such as loitering individuals. “Our solutions easily and securely integrate into other systems, providing our customers with more insight to bolster security and enhance their business,” said Fredrik Nilsson, vice president of the Americas at Axis Communications. Neat’s full portfolio of devices is now certified for use with Microsoft Teams to support a wide range of workspaces and uses. “Neat is proud to be the fastest device manufacturer ever to certify with Microsoft Teams,” said Sherri Pipala, director for global alliances at Neat. “With Teams certification across the full portfolio, we can now offer new experiences and support a wider range of workspaces, from hot desks and personal spaces to larger conference rooms. “We’re already receiving positive response from customers looking for reliable devices that bring incredibly easy, rich and equitable video meeting experiences to their hybrid meeting spaces.” Neat devices now certified for Microsoft Teams Microsoft has released its 2022 Global Diversity & Inclusion Report, which details the representation of its workforce across the world. According to the report, the technology firm has diversified its staff since its 2021 report by employing and promoting more female staff, as well as individuals from minority groups. Female employees now make up more than 30 per cent of Microsoft’s core workforce worldwide, having increased by one per cent since 2021. In addition, employees from racial and ethnic minority communities now make up 53.2 per cent of Microsoft’s core workforce in the USA, having increased by 1.9 per cent since 2021. Microsoft addresses gender and minority pay gap, finds report Axis Communications unveils new security products
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28 MAR K E TWATCH Microsoft has launched its new Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, which is designed to maximise the use of supply chain data by combining Microsoft’s artificial intelligence with low-code, security and software-as-aservice applications. The Supply Chain Platform will be built around the Microsoft Supply Chain Center, which will work natively with an organisation’s supply chain data and applications to provide supply and demand insights, as well as order management. It will analyse data from applications such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers, including SAP and Oracle. The Supply Chain Center will also include prebuilt modules to address supply chain disruptions. Overhaul has been selected as a launch partner for Microsoft’s new Supply Chain Center. Microsoft customers will benefit from Overhaul’s data to inform real-time supply chain risk scenarios and allow customers to better and more quickly test those scenarios. “Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex, and customers are demanding more actionable insights to help them understand and act on what is happening in realtime,” said Barry Conlon, CEO and founder of Overhaul. “By delivering our solution with Microsoft, we will take supply chains from being able to sense and respond, to being capable of anticipating and acting, helping shippers deliver truly innovative supply chains in far less time and with greater precision.” Microsoft’s Supply Chain Platform to enhance supply and demand services PARTNER PERSPECTIVE Overhaul partners with Microsoft on new supply chain initiative
29 Industrial software provider PTC is accelerating its transformation toward software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions with two additions to its digital thread portfolio. Windchill+ is a pre-configured and secure SaaS product life cycle management (PLM) service that is core to product development and digital thread needs, and Kepware+ is the latest iteration of the Kepware industrial connectivity solution. PTC plans to introduce additional “plus” products, including Creo+, the latest version of its computeraided design software, in 2023. ICONICS has partnered with equipment and systems provider Takebishi Corporation to deliver Takebishi’s DeviceXPlorer OPC Server to customers in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The OPC Foundationcertified DeviceXPlorer solution connects to over 230 different devices through more than 80 communication protocols. Takebishi supports companies such as Mitsubishi Electric, Rockwell Automation, Siemens and other widely used controllers. A free trial download of the DeviceXPlorer OPC Server is available at: www.iconics.com/opc PTC offers new SaaS solutions for PLM and industrial connectivity ICONICS strengthens alliance with Takebishi Corporation
30 MAR K E TWATCH Unified communication solution provider Gamma has investigated how 100 brands are putting solutions into practice to make hybrid working seamless and effective for employees. This co-creation builds on the Frontiers event which was held earlier this year and addresses challenges associated with the future of work, customer experience and employee engagement. Investigating the various views on how the future is shaping up for the hybrid workforce, Alex Ayers, sales director at Gamma, said: “As leaders all over the world puzzle over how to make hybrid work and how to retain their critical talent, big questions loom: what is the role of the office? Is the commute worth it? How do teams better connect? We want to show what 100 brands are doing in response.” Find out more about Gamma at: www.gamma.co.uk Gamma shares future insights in new report Johnson Controls and Microsoft are helping businesses meet sustainability goals by providing greater insights for emissions measurements and tracking via its Net Zero Advisor application. The feature – which is part of Johnson Controls’ Microsoft cloud-hosted OpenBlue Enterprise Manager – gathers and analyses data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy, consumption and costs. As such, it simplifies reporting and performance tracking, so users can evaluate the environmental impact of their property portfolio with full visibility of emissions, detailed energy use readings, and facility trends against goals. Johnson Controls accelerates decarbonisation with Net Zero Advisor
31 Software-as-a-service platform provider ContraForce has made its cybersecurity service available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, enabling customers to simply and efficiently use ContraForce through their existing Microsoft contracts. The move will also extend ContraForce’s reach to a broader customer base, with the hope of making cybersecurity more accessible, affordable and attainable. ContraForce integrates with Microsoft technologies and includes 24/7 threat detection, incident response plans and time-saving automation processes. ContraForce brings cybersecurity management to Azure Marketplace VantageCloud Lake to drive analytical innovation at scale Teradata has released VantageCloud Lake, a cloud-native service designed to accelerate business outcomes for virtually any analytics use case, including smaller necessary, exploratory and departmental workloads. “Teradata VantageCloud Lake is the result of a multi-year journey to create a new paradigm for data and analytics – one where superior performance, agility and value all go hand-in-hand,” said Hillary Ashton, chief product officer at Teradata. “With Teradata VantageCloud Lake, we now support all analytic workload needs at every level in the organisation, enabling companies to be more nimble, experimental, and innovative in an easy-to-use solution, without losing the governance and cost visibility for which Teradata is known.”
32 MAR K E TWATCH Synergy Technical helps users achieve work-life balance Cloud solution provider Synergy Technical is helping businesses create a more holistic and employee health-focused work culture with Microsoft Viva Engagement. The engagement application helps customers deploy Microsoft Viva to optimise business operations by providing the tools to better manage and understand a healthy work-life balance. “We have always believed that emphasising the well-being of your people is crucial to building a more productive and balanced workforce,” said Rohana Meade, president and CEO of Synergy Technical. “Microsoft Viva is the employee experience platform within Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams that supports company connection, personal insight and employee growth.” JourneyTEAM gears up for Tech Insider Update JourneyTEAM’s first Tech Insider webinar of 2023 will take place on 21 February 2023. The event, which is held three times a year, highlights the latest Microsoft technology updates and industry trends, and shares them with business professionals during a one-hour webinar. JourneyTEAM consultants and developers will be on hand during the session to show what’s working in various industries and how to implement the right technologies in response to a business’s needs. To register for the webinar, visit: www.journeyteam.com/tech-insider-updates EPOS transforms hybrid meeting experiences Audio solution provider EPOS is working to improve hybrid and in-person meeting experiences with its meeting room controller and scheduling panel, EXPAND Control. The solution seamlessly integrates with unified communication solutions, such as Microsoft Teams, for any meeting room and displays bookings on screen. The tablet has an optimal viewing angle and a large 10.12” anti-glare treated touch screen. It also supports EPOS EXPAND Vision video conferring solutions and offers flexible tidy mounting options.
33 DID YOU KNOW? “ Microsoft data centres are operating around the clock to support a wide spectrum of critical services, from the life-saving work of doctors and first responders to essential services like groceries and online banking. At the same time, data centres also empower everyday necessities like food deliveries, remote work and video calls to family.” – Bill Briggs, writer at Microsoft Jabra has launched Evolve2 Buds, a new addition to its Evolve series of products. Certified for Microsoft Teams and virtual meeting platforms, the wireless earphones are designed for hybrid working and on-the-go professionals. According to Jabra, they use the latest technology to reduce disruptive background noise and enhance call quality. Evolve2 Buds come with Adjustable Active Noise Cancellation, which can be personalised based on listening preferences. Jabra’s MultiSensor Voice technology also provides a unique combination of microphones, bone conduction sensors and advanced algorithms to reduce surrounding noise, helping to minimise distractions. Users can connect to two devices at once with Advanced Multipoint connection, which provides further flexibility. “In a world where virtual meetings are the norm, it's more important than ever to be heard on calls without disruptions,” said Nigel Dunn, EMEA North managing director at Jabra. “Evolve2 buds give peace of mind that you’ll always sound professional, ensuring crystal-clear conversations and offering freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere.” Jabra introduces Evolve2Buds for hybrid working Microsoft continues its support for Ukraine Microsoft has extended its technology support for Ukraine free of charge throughout the calendar year of 2023. The firm is providing additional technology, valuing approximately $100 million, so that government agencies, critical infrastructure and other sectors in Ukraine can continue to run their digital infrastructure and serve citizens through the Microsoft Cloud. In November 2022, Microsoft’s total support for Ukraine has amounted to more than $400 million since the war began in February 2022. Support includes cybersecurity protection, funds for nonprofits and humanitarian organisations operating in Ukraine, Poland and elsewhere in the European Union and data provision for establishments aiding Ukraine and addressing war crimes against civilians.
34 MAR K E TWATCH Mida Solutions achieves Microsoft Teams certification Mida Solutions has become the first Italian organisation to achieve Microsoft Teams certification for both its Mida C3 Contact Center (Mida C3) and Compliance Recorder solutions. Mida C3 offers a complete suite of unified communications applications to help businesses efficiently manage customer conversations, all of which can be securely recorded with the plug-andplay compliance recording system. Both solutions have successfully passed all interoperability and security tests for Microsoft Teams. “This achievement proves that our offerings are high quality and reliable, and that they meet the standards and functionalities that businesses expect from Microsoft solutions,” said Attilio Licciardello, founder and general manager of Mida Solutions. “It also demonstrates our willingness to provide innovative technologies for all types of communication.” Learn more about Mida’s enterprise communication solutions and how they can help businesses on page 102. Microsoft focuses on its ESG impact The 2022 Impact Summary reveals Microsoft’s efforts to create a more sustainable future through actions and investments that have directly reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions. The firm has also focused on improving its social and governance impacts around the world. “From respecting privacy, to developing and using technology responsibly, to advancing cybersecurity and digital safety, our commitment to earn trust remains steadfast,” said Brad Smith, vice chair and president at Microsoft. “Without it, progress is not possible.” Some of the firm’s progress in 2022 includes: 4.6 million people trained with in-demand digital skills in 2022 and connected to opportunities in the digital economy Over 50 million people in unserved rural communities have been given access to affordable broadband since 2017 2.5 million tonnes of carbon have been removed from previously polluting operations in FY21 and FY22 43 trillion security signals are processed daily and used to inform increased protections Tollring reveals Teams analytics application Analytics software developer Tollring has released its new collaboration analytics application, Analytics 365. Analytics 365 offers visibility of communication habits and behaviours, helping businesses to make informed decisions for hybrid working. It is a Microsoftcertified application that can be downloaded within Microsoft Teams and displays graphical charts on a dashboard to reveal trends and patterns of behaviour. The dashboards are designed to help users encourage effective communication, improve staff well-being and drive business performance. Analytics 365 is available in the Microsoft Teams App Store.