PLUS: Microsoft’s Angie Heise discusses how governments are transforming citizen services Experlogix CPQ and Microsoft Dynamics 365 has transformed sales operations for Lexmark Anywhere365 and its partners share why Teams is ideal for customer engagementt Banks should invest in their core, says Microsoft’s Peter Hazou Sachin Bery of Infosys discusses the three pillars for improving business outcomes ISSUE 29: SUMMER 2023 £24.00 Making work easier Productivity app enhancements are changing the way colleagues exchange information, ideas and knowledge
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11 ANDY CLAYTON-SMITH: EXECUTIVE EDITOR With recruitment and retention of staff proving difficult in many regions and sectors, enterprise leaders are exploring how best to satisfy their workforces. Some of the most effective ways to maximise the performance of employees, while at the same time offering a broader spectrum of individual working practices and career progression opportunities, come from the cloud. Investing in new ideas and technology solutions is not without risk. However, the early results have been encouraging for many, with almost two-fifths of those surveyed in a poll by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development saying that home or hybrid working has increased their organisation’s productivity and efficiency. This number rises to nearly half in the public or voluntary sectors. In our cover story starting on page 36, we take a closer look at ways in which Microsoft’s industry cloud platforms can actively assist business leaders to innovate at speed. It explores how these technologies are expanding the potential for employees to work securely from multiple locations, while connecting more effectively with colleagues and customers in ways that resonate more meaningfully with their newly found philosophies of the work/life balance. Unsurprisingly, a significant element within this story is the continued rise of artificial intelligence as a transformative tool, with examples of the technology powering everything from research to supply chains, product manufacture to after care and repeat sales. We are all making our way through times of great change; however, in this issue of the magazine, we aim to demonstrate that change can be good – both in terms of corporate successes and individual growth and well-being. I hope you enjoy the read. Modernising the workforce WELCOME: SUMMER 2023
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CONTENTS 13 36 MAKING WORK EASIER We explore why the future of work lies in innovative AI-powered solutions 20 MARKETWATCH The latest news from Microsoft and its partners, including how Microsoft is helping its customers deploy AI responsibly 46 Liz Armbruester at Avalara shares why mounting tax fraud and technological advancements are pressuring governments to digitise their tax policies 48 Y uval Wollman at CyberProof discusses why global collaboration and regulations are key to mitigating the risks associated with the exponential growth of AI 52 D igital triplets can build on the success of digital twins by representing business operations, processes and physical assets, says Thorsten Fuchs at Orbus Software 54 Synergy Technical’s John Opgenorth outlines how Microsoft’s cloud-based technologies help businesses enable hybrid working strategies 55 Kyndryl’s Jaisson Mailloux discusses how organisations can make the most of their cloud investments when it comes to costs and sustainability 56 Modern tools such as AP automation are improving worker retentions and operational efficiency, says Andy Birkey at Metafile Information Systems 57 C arla Carvalho discusses how Kyndryl is collaborating with Microsoft for their first joint Centre of Excellence in Latin America 58 i solved’s Lisa Tonk discusses why business leaders need to provide employees with the ability to monitor and manage their own performance 60 AI integration is bridging the gap between onpremises infrastructures and the cloud, according to Tiger Technology’s Alexander Lefterov 62 Samantha Mabey at Entrust on why organisations must invest in quantum-safe crypto algorithms to protect their digital infrastructure 64 Emir Susic explains how Avaya uses AI, automation and cloud technologies to reimagine the customer journey 66 Technology that can improve the customer, employee and operational experience are the three pillars to improve business outcomes, says Sachin Bery at Infosys 68 Matthew Fish at Fortra’s Terranova Security shares tips on training employees in how to minimise the risk of cyberattacks 70 Rajasekhar Varigonda at Infosys shares how businesses can use Microsoft Teams and Viva to improve operational efficiency 71 Frederico Botti and Andrea Boggio explain how Kyndryl is strengthening its security and resilience services in Italy with a new Cyber Operations Center ISSUE 29: SUMMER 2023
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CONTENTS 15 72 B rent Yates of SwXtch.io explains how the CloudSwXtch network is helping more organisations migrate their operations to the cloud 74 P rinting products provider Lexmark has used Experlogix CPQ and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to transform its sales operations 77 O rbus Software’s new community platform OrbusNexus will provide a space for enterprise architecture professionals to connect, learn and innovate, says Tim Mitchell 78 P amela Velentzas at Fortra’s Terranova Security discusses why risk management and security awareness training can help avoid the repercussions of cyberattacks on third parties 80 Organisations are implementing new strategies acknowledging the changes that come with hybrid work, says Crestron’s Brad Hintze FEATURED PARTNERS 157 A selection of Microsoft partners operating across all business sectors 164 THE LAST WORD Gartner’s Avivah Litan highlights why trust and security are important for the future of generative artificial intelligence IN FOCUS: TEAMS 82 The frontline revolution Microsoft’s Mayank Verma explains how Microsoft Teams is empowering essential workers to overcome communication challenges, streamline workflows and improve operational efficiency 92 New collaboration technologies are helping organisations optimise office real estate, lower costs and improve employee well-being, says Jonathan Sass at Vyopta 94 Saif Ahmed at SCB Global shares how organisations can combat connectivity and workflow challenges by implementing Microsoft Teams-native solutions 95 R esonate’s Am Bhooi discusses why using the full potential of Microsoft Teams can help reduce costs, improve efficiency and encourage collaboration 96 Meeting equity is a necessity in the new era of hybrid work, according to Scott Krueckeberg at DTEN 98 P aul Mason explains how Solgari Contact Centre for Microsoft Teams allows organisations to respond to customers flexibly and effectively 100 Richard McPhee discusses how Gamma’s workshops empowered local UK government professionals looking to migrate to Microsoft Teams Phone 103 Meeting rooms must be able to empower teams to communicate and share ideas in an immersive, engaging format, according to Angela Comitini at Q-SYS 104 Anywhere365 roundtable Experts from Anywhere365, Post Luxembourg, Resonate and Symity share why Microsoft Teams is the ideal platform for customers 109 Shure’s Jonathan Boaz discusses how to deliver the best experiences for both in-person and remote meeting participants
16 CONTENTS FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIALS & MANUFACTURING 120 Striving for supply chain resilience Microsoft’s Parag Ladha discusses how digital twins and AI can help manufacturers build resilient and sustainable supply chains 126 Software AG’s Bernd Gross explains how the firm’s Cumulocity IoT platform can help organisations implement the technology with ease 110 Why banks should invest in their core Peter Hazou of Microsoft explains how modern technologies like AI can improve customer service, combat financial crime and increase profits 116 Buy Now Pay Later providers can use machine learning to reduce risk of credit loss and generate customer loyalty, according to Ricardo Campos at ITSCREDIT 117 R icardo Ribelles at Mambu explains why organisations investing in composable finance software are better equipped to react to changing consumer behaviours 118 P ost Luxembourg chose Anywhere365 solutions to optimise contact centre operations and deliver multilingual customer services for Foyer Global Health 128 William Wappler discusses the importance of supply chain visibility and how Surgere can provide reliable information on its clients’ assets
17 RETAIL & CG 152 Boosting the bottom line Insight from Microsoft’s Martin Kostal and Shelley Bransten reveals how new cloud-based tools are helping retailers become more profitable and efficient, while improving the customer experience 155 Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 and AI can help retailers realise a variety of benefits, according to John Accardi at Mazars PUBLIC SECTOR 146 Transforming citizen services Microsoft’s Angie Heise explains why prioritising digital transformation and accessibility can help government leaders meet citizen’s expectations for modern, convenient and personalised services 150 Kyndryl’s Brian Shell and Alex Trinh outline how departments of motor vehicles are modernising their services to respond to the changing demands of citizens MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS 136 The road to 2030 Microsoft’s Simon Crownshaw discusses how a decade of change, AI and cloud technology will shape the media industry and empower content creators to deliver new experiences 142 François Guilleautot at Ateme discusses how organisations can optimise cloud adoption by using microservices 144 Content provenance and being able to trace media content back to the original source has become more important than ever, says Olga Kornienko at EZDRM 130 RSM US’s David McLaughlin and Paul Duckworth explain how the firm can help organisations make supply chains more sustainable 132 Resonate replaced Mazda’s contact centre infrastructure with Anywhere365’s Microsoft Teams solution and helped the firm save $1.8 million 134 The industrial sector must invest in digital technologies, electrify processes and reduce energy waste, says Oliver Blum at Schneider Electric
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MARKETWATCH 20 Microsoft has made three customer commitments to ensure that both the corporation and its ecosystem of partners develop and use artificial intelligence technology responsibly. In a blog post on 8 June Antony Cook, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, shared how these commitments will focus on helping customers and partners across every industry to confidently and responsibly make the most of new AI developments. “Ensuring the right guardrail for the responsible use of AI will not be limited to technology companies and governments,” said Cook in the blog post. “Every organisation that creates or uses AI systems will need to develop and implement its own governance systems.” Microsoft’s first commitment is to share the knowledge it gains from research and development through a collection of dedicated resources available to everyone. It will also publicly share the curriculum it is using to train its own employees. Secondly, Microsoft is creating an AI Assurance Program to help customers ensure that the applications it uses on Microsoft platforms meet the regulatory requirements for responsible AI. The programme will be based on the KY3C concept – know your cloud, customer and content – and involve customer councils and the implementation of the AI Risk Management Framework from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. Finally, Microsoft is launching a new partner programme that will assist mutual customers in deploying their own responsible AI systems with professional services provider PwC and accounting firm EY, being the first partners to join. On 14 June 2023 EY launched the EY Tax Copilot, an education programme created with Microsoft to help prepare EY tax professionals across the globe for the future of low-code and AI-powered technology. The programme will explore how tax professionals can use Microsoft’s AI capabilities to deliver services. Meanwhile, PwC is currently investing $1 billion in AI technology and working with Microsoft and OpenAI to automate parts of its audit and consulting services to help businesses gain richer insights and drive more productivity responsibly. “Our collaboration with PwC and OpenAI will be a game-changer that opens the floodgates for businesses to experience generative AI applications in a safe and secure manner,” said Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of AI platforms at Microsoft. Microsoft makes three customer commitments for responsible AI AI assurance programme, development insights and a new partner programme are being offered to partners and customers Photo: iStock/VioletaStoimenova
21 The commitments will also help organisations across other sectors make the most of AI and discover new innovations with Microsoft technology, whether it’s through the recently announced CoPilot, new features in Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Teams or leveraging the capabilities of ChatGPT. For example, automotive manufacturer Mercedes-Benz is integrating ChatGPT via the Azure OpenAI Service to transform the in-car MBUX Voice Assistant with new capabilities for customers that allow for more interactive conversations, expanded task capability and contextual understanding. It will also integrate with third-party services to introduce new abilities such as restaurant booking. Drivers in the USA can now opt into a beta programme for the service. Organisations in the public sector are also using AI to rapidly transform processes, especially in education and healthcare. In Taiwan, for instance, Er Chong Junior High School is using generative AI to help teach English to students via the CoolE Bot. The chatbot uses Azure OpenAI Service and offers different preset conversation topics to students. It can then generate responses in real time whilst also assessing pronunciation, accuracy and fluency. Truveta, a healthcare data solution provider, used Microsoft Azure to build the Truveta Language model which extracts medical data from sources such as clinician’s notes, lab results and patient diagnoses and normalises it to improve accuracy and research as well as remove commercial bias. AI is also helping Microsoft partners to upgrade their hybrid working solutions. For example, audio hardware provider Jabra working with Microsoft to integrate AI features into its new PanaCast 50 video bar to improve voice and face recognition. Meanwhile, sports broadcaster ESPN used Azure AI to more than halve the cost of real-time closed captioning. Not only was this beneficial for business efficiency, but it also improved accessibility for viewers. In the retail sector, organisations are using AI to facilitate personalised customer services. Italian fashion house Zegna, for example, has used Microsoft technology to upgrade its ZEGNA X system to personalise customer’s shopping experiences. The system connects style consultants with customers online and creates a personalised shopping experience via tools such as a 360 ‘configurator’ that visualises how different combinations of clothing work together. “Microsoft’s goal is to help our customers and their employees accelerate to new business models,” said Nina Lund, retail and consumer goods lead in Europe, Middle East and Africa at Microsoft. “This journey has allowed Zegna to leverage cuttingedge cloud solutions to reinvent its business, from the employee experience to store management.” Photo: Unsplash/Tech Daily ESPN has used Azure AI to more than halve the cost of real-time closed captioning
22 MARKETWATCH: MICROSOFT AZURE MARKETPLACE The Mambu cloud banking platform is now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, making it easier for financial institutions, telecommunications providers and retailers to migrate to the cloud. “In today’s evolving landscape, agility and customer experiences are the chief differentiator, and cloud-native core technology brings accelerated time to value, flexibility and ease as financial institutions design and deliver new financial products,” said Ricardo Ribelles, director of partnerships development at Mambu. “Mambu’s cloud partnership with Microsoft ensures that customers enjoy world-class privacy, security and regulatory compliance, and minimises the need for them to manage technological reliability and recovery inhouse. This drives innovation and frees up development resources to focus on higher value projects.” Mambu’s cloud banking platform Tiger Technology’s Tiger Bridge Tiger Technology has launched its software-as-a-service offering on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace to enable customers with an on-premises-first mindset to easily build and consume a complete solution for hybrid cloud deployments within their existing Azure license. By leveraging the company’s software-only hybrid data management product – Tiger Bridge – Azure customers can now create a more efficient storage infrastructure without disrupting their on-premises workflows. Together, Tiger Technology and Microsoft will provide a seamless hybrid environment with intelligent data life cycle management across all Azure tiers for capacity expansion, disaster recovery and global file access. Solgari’s all-channel digital contact centre app Solgari’s all-channel digital contact centre application for Microsoft Teams is now available as a transactable solution on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace and AppSource Marketplace and can be accessed via the Microsoft Teams App Store. The move enables customers to purchase the application directly via their existing Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment agreement or through their cloud service provider and go live within days. This will make it quicker and easier for them to start providing live agent and artificial intelligence-assisted customer service and sales experiences across multiple channels from within Teams. Photo: Unsplash/Sean Pollock Photo: Tiger Technology Photo: Solgari
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24 MARKETWATCH Crestron Electronics expands product portfolio Crestron Electronics is releasing a range of new products that will provide ways for businesses to allocate workspaces easily and improve the quality of meetings for all participants. The new Crestron Desk Q and Crestron Desk Touch will allow users to reserve and schedule office desks. The Desk Q uses QR codes, ideal for community stations and hot desks, whilst the Desk Touch has a touch screen interface suitable for semi-private offices and cubicles. The Crestron Flex Pods is a tabletop wireless microphone and speaker solution that communicates wirelessly with up to four Crestron Flex Pods that can be placed throughout the room to provide a high-definition spatial-audio experience. Also designed for meetings, the Crestron Videobar 70 is compatible with Microsoft Teams and will feature four high-quality cameras to capture participants with intelligent cropping to ensure a consistent frame. The Desk Touch will be available from July 2023, while the Flex pods will be released in autumn and the Desk Q and Videobar 70 will be available this winter. ITSCREDIT streamlines mortgage applications for Banco Montepio Credit solutions provider ITSCREDIT has developed a digital mortgage platform for Portuguese bank Banco Montepio. The solution will streamline the mortgage application process by allowing customers to easily select their credit purpose with their own chosen values and to receive approval and customised mortgage rate quotes quickly. “At Banco Montepio tradition and innovation go hand in hand. Our commitment is to use technology to improve our clients’ lives, as we enhance the financial services we provide,” said Alexandra Ponciano, marketing director at Banco Montepio. “The digital mortgage journey is the latest example of our commitment to make the homebuying process faster, easier, and more convenient for our clients.” Mazars moves global ocean freight firm to the cloud Mazars has provided global ocean freight firm MID-SHIP with a tailored solution to help its transition to the cloud. The solution uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, as well as Finance and Operations, to handle complex voyage management operations. With its new cloud presence, MID-SHIP can easily track client correspondence, identify new opportunities with shipowners and charterers, and quickly adapt business operations with a flexible and scalable solution. Photo: Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto Photo: Mazars Photo: Crestron
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26 MARKETWATCH Photo: iStock/Jacoblund Vyopta creates new Experience Score to measure meeting quality Avaya Experience Platform fuels hybrid work in Australia and New Zealand Human capital management software company isolved has released a roadmap for incorporating artificial intelligencepowered tools within its People Cloud platform, which runs on Microsoft Azure. isolved will embed its Conversational Virtual Assistant – which offers human resources insight for employees through a natural language processing chatbot – within People Cloud to increase its accessibility across web and mobile applications so that employees can ask questions using text or voice and receive answers quickly. It will also release isolved Perfect Payroll to help employees catch payroll errors before they occur, and an ‘employee experience personalisation engine’ to create personalised career development pathways for existing employees. isolved to release AI-powered tools to empower employees Vyopta, which provides digital collaboration and experience optimisation solutions, has launched a new Experience Score. The first-of-its-kind score offers organisations a quantitative way to measure the quality of experience, track experience level agreements and improve equity during digital meetings. The Experience Score gives organisations visibility into the overall health of collaboration of their business, enabling them to provide a best-in-class digital experience. It does this by combining data points with current research about collaboration science and virtual communication into a single metric that can be benchmarked, making it easy to identify barriers to engagement, productivity and wellness. The Avaya Experience Platform, backed by Microsoft Azure, has now been launched in Australia and New Zealand to enhance hybrid work and customer experiences. Catering to the growing preference for flexible work arrangements, Avaya Experience Platform empowers employees with integrated communication tools and leverages artificial intelligence to streamline customer interactions. The platform can be deployed across multiple cloud environments, allowing businesses to incorporate modern communication channels without disrupting existing systems. This move also presents new revenue opportunities for Avaya and Microsoft partners. Industry experts anticipate improved productivity and stronger customer relationships as a result of this launch. Photo: Unsplash/Microsoft 365
27 EPOS launches new IMPACT 1000 Bluetooth headset series Audio and video solutions provider EPOS has launched IMPACT 1000, a new on-ear Bluetooth headset that is certified for Microsoft Teams and meets Open Office requirements. The new headset is equipped with EPOS’s BrainAdapt technologies, which are designed to reduce fatigue and include active noise cancellation and voice pickup capabilities powered by artificial intelligence. IMPACT 1000 has on-headset controls and a suite of smart features. Triple Bluetooth connectivity lets users stay connected to three devices at the same time, while its Talk Through features allow users to communicate with colleagues without removing the headset. DTEN’s D7X 55-inch Android Edition all-in-one meeting solution is now certified for Microsoft Teams. The solution is easy to install, use and manage and is designed for small to medium-sized meeting rooms and huddle spaces. The D7X provides an intuitive and convenient solution for video collaboration and whiteboard sessions that enhances productivity and fosters engagement for Teams users. The high capacitive touch technology makes it easy and seamless to start and run a Teams meeting. DTEN D7X solution certified for Microsoft Teams EZDRM has developed a new digital rights management (DRM) solution for WebRTC, the open-source real-time communication solution that protects and encodes user content. “The EZDRM WebRTC-DRM solution is designed to work with all WebRTC server-side technologies and a full range of HTML5 players and native apps for full DRM support,” said David Eisenbacher, CEO and co-founder of EZDRM. “With this novel approach, we extend the applications of our DRM as a service to a new range of low-latency applications and businesses.” The solution integrates into any existing WebRTC media workflow, is built on open standards for both live and video on-demand streaming and supports layered security using session-based watermarking technologies. EZDRM creates digital rights management solution for WebRTC Photo: EPOS Photo: DTEN Photo: Unsplash/Elissa Garcia
28 MARKETWATCH MITRE ATT&CK framework is key to reducing cyber risk, finds CyberProof Organisations can use the MITRE ATT&ACK framework to help them map evolving tactics and techniques used by cyberattackers, according to CyberProof’s latest Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) research report. Through careful examination of real-world events using advanced CTI tools, the report analyses the top threat tactics and techniques, including malware and ransomware campaigns, new threat capabilities, and emerging attack vectors that are shaping today’s threat landscape. By delving into some of the largest campaigns, including macro disabling and fileless malware, the report offers actionable strategies for enterprises to best identify potential vulnerabilities and mitigate risk. “Keeping pace with the current threat landscape is a challenge for any enterprise,” said Maya Rotenstreich, CTI analyst at CyberProof. “By leveraging the analysis presented in this report, your organisation can equip itself with the necessary tools to effectively address constantly evolving cyber risks to the business.” Execution techniques most commonly used in cyberattacks Avalara to boost tax compliance for businesses and governments Resonate debuts Microsoft Teams Voice management platform Resonate has launched a new softwareas-a-service voice tooling platform that helps partners and end customers deploy and manage Microsoft Teams Voice. The Resonate Voice Management platform automates the migration of users to Teams and can save a typical enterprise up to £12,000 ($45,300) a year per 1,000 users. “Through deploying and managing voice estates we identified many manual business processes that we could improve through automation,” said Am Bhooi, chief technology officer of Resonate. “Resonate engineers developed the tool to address challenges in migrating users to Teams including the assignment of phone numbers and voice policies; ensuring that users remain compliant for voice services when moving between sites and business units; removing the need for IT admins to manually provision new joiners or understand how many numbers are currently being used within the environment, with all the cost implications.” Windows management instrumentation Command and scripting interpreter User execution Exploitation for client execution Scheduled task/job 8% 32% 24% 24% 12% Image: CyberProof Photo: Unsplash/Patrick Tomasso Avalara, a provider of cloud-based tax compliance automation for businesses that integrates with Microsoft Dynamics, has become a Peppol-certified service provider in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the European Union. “For nearly 20 years, Avalara has served as the intermediary between business and governments to simplify the complexities around tax compliance,” said Jayme Fishman, executive vice president and general manager of indirect tax at Avalara. “Today, geographically dispersed businesses can confidently turn to Avalara to address all facets of their global compliance journey, including tax calculations, filings, cross-border compliance, e-invoicing, and more.” The firm is also a technical committee contributor for the Business Payments Coalition’s E-invoice Exchange Market Pilot, an effort supported by the Federal Reserve. Download the full report at: https://bit.ly/43Sw65s Photo: Resonate
29 New Schneider Electric ecosystem to help SMEs expedite decarbonisation Transforming workplace experiences with Infosys Workplace Suite Viewpoint: Ramachandran KV, Infosys Enterprises are increasingly focused on enhancing employee experiences to drive innovation, collaboration, and employee satisfaction. The digital workplace has emerged as a vital catalyst in facilitating these experiences. The artificial intelligence-powered Infosys Workplace Suite (IWS) of solutions help to accelerate enterprises’ journey to build digital workplace experiences that help to drive innovation, collaboration and employee satisfaction. This is achieved through the IWS capabilities to enable rapid legacy transformations, provide robust platform governance, deliver automation and create hyper-personalised digital experiences. Together, these capabilities boost employee engagement and productivity, paving the road for success. Ramachandran KV is a principal consultant at Infosys Photo: Pexels/Mart Production Schneider Electric has recently launched Zeigo, a sustainability software ecosystem built on the Microsoft Azure cloud to help businesses simplify and accelerate their decarbonisation efforts. Primarily targeted at small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs), Zeigo brings together Schneider Electric’s existing digital tools for sustainability – Zeigo Power and Zeigo Network – with a new software-as-aservice application named Zeigo Activate. The software-as-a-service application enables SMEs to accurately calculate their emissions baseline and develop a customised decarbonisation roadmap. The application also gives them access to a marketplace of solutions providers in their region. “The application has the potential to revolutionise how SMEs decarbonise while driving significant value for companies of all sizes seeking to address value chain emissions,” said Steve Wilhite, president of Schneider Electric’s sustainability business. Photo: Schneider Electric
30 MARKETWATCH swXtch.io adds Timebeat’s PTP to cloud platform CloudSwXtch swXtch.io has enhanced its CloudSwXtch platform (which is available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace) with a precision time protocol (PTP) from clock synchronisation solution provider Timebeat. The integration of Timebeat PTP will be particularly beneficial for organisations with computer networks that rely on clock synchronisation to ensure their data is received and processed in the correct order. This is because Timebeat PTP offers standardised access to hybrid networks, which bring cloud capabilities in line with on-premises networks. “Companies are transitioning to the cloud at an increasingly rapid rate and this integration removes a major roadblock for industries that rely upon PTP to maintain clock synchronisation,” said Brent Yates, CEO of swXtch.io. “We continually strive to advance cutting-edge technologies that assist companies in their transition to cloud infrastructure.” Synergy Technical helps firms optimise operational processes Cloud solution provider Synergy Technical is helping Microsoft customers analyse their IT environments and operational processes through its Productivity Optimisation Workshop. The aim is to help organisations maximise their existing investments in Microsoft technology, achieve their business goals and identify opportunities for optimisation. “Our customers are focused on implementing optimisation initiatives with a cloud-based strategy that makes sense for their hybrid workforce,” said John Opgenorth, sales account executive at Synergy Technical. “We knew that we could help customers identify possible inefficiencies, optimise processes, and increase overall output and impact with business applications like the Microsoft Power Platform.” Photo: Unsplash/LinkedIn Sales Solutions SmartestEnergy accelerates transformation using OrbusInfinity Renewable energy provider SmartestEnergy is using Orbus Software’s decision intelligence platform, OrbusInfinity, to gain valuable insights into its technology, processes and systems to help accelerate the push toward net zero. By implementing OrbusInfinity, SmartestEnergy now has a centralised view of its technology environment, which enables quick and effective decision-making. The platform’s data visualisation capabilities provide clarity, empowering users to support organisational goals. The tool also seamlessly integrates with SmartestEnergy’s existing Microsoft environment and native applications, which has improved data governance and stakeholder engagement. “We are proud to support SmartestEnergy’s journey towards achieving net-zero and driving digital transformation,” said Gareth Burton, CEO of Orbus Software. Photo: Unsplash/Gonz DDL
VIEWPOINT Businesses can use Microsoft’s proactive integrated approach, the Zero Trust framework, to intelligently implement security best practices across all layers of their digital estate. However, some organisations need clarification on what components of Zero Trust there are, why they are important, and how they can get started with this high level of security. These six considerations should help guide decision-makers on why and how to adopt the Zero Trust framework. 1. Proliferating data and devices Cloud-based solutions make sensitive industry data more readily accessible through any device. Financial services, healthcare and other industries ingest billions of bytes of data each day. To protect personal identifiable information and ensure compliance, businesses should enlist Zero Trust principles to prevent threats from accessing or exfiltrating sensitive data. 2. Remote work is on the rise With a hybrid workforce becoming increasingly common, businesses will want to take threat prevention measures so they can give access to those who need it and keep out those who shouldn’t. 3. Increase in sophisticated attacks Your digital landscape is no longer a local area network protected by perimeter-based security. Company data is scattered across cloud-based solutions and, as such, a modern approach to security is required to prevent an ever-growing risk of cyberattacks – it’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’. 4. Verify explicitly Go through the process of verifying a user’s identity based on location, device health and what service/data they are trying to access, noting any anomalies of how they are trying to access information. 5. Least privileged access Limit potential threats by adopting just-in-time and just-enough-access methods, making sure that users only have access to the required systems and data, and nothing more. 6. Assume breach Businesses should configure systems in a way that assumes data will get breached. This leads security administrators and technical teams to ensure extensive precautionary measures are taken to minimise a potential blast radius and segmenting access to systems. To get started with Zero Trust, organisations need to evaluate the maturity of their security infrastructure. This will help them identify gaps and determine the right security solutions to fill them. To get the most out of Microsoft technology, evaluate identities, endpoints, applications, data and networks. Hector Perez is a Microsoft 365 and cloud specialist at JourneyTEAM Six key considerations for enterprises when implementing Microsoft’s integrated security model How to get started with Zero Trust HECTOR PEREZ: JOURNEYTEAM 31
MARKETWATCH: EVENT REPORT Data will be key to helping organisations reduce their ecological footprint in the built environment and accelerate their journey to net-zero operations, according to Microsoft and Johnson Controls (JCI) executives speaking at a joint event in May 2023. Hosted at the Microsoft Technology Centre in Sydney Australia, the event highlighted how Microsoft and JCI are combining their expertise and technologies to empower organisations to transform the way they operate buildings to make them smarter, healthier, sustainable and more comfortable for occupants. During the event, Microsoft’s worldwide enablement lead for sustainability Rik Irons-Mclean explained how both Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability and Microsoft Sustainability Manager enable organisations to automatically capture the data and insights they need to efficiently record, report on, and reduce the environmental footprint of their real estate assets. Meanwhile, JCI’s senior director for Microsoft Global Alliance Ben Brown detailed the key features of JCI OpenBlue Enterprise Manager (OBEM), which is built on Microsoft Azure and uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics to operationalise building management. He explained how the suite of applications help organisations to take data driven action to optimise and reports on emissions, energy efficiency, asset performance, occupant experience, maintenance operations, building health and other critical parameters. In addition, Microsoft’s cross solutions team member Mike Heald demonstrated how integrating Microsoft Sustainability Manager with OBEM allows businesses to create more efficient building management systems and gain continuous visibility into their water data and emissions across all three scopes of impact. Organisations can use this data, which is delivered via a single dashboard, to reliably report on environmental impact Microsoft and Johnson Controls highlight role of data in journey to net zero 32 Microsoft’s Rik Irons-Mclean shared how the firm’s technology is helping organisations to improve sustainability
33 and progress in near real time, as well as to develop and scale sustainability initiatives across their business. “Together, Microsoft and JCI’s solutions are helping organisations to reduce energy consumption, emissions and operating costs of their buildings, while making them safer, healthier and more comfortable for occupants,” said Brown. “We’re also empowering them to turn real-estate assets into integral components of their environmental, social and governance strategies so they can achieve their net-zero emissions goals.” Powering smart, sustainable buildings JCI’s OpenBlue and Microsoft technologies are already transforming how businesses worldwide operate their buildings, helping them to decrease costs, boost efficiency and achieve various other benefits. Notable examples include: Microsoft’s Beijing Campus, China The real estate and facilities team at Microsoft’s China headquarters migrated applications and data from the power supply, building controls and energy management systems to Microsoft Azure and combined it with OBEM. This has helped Microsoft to achieve 27.9 per cent energy savings, increase key equipment uptime to 98 per cent and gain an energy saving endorsement and financial subsidy by the Beijing Municipal Government and the Haidian District Government. Derwent London, UK The real-estate investment trust is using OBEM to enable it to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. JCI has linked all of Derwent London’s sensors, meters and systems to the cloud via OBEM, enabling it to consolidate data about energy usage, asset performance, indoor air quality, maintenance and space use from a selection of its major buildings. Representatives from the Microsoft and JCI teams pictured at the event JCI’s Ben Brown discussing how OpenBlue Enterprise Manager works with Microsoft Azure to operationalise building management
34 MARKETWATCH: EVENTS Gamma’s GX: Frontiers 2023 offered enterprise insights for the future EVENT REPORT Gamma's GX: Frontiers 2023 provided UK enterprise and IT leaders in the public sector with an opportunity to explore emerging technologies and gain insights into a range of topics, including the influence of artificial intelligence on customer experience and how to build a strong communications infrastructure. “We are at the start of an incredibly exciting era that will fundamentally transform the way information is accessed, content is created, customer needs are served and businesses are run,” said Alex Ayers, sales director at Gamma, during his talk on mastering the game of infinite change. Two Microsoft executives – Gareth Bleasdale, senior go-to-market manager, and Tina Shepherd, converged communications customer success manager – presented a session on how AI and emerging collaboration technologies will revolutionise workplace productivity. Sports broadcaster Jake Humphrey and best-selling author Professor Damian Hughes presented a keynote session on re-framing mindsets for positive outcomes. There was also interactive roundtable sessions and a selection of sponsors showcasing on the expo floor. IBC 2023: uniting and inspiring the media and entertainment industry 15-18 September 2023 | Amsterdam, the Netherlands IBC 2023 will bring together 37,000 stakeholders from across the global media, entertainment and technology industries at Rai Amsterdam in the Netherlands on 15-18 September 2023. Attendees will be able to meet and hear from industry leaders such as Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros, as well as experts who will share how research and technological solutions are combatting the current challenges in the broadcasting, communications, electronic media and entertainment fields. The Content Everywhere stage will host panel sessions focused on the latest trends, strategies and developments in the quickly evolving field of online TV and streamed video. Topics covered will include advertising technology, cloud services, cybersecurity and personalisation. IBC will also showcase innovative technology from more than 1,000 exhibitors including Adobe, Blackmagic Design, Grass Valley and Microsoft. Register for the event at: show.ibc.org/registration 22 August 2023 | Online event JourneyTEAM’s free Tech Insider Update webinar on 22 August 2023 will highlight the latest Microsoft technology updates and industry trends. Business professionals will be able to learn about the latest features and functionalities that Microsoft is adding to Dynamics 365, the Power Platform, Sharepoint, Teams and other products during the one-hour webinar. JourneyTEAM consultants and developers will be available to answer any questions during the webinar. Register for the event at: www.journeyteam.com/tech-insider-update-registration Photo: IBC Photo: Gamma Photo: Unsplash/Surface JourneyTEAM Tech Insider: showcasing Microsoft updates and industry trends