Technology Record - Issue 30: Autumn 2023

clinical staff so that they can communicate more quickly, and gives the organisation the flexibility to adapt to the public’s changing expectations for healthcare delivery. “We helped Bethesda to deliver a connected patient experience that went beyond the traditional view of the patient,” says Mitford. “It has created a 360-degree view of the individual using a dynamic patient portal with Microsoft Power Pages, virtual visits facilitated by Teams, and data storage and retrieval with Microsoft Dataverse. This allows Bethesda to offer more personalised care that takes into consideration everything that’s happening in patients’ lives.” Increasingly, businesses are combining the power of the cloud with artificial intelligence, to help customers operate more productively. For example, US-based used vehicle retailer CarMax has implemented Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service to streamline the creation of text summaries for its car research pages, freeing up time for employees to respond to customer queries. It also uses large language model (LLM) capabilities to generate content for its website, including summaries of customer reviews, comparisons of car features and descriptions of new car models. “CarMax has created thousands of pages of content in just a few months,” says Mitford. “This is an excellent example of how cloud technology, in the form of Azure OpenAI, is bringing about better productivity and cost savings.” As well as putting more capabilities into customers’ hands, AI-powered solutions are empowering frontline workers to work more effectively. “Frontline productivity is the first thing that comes to mind when asked about the benefits of AI-driven products,” says Thomas. “This is especially important in the retail and healthcare spaces. For example, one of our Cloud for Retail applications, Store Operations Assist unifies all operations with AI to provide a single-pane-ofglass view of daily activities in the physical store. This allows store leadership to better manage these tasks so that staff attention can be directed towards delivering better customer experiences.” One partner Microsoft is working with to help retailers drive further productivity is AiFi, an autonomous shopping solution provider. “Retailers can understand customer behaviour and product selection using AI-powered, real-time computer vision technology from AiFi,” says Thomas. “The Smart Store Analytics in Microsoft Cloud for Retail supports AiFi’s solution so that customers like Zabka Group in Europe can create personalised customer journeys by providing more popular products, increasing overall operational efficiencies.” AI adoption will inevitably rise. The Microsoft 2023 Work Trend Index showed Bethesda Healthcare has built a new patient administration system based on Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare Photo: Microsoft 47 COVER STORY