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Satya Nadella spoke at Ignite, the US-based firm’s annual flagship event for developers and IT professionals. (File photo) (AFP)
Satya Nadella spoke at Ignite, the US-based firm’s annual flagship event for developers and IT professionals. (File photo) (AFP)

'Digital technology today is more important than ever': Satya Nadella

  • As the pandemic has transformed the culture of work, Microsoft has taken this opportunity to build the future of productivity keeping collaboration, learning, and well-being in mind, Nadella said
  • Nadella also made some key announcements for the IT and developer community

Bengaluru: Tech intensity, the combination of technology adoption and capability built on trust, will determine whether organizations will be able to navigate through the covid-19 crisis, Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday.

As the world came to a near standstill earlier this year, information technology (IT) professionals helped people and organizations to adapt to the new circumstances, Nadella said. “Digital technology today is more important than ever."

In June, Microsoft had said it would launch a global skills initiative aimed to bring more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the year-end.

India-born Nadella spoke at Ignite, the US-based firm’s annual flagship event for developers and IT professionals, held virtually for the first time due to the pandemic. The first conference, then known as TechEd, took place in Orlando, US in 1993.

As the pandemic has transformed the culture of work, Microsoft has taken this opportunity to build the future of productivity keeping collaboration, learning, and well-being in mind, Nadella said. As part of this, Microsoft will be integrating a learning app and user well-being features to its collaboration tool Teams.

Nadella also made some key announcements for the IT and developer community. As adoption of hybrid cloud is accelerating in the enterprise, Microsoft shared updates to its Azure hybrid-enabled cloud servers, services and devices, including Azure Arc-enabled servers, Azure Arc-enabled data services and Azure Stack Edge.

The company also announced a new voice channel for Dynamics 365 customer service, built on Azure Communication Services. By integrating voice into the existing omni-channel capabilities, Microsoft aims to provide an end-to-end customer service experience within a single solution built on the Microsoft cloud.

Nadella said Microsoft is also investing in fundamental research in artificial intelligence (AI) for making it easier for AI to be built seamlessly into any applications.

For the developer community, Microsoft announced low code updates to its Power Platform and Azure for professional developers to quickly create custom apps, bots and workflows with Azure and GitHub integration. It also announced the Power Automate Desktop, which provides a desktop automation option for citizen developers and business users.

To help exploration and use of space data, Microsoft has announced Azure Orbital, enabling customers to quickly analyze data captured from space through physical satellite capabilities. With access to low-latency global fibre networks and the scale of Microsoft's cloud services, Microsoft aims to help customers innovate quickly with large satellite datasets.

In order to help the healthcare sector amid the crisis, Microsoft announced the availability of its first industry-specific cloud for the healthcare sector by the end of October. Microsoft has seen a 500% increase in its cloud analytics service Azure Synapse since the pandemic began in March. India fashion e-tailer Myntra has leveraged Azure Synapse to achieve real-time analytics.

Microsoft has been stepping up investments in India of late. In June this year, Microsoft’s venture fund M12, established its local presence in India with the opening of an office in Bengaluru. The fund’s India arm has been pursuing investment opportunities across the region in B2B software startups in the sectors of applied AI, business applications, infrastructure, security, and other emerging technologies.

M12 focuses on investing in disruptive enterprise software startups in the Series A through C funding stages, targeting both local and cross-border solutions. M12, which has already been remotely investing in India since 2019, includes Innovaccer and FarEye in its portfolio.

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