Successful retailers that attract today’s millennial shoppers have three key ingredients in their retail experience delivery:
Help find things that inspire
Help choose what is right
Help buy effortlessly
Online stores are increasingly better at attracting these shoppers and converting them into profitable customers. Physical storefronts are experiencing less foot traffic and conversion rates are lowering. The transformation challenge is thus clear. How can retailers deliver these same customer experience ingredients in the brick-and-mortar environment in ways that are simple, easy and memorable?
To drive traffic both storefronts focus on search and marketing. Ecommerce obviously has the advantage in terms of offering the customer convenience to explore the storefront anytime and from anywhere. For conversion, ecommerce storefronts focus on the following:
Extensive catalogs with digital content that showcases the merchandise.
Customer intimacy based on customer information.
A frictionless shopping journey with ease of search and navigation.
Physical storefronts have…
Whether you call them conversational agents, dialog systems, or chatbots, AI-powered bots that can hold human-like conversations are seeping into our everyday lives.
Chatbots work well in a structured environment with a predetermined dataset. Answering simple questions, for example, would be a task a chatbot could excel at. Which is why chatbots are now replacing the Frequently Asked Questions page on websites.
Here’s what you need to know about how these chatbots work and why you might never see a traditional FAQ page again:
Chatbots can be either retrieval-based or generative, which means they can either retrieve data from a predetermined dataset or generate new responses from scratch. These bots can also be open or closed domain, depending on whether the user can take the conversation anywhere and still expect a reply or whether a user needs to stick to a narrow…
The Customer Data and Analytics (CDnA) team at Microsoft enables strategic data insights that shape the entire organization, from high-level leadership policies to small product decisions. At its core, CDnA creates and monitors indicators, known as “Power Metrics,” for some of the key divisions and businesses in Microsoft. CDnA delivers Power BI dashboards to several teams, including the Windows and Devices Group (WDG), Office, Bing, Cortana and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT). The SLT leverages the Power BI dashboards to monitor progress on strategic initiatives at the company.
Both CDnA and the Power BI product have mutually benefited from a close relationship since the Power BI public preview in 2015. In fact, the early and ongoing input from this internal Microsoft team and its users has helped make Power BI the “enterprise ready”, robust, and feature-rich platform it…
From left, Rangan Majumder, Yi-Min Wang and Jianfeng Gao on Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, campus. Photo by Dan DeLong.
Microsoft researchers have already created technology that can do two difficult tasks about as well as a person: identify images and recognize words in a conversation.
Now, the company’s leading AI experts are working on systems that can do something even more complex: Read passages of text and answer questions about them.
“We’re trying to develop what we call a literate machine: A machine that can read text, understand text and then learn how to communicate, whether it’s written or orally,” said Kaheer Suleman, the co-founder of Maluuba, a Quebec-based deep learning startup that Microsoft acquired earlier this year.
The Maluuba team is one of several groups at Microsoft that are tackling the challenge of machine reading. Two other research teams, one at the company’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters and the…
Healthcare is one of the most important factors in how individuals perceive their quality of life.iBut quality health care comes at a price and precious healthcare funding is being lost to fraud, waste and abuse (FWA). In fact, an estimated $455 billion in global healthcare spending is lost every year – ultimately leading to lower quality care and higher premiums and taxes.ii
Everyone plays a role in combatting FWA, but healthcare payers are on the front lines. Recently, three major trends emerged that present an opportunity for healthcare payers to play a major role in combating FWA. Let’s take a look at the way these trends are changing the healthcare landscape.
1. Plenty of healthcare data, not enough insights
Healthcare executives would like to leverage big data, but only a few are able to gain the insights and visibility needed to garner the…
Microsoft announced on July 25 that BP, a leading global energy company, has selected Microsoft Azure as part of its global cloud computing strategy.
The agreement will see BP move advanced workloads to Azure out of existing corporate data centers as part of the company’s modernization and transformation agenda – an agenda which is designed to deliver a sustainable step change in the company’s long-term performance.
By moving its proprietary data lake to Microsoft’s cloud platform, and utilizing Azure services, with state-of-the-art visualization and predictive tools, BP will enable rapid data analysis, with faster insights and decision-making.
“We have been impressed with Microsoft Azure Platform-as-a-Service, and its building block approach, particularly for our advanced workload requirements,” says Steve Fortune, Group CIO of BP.
“The Microsoft cloud provides the hyper scale needed for global businesses like BP to innovate quickly”, says Cindy Rose, Chief Executive of Microsoft UK. “Microsoft Azure will help…
Microsoft’s vision for AI (artificial intelligence) is about people. It’s about amplifying human ingenuity through intelligent technology that will reason with, understand and interact with people and, together with people, help us solve some of society’s most fundamental challenges. This was the message shared on July 12 at an event in London by Harry Shum, Executive Vice-President of Microsoft’s AI and Research Group.
The event was attended by scientists, technology experts and journalists, who gathered to learn more about Microsoft’s AI intentions from Shum and other Microsoft executives, including Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Director at Microsoft Research Labs, Chris Bishop, Technical Fellow and Laboratory Director at Microsoft Research Cambridge, and Emma Williams, General Manager at Bing.
During the discussion, a number of announcements were made that further reinforced Microsoft’s focus on AI, including a new program that will make technology available to those working to…
Seattle Reign players, coaches and staff celebrate a win over the Portland Thorns.
Sports ignite peoples’ passion like nothing else. Standout athletes become legends through their performance on the field. But what sets them apart often comes down to decisions made off the field, such as diet, mental and physical preparation and the frequency or intensity of practice. The difference between a win or a loss can be decided by an extra five minutes of wind sprints, levels of hydration or getting to bed 30 minutes earlier the night before.
At Microsoft, they believe sports provide a tremendous opportunity to use technology to transform how individual athletes and teams push the limits and gain the edge they’re looking for in the most challenging of circumstances. Imagine making clutch decisions that are based on insight, rather than gut. And what if coaches could…
Microsoft Workplace Analytics—a powerful new organizational analytics solution—is now generally available as an add-on to any Office 365 enterprise plan.
According to a recent Forrester report, increasing employee productivity is the number one priority for C-level executives in the next year, with 96 percent of respondents citing it as a critical or high imperative. Workplace Analytics provides unprecedented behavioral insights that can be used to improve productivity, workforce effectiveness and employee engagement.
New insights from Office 365
Workplace Analytics taps into Office 365 email and calendar metadata, including to/from data, subject lines and timestamps, to shine a light on how the organization collaborates and spends time. It turns this digital exhaust—the data that comes naturally from our everyday work—into a set of behavioral metrics that can be used to understand what’s going on in an organization.
Organization level collaboration insights in Workplace Analytics.
For reliability, accuracy and performance, both AI and machine learning heavily rely on large sets. Because the larger the pool of data, the better you can train the models. That’s why it’s critical for big data platforms to efficiently work with different data streams and systems, regardless of the structure of the data (or lack thereof), data velocity or volume.
However, that’s easier said than done.
Today every big data platform faces these systemic challenges:
Compute / Storage Overlap: Traditionally, compute and storage were never delineated. As data volumes grew, you had to invest in compute as well as storage.
Non-Uniform Access of Data: Over the years, too much dependency on business operations and applications have led companies to acquire, ingest and store data in different physical systems like file systems, databases and data warehouses (e.g. SQL Server or Oracle), big data systems (e.g….