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Diving into the data culture: Microsoft’s platform for ambient intelligence
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Diving into the data culture: Microsoft’s platform for ambient intelligence 

Data is becoming a currency for business. Those that manage it properly can see increased revenues, lower costs, and improved productivity. For Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the big data push isn’t just about deploying the right technology, there’s a cultural shift that needs to occur for an organization to succeed. 

At a customer event in San Francisco, Nadella stressed the importance of having a data culture in companies. A data culture is not just about employees using technology and data as a part of their job. It’s about every employee wanting to use the data at their fingertips to improve their work. Something that will be important for the era of ambient intelligence that we are in, generated by the Internet of Things.

“The era of ambient intelligence has begun, and we are delivering a platform that allows companies of any size to create a data culture and ensure insights reach every individual in every organization,” said Nadella.

During the event, Nadella showcased Microsoft’s SQL Server 2014, and outlined the company’s plans for delivering a platform for ambient intelligence. He also highlighted Microsoft’s latest innovations, designed to enable the data culture and help companies embrace the Internet of Things.

The company is expanding its data platform with new products and services, including the launch of the SQL Server 2014. The latest version of the database brings in-memory capability to all workloads, including OLTP, data warehousing and business intelligence. It delivers public cloud scale and disaster recovery with Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft also announced general availability of its Analytics Platform System (APS). APS combines the SQL Server database and Hadoop technology in a low-cost appliance that delivers “big data in a box.” In addition to these releases, there was also a limited public preview of the Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service. The new cloud-based service helps businesses to connect, manage, and capture machine-generated data from sensors and devices, regardless of the operating system. At the time of the announcement, the Internet of Things cloud service went into limited beta.  

According to Microsoft, these new solutions build on 12 months of innovation. Its aim is to deliver the most comprehensive data platform.

In an study commissioned by Microsoft, IDC found that companies that take a comprehensive approach to data stand to realize an additional 60 per cent return on their data assets – a global opportunity of $1.6 trillion.

“Customers who take a comprehensive approach to their data projects realize a higher data dividend than customers who take a point-by-point approach,” said Dan Vesset, program vice president, Business Analytics and Big Data, at IDC. “This new research shows that by combining diverse data sets, new analytics and insights to more people — at the right time — businesses worldwide can tap into a more than trillion-dollar opportunity over the next four years.”

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