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Hit Refresh … Microsoft enhanced cloud offerings for Malaysia are here

Even as Microsoft commander-in-chief, Satya Nadella’s book “Hit Refresh” hits the bookshelves worldwide, his team is travelling all over the world, exhorting business leaders to journey into the Fourth Industrial Revolution with advanced technologies. Microsoft-powered cloud and hybrid platform has been at the helm of driving transformation and so it is, that they landed in Kuala Lumpur recently, to announce the enhancing of its cloud portfolio with the launch of Azure Stack, Microsoft 365 and SQL Server 2017 in Malaysia.

These solutions are the perfect tools for organizations to boost their hybrid cloud strategy to take advantage of modern cloud computing capabilities. In its recent survey of 1200 IT leaders across Asia on hybrid cloud, the cloud usage in Malaysia is found to be divided as follows – Hybrid cloud (50%), private cloud (31% and public cloud (19%.)

Celebrating the launch, K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia said, “For Malaysian businesses today, hybrid cloud is a natural progression regardless of size and budgets, to reach their digital ambitions. Many in the industry who have adopted these solutions include UEM Edgenta, Genting Plantations, Malaysian Airlines, Nando’s Doctor2U, amongst others.


Wan Murdani Mohamad, Director, Enabling Ecosystem, MDEC; K Raman, MD of Microsoft Malaysia and Nigel Cain, CTO for Microsoft Enterprise Services, Applications and Infrastructure Domain in Asia Pacific, Greater China, Japan and India at the launch of Microsoft’s latest cloud offerings in KL

SQL Server and Azure are already trusted by millions for their data and business-related needs. The extension of Azure Stack, SQL Server 2017 offer rich new applications which will enable better management tools, intelligent applications and advanced analytics.”

He continued, “There are four areas in which IT Leaders need to step up to enable digital transformation – first, they need to get up to speed with the modern tools of managing increasing security and complexity. Second, gain control of their infrastructure with software management tools spanning across public, private, and multiple branded clouds. Third, move quickly to an integrated hybrid cloud which will allow them to benefit from the best of both worlds. Lastly, they need to drive more sophisticated workloads in the cloud to innovate, shorten time to market and maximize the potential which new digital technologies offer.

Our modern cloud applications will continue to be customizable based on needs of the organizations, compliance with regulatory requirements and security to ensure peace of mind.”

So now that it is finally here, what’s the value-add? Read on….

 

  • Azure Stack extends the Azure ecosystem opportunity by helping enterprises grow their Azure business and reach a larger addressable market through hybrid cloud scenarios. It is an extension of Azure that brings the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to on-premises environments and enables entirely new hybrid cloud scenarios. It offers consistent hybrid cloud platform, providing an ideal fit for organizations that want flexibility without having to build applications in a different way.

 

  • Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, delivering a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. It is tailored to address the commercial needs from the largest enterprise to the smallest business, in form of Microsoft 365 Enterpriseand Microsoft 365 Business They help companies achieve more together by better connecting employees, customers and suppliers, protect company data across devices with always-on security and simplify the set-up and management of employee devices and services with a single IT console. They also empower mobility among employees – to get work done from anywhere, on any device.

 

  • SQL Server 2017 provides intelligence, on a trusted industry-leading, most secure data platform, and enables innovation for all the data of a company. It enables companies to engage market leading solutions for every workload including Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and OLTP. SQL Server is the most intelligent, fastest and most secure database, and the most intelligent data warehouse that enterprises can rely on for operational analytics.

The first Azure Stack service provider in Malaysia is Peering One. With this collaboration, customers who have hybrid cloud requirement due to latency, connectivity and regulatory have an option now to extend their Azure services to Peering One datacenters. With consistent cloud platform with Azure and Azure Stack, customer can now build and deploy modern application across hybrid cloud environments based on business requirement rather than on technology.

Wan Murdani Mohamad, Director, Enabling Ecosystem, MDEC, who was on hand at the launch, noted how cloud providers are now seen as critical platforms that empower businesses, adding that, “These on-demand facilities, which are designed to help store all sorts of data on the cloud, are now made more affordable, easier to access, very space efficient, and progressively secure.

Services that Microsoft is rolling out today engages all three pillars of innovation – Infrastructure and Apps; Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI); and Modern Workplaces. These ongoing efforts are crucial in enabling digital transformation and proper migration to the cloud.”

Embedding A.I

Back to “Hit Refresh” and the push for Artificial Intelligence (A.I) being the DNA behind Microsoft’s revolutionary innovations conceptualised today…

An excerpt of the foreword by Bill Gates in the book:

Hit Refresh is about individual change, about the transformation happening inside of Microsoft and the technology that will soon impact all of our lives—the arrival of the most exciting and disruptive wave of technology humankind has experienced: artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing.

 It’s about how people, organizations, and societies can and must transform “hit refresh” in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, and continued relevance and renewal. At its core, it’s about us humans and how our one unique quality—empathy—will become ever more valuable in a world where technological advancement will disrupt the status quo as never before.”

At the launch, Nigel Cain, CTO for Microsoft Enterprise Services, Applications and Infrastructure Domain  (Asia Pacific, Greater China, Japan and India), played for the audience a video which showcased just how empathy has impacted Microsoft, in the form of smart glasses, developed by the company that helps the visually impaired.

Watch how this Microsoft research project turned the visual world into an audio world…

Microsoft first revealed the technology to an audience of developers in USA last year, which worked on smart glasses. Since then, in July 2017, the company said that it was releasing an iOS app called “Seeing AI” that uses an iPhone’s camera to tell people about objects in front of them. The app shows off Microsoft’s capabilities in AI.

Now anyone with an iPhone or iPad can try it.

It is no coincidence that empathy has a personal resonance with the current leadership of Microsoft. CEO Satya Nadella has three kids (two with special needs). While raising his eldest child, a 21-year-old disabled son named Zain, Nadella learned a lot about empathy. Zain was born weighing three pounds and suffered asphyxiation in utero. This caused Zain to be visually impaired, have limited communication and he is quadriplegic.

Just as A.I is embedded into Microsoft’s DNA in all its recent and future offerings, empathy has become one of the biggest shifts at Microsoft culture with Nadella leading the way.




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