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Microsoft Genomics releases new cloud solution for managing scientific workflows

a group of people looking at a laptopa group of people looking at a laptop

Microsoft continues to work alongside researchers and industry partners to bring cloud-based genomics analytics tools and solutions to the market. These solutions are critical in deciphering the code embedded in our individual and collective genetic blueprint. A better understanding of the genetic code will be important for improving diagnosis, developing new precision therapeutics, tailoring treatments, and optimizing therapies in ways so we deliver better healthcare and positively impact human lives.

A turnkey solution to genomics analysis

Microsoft Genomics is a highly scalable cloud-based service to perform secondary analysis of the human genome and generates durable genetic variant datasets in hours, versus days. More importantly, the service is ISO-certified and compliant with HIPAA regulations, a critical requirement for the integration of genomics in clinical pipelines. Organizations such as the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Seattle Children’s Hospital have been using the Microsoft Genomics service to build high-quality clinical genomic data sets for pediatric diseases.

Microsoft alongside its partner DNAnexus continues to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in enabling pediatric cancer research with the continued global adoption of the St. Jude Cloud, a platform to aggregate high-quality clinical genomic data for pediatric diseases.  St. Jude Cloud now hosts 10,000 whole genomes from pediatric cancer and other childhood catastrophic diseases. Since the launch of St. Jude Cloud in the spring of 2018, more than 50,000 users from across the world have accessed the site, including more than 1,000 registered users from 49 institutions in 15 countries. This research effort is already having an impact on helping children with the rarest of rare diseases.

The Integrative Brain Research Institute of Seattle Children’s Hospital is working with Microsoft and Veritas Genetics in building the first cloud-based genetic and phenotypic database focused on infant mortality and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This database will allow researchers to harness the power of Microsoft Genomics and AI services on Azure to analyze how genetic variation contributes to infant mortality. You can learn more about this collaborative effort here.

Cromwell and WDLs flowing on Azure

Today I’m excited to announce the release of an open-source project on GitHub from Microsoft Genomics: Cromwell on Azure. Cromwell is a workflow management system geared toward scientific workflows, originally developed by the Broad Institute. Cromwell on Azure uses the GA4GH Task Execution Service (TES) backend and orchestrates the dynamic provisioning of computing resources via Azure Batch. With Cromwell on Azure, researchers can now take advantage of the hyperscale compute capabilities of Azure to execute their genomics pipelines. This open-source project is fully backed by the Microsoft Genomics engineering team, and we are actively driving the development of this code base and enabling new analytic pipelines. We also know that this project will only get better with the feedback and contributions from the community and customers such as Answer ALS. Answer ALS is a multi-institution organization focused on advancing research and stopping Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) using a multi-disciplinary approach. The Answer ALS research teams will be using Cromwell on Azure for their multi-omics analysis platform to analyze the genome, epigenome, RNA, proteins and cellular metabolism of healthy people and ALS patients. 

Genomics sample-2-answer showcase at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting

Microsoft Genomics team will be at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2019 Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas from Oct. 15-19 alongside the world’s leading genomics researchers sharing advances in genomic analysis technologies. We will be featuring EPAM and Tag.Bio, two of the partners who are leveraging the power, performance, scalability, and security of Azure to innovate and scale their solutions and services. The EPAM Cloud Pipeline is an open-source, web-based cloud environment for building and running the scripts and workflows used for genomics analysis and modeling, and can be easily customized with your tools and pipelines. The Tag.Bio platform empowers doctors and scientists to perform complex, robust, reproducible data analyses in seconds – with proven, best-practices techniques in data science, machine learning, and AI delivered via user-friendly apps. Both EPAM and Tag.bio can be easily customized with your tools and integrated with the Microsoft Genomics service.

Stop by our booth (#1421) at American Society of Human Genetics 2019 annual meeting (ASHG 2019) to learn more about how Microsoft and its partners are making genomic analysis easier and more accessible on Azure.

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From farm to cloud to table, ButcherBox serves up a new approach to meat delivery

The path to a future of mining cloud-based data started in a decidedly low-tech way for Boston company ButcherBox after its founder, Mike Salguero, found himself in a Massachusetts parking lot buying garbage bags of beef from a local farmer.

Salguero’s wife, Karlene, has a thyroid condition, and the couple wanted to switch to an anti-inflammatory diet including lean, grass-fed meat. But they found little beyond ground beef and the occasional grass-fed steak at their local grocery stores — hence the parking-lot purchase. That was too much meat for the couple to eat, so Salguero gave some to a friend, who remarked how convenient it would be to have high-quality meat delivered at home.

“That was the initial spark of the idea for ButcherBox,” Salguero says.

The company launched in 2015, delivering boxes of frozen grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken and heritage breed pork to subscribers, or “members,” around the United States. ButcherBox sells only meats raised without antibiotics or added hormones, ships them in 100 percent curbside-recyclable boxes made of 95 percent recycled materials, and prides itself on partnering with vendors that use sustainable, humane approaches and fair labor practices.

ButcherBox CEO and founder Mike Salguero sits outdoors next to wife Karlene as they hold their twin daughters and their other young daughter sits beside them
ButcherBox CEO and founder Mike Salguero with wife Karlene and their three daughters.

The company offers 21 cuts of meat and subscription boxes ranging from $129 to $270 monthly, depending how many pounds of meat are included.

ButcherBox tapped into a trio of hot retail trends: a demand for sustainable products, consumers’ interest in knowing more about what they’re buying, and an explosion in subscription box companies selling everything from dog toys to fitness gear, even house plants and hygge kits.

ButcherBox doesn’t release sales figures, but Salguero says the company has grown exponentially since its launch, even without seeking venture capital. Collecting and analyzing data became increasingly important as ButcherBox expanded, but the limited data the company had was mainly in Excel spreadsheets and didn’t provide the depth of information employees needed.

Customer service agents, for example, didn’t have access to warehouse data and couldn’t check to see if a member’s box had been filled or where it was. Teams in various departments were pulling data together in ad hoc ways, leading to inconsistent and imprecise insights.

“Depending on which department it was and where they got the data, everyone had their own truths about what was going on in the business,” says Kevin Hall, ButcherBox’s head of technology. “People began to realize there was a need for a single source of truth.”

Salguero puts it another way: “People became entrepreneurial and enterprising in finding ways to answer questions, but as an organization that’s pretty risky, because we don’t even know if it’s right.”

Image of ButcherBox employees posing on the street in front of the company's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The ButcherBox team at the company’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

So the company turned to Microsoft, adopting Azure as its cloud platform about a year ago. It developed a “demand plan” that uses members’ purchasing data to determine how much meat must be ordered and replenished in fulfillment centers. It enabled its approximately 70 employees to create and read dashboards using Microsoft’s Power BI data visualization tool. It interviewed more than 100 ButcherBox subscribers, then used Azure’s Databricks service to analyze their feedback and organize it into easily understandable reports in Power BI.

The interviews revealed a key insight — that the number one reason people were canceling their subscriptions wasn’t lack of freezer space, as previously thought, but value. Based on that finding, the company implemented an “add-on” program offering members perks (free bacon!) and specials on certain products, often undercutting grocery store prices on those promotional items.

More robust data also enabled the company to better determine how much dry ice is needed for each shipped box based on geographic location — a crucial calculation, since too much ice can cause leaks and too little can mean a thawed shipment.

“If someone doesn’t get his or her box or it shows up late, it’s ruined,” Salguero says. “So really understanding our data — what’s shipping, where the boxes are — became the rallying cry of the company in a big way to understand our members and build out our data infrastructure.”

Photo of a ButcherBox cardboard box, made of 95 percent recycled paper, that the company ships its products in.hat ButcherBox ships its products in
The company uses fully recyclable boxes made of 95 percent recycled cardboard to ship its products.

But even the most sophisticated data can’t necessarily provide the type of information gleaned from talking with people face-to-face. Last year, Salguero embarked on what employees jokingly refer to as his “freezer road show,” visiting members’ homes, asking them about their cooking and eating habits and yes, peering into their freezers.

The exercise provided useful insights about the degree to which members rely on ButcherBox meats to feed their families, Salguero says, and showed that subscribers who most often use the food in their freezers tend to plan out their meals. That finding could help with tackling one of the biggest challenges facing a company that sells frozen meat — which is, ironically, to get members to stop using their freezers so much.

“A lot of people think of a freezer as a savings account,” Salguero says. “It’s there for a rainy day, not necessarily the place you go if you want to eat dinner tonight.”

The company is exploring how technology might be used to get more information about what customers are eating, whether through a meal-planning app or other tool, with the goal of prompting them to move food out of the deep freeze and onto the dinner table.

“All of that is a data problem at its core,” Salguero says. “We should know what members are eating and in what order. If we do our job well, we’ll know that member A is eating through X and they have a pork shoulder left over, so if we’re going to send a recipe, we should be sending one for pork shoulder.”

ButcherBox is now focusing on using data science and analytics to provide more personalized service, starting with identifying “clusters” of members who have similar likes and buying habits to determine which products and services to market to them.

“It doesn’t make sense to show someone beef if they’re really a chicken or salmon member,” Hall says. “We’re really looking to understand the data so we can serve members in a much more personalized way.”

Photo of two bone-in pork chops on a wooden board, with bows of salt and peppercorns and a plate with fresh figs and fresh sage leaves
ButcherBox offers 21 different cuts of meat and a range of custom and curated boxes.

Since data showed that members who buy certain types of boxes are more likely to leave, the company began proactively suggesting different options to those members and introduced new subscription plans with varying delivery schedules.

“We’re giving people more flexibility to switch to a plan that comes less often,” says Reba Hatcher, ButcherBox’s chief of staff. “Giving people those options has been really helpful.”

The company’s approach suits Ismael Santos, who lives in Youngsville, a small city in south-central Louisiana. Santos tried various approaches to get high-quality, sustainably raised meat free of antibiotics and added hormones — driving to a grocery store more than 50 miles away, buying at local farmers markets, splitting a quarter- or half-cow with friends. None of the options was ideal, so Santos signed up for ButcherBox almost a year ago.

“It’s hard to get that quality at a good price, and conveniently and reliably here,” he says. “You can go out and buy beef, but you’re either going to pay a ton or you’re not going to get what you’re looking for sometimes. The cost (of ButcherBox) is good compared with going to a store and buying the same quality and quantity.”

Santos also tried several meal-kit subscription services but didn’t consider them a good value and didn’t like being restricted to cooking a particular meal. With ButcherBox, he gets the main part of his meal and builds around it, picking up other ingredients at his local market as needed and sometimes adding items to his box, like ribs or breakfast sausage.

“I like that you can change it up,” he says.

Photo of seven people, mostly ButcherBox employees, standing a ranch between two farm vehicles, with a herd of black cows in background
The company partners with vendors that use sustainable, humane approaches and fair labor practices.

ButcherBox is still in the early stages of using Azure, but Salguero says the move has already radically changed how employees think and operate.

“It’s pretty amazing to see the cultural change because of what we’re doing with Microsoft,” he says. “It’s a totally different conversation. People used to sit around a table and say, ‘I don’t really know what’s happening.’ Now it’s like, ‘Did you pull the data for that?’ or, ‘Let’s look at this dashboard and make a decision based on what we see.’

“The culture has really moved to a reliance on the data that we have,” Salguero says. “People trust the data, and it’s only getting better and better.”

Top photo: ButcherBox CEO and founder Mike Salguero. (All photos courtesy of ButcherBox)

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Shadow IT Discovery capabilities extended

@Jorge Otero can you make sure you have this patch applied to your 1809
device? This will fix a bug with silent enablement.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4497934/windows-10-update-kb4497934
If this doesn’t work please raise a support case

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@Matt Shadbolt I’ve tested my bitlocker configuration within Intune on
Windows 10 Pro systems running version 1809 as per the article you
linked. I’ve had success with automatically encrypting the devices
without user intervention on the first few systems and pushed to a
larger pilot group which I r…

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@nomeara. That would be a “depends” question. You can set SCCM not
delete resources up to 365 days. Not sure if SCCM datawarehouse will
achieve what you need as it does keep compliance information.

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Nice.. any word what size increase this adds to the SCCM database?

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This article mentions integration with Secure Boundary Forest’s (Red
Forest) and i have found a new article making mention of ATP within Red
Forest.I am curious as to the Microsoft Security Best and Current
Practice recommendations on ESAE and Red Forest- Should these RF
implementation still only re…

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Daimler AG launches a new cloud platform for data-driven innovation

Daimler AG is both a world leader in commercial vehicles and premium cars, and a pioneer in innovative mobility. The work requires processing enormous amounts of confidential, business-critical data, but until recently, the automaker had a problem. Its on-premise data platform, built five years ago, lacked the flexibility and scalability needed for big data projects, while Daimler’s strict security standards – more rigorous than what’s legally required – prevented the company from moving data into the cloud.

To solve the problem, Daimler launched eXtollo, the company’s new cloud platform for big data and advanced analytics. Developed with Microsoft, the platform uses Azure Key Vault, a service that safeguards encryption keys and secrets, including certificates, connection strings and passwords.

Portrait of Guido Vetter
Guido Vetter, head of Daimler’s Corporate Center of Excellence Advanced Analytics & Big Data.

The solution paved the way for Daimler to migrate its data lake to the cloud, with eXtollo now serving internal business units around the world, including production, finance, sales, marketing and research. Hosted on Azure, the platform also enables more artificial intelligence (AI) projects that help Daimler accelerate innovation, better serve its customers and shape the future of mobility.

To learn more about eXtollo and Daimler’s work with big data, Transform chatted with Guido Vetter, head of Daimler’s Corporate Center of Excellence Advanced Analytics & Big Data.

TRANSFORM: What challenges did you have with your on-premise data platform?

VETTER: We had a monolithic environment and limited capacity. The requests and demands for service from Daimler’s business units were so massive that we were not able to scale the calculation power to what we needed. We had our units competing for calculation resources and we had to schedule and plan who was calculating when. But with Azure, the big advantage is we scale up, we compute, we pay, we scale down.

TRANSFORM: How did Azure Key Vault help?  

VETTER: Azure Key Vault was the lever for us to move into the cloud. The biggest challenge for us internally is that we process confidential data. We don’t want this data to leak anywhere. But with “bring your own key” in Azure Key Vault, we are in control of the data and encryption material. Nobody but us can use the data. Combined with services like Azure Active Directory, it gives us all the data protection and security we need to make sure everything is to our highest standards of security.

TRANSFORM: How long did it take you to develop eXtollo?

VETTER: We launched the idea of eXtollo in workshops with Microsoft in January 2018. Then we went live for Europe in April. It was a three-month exercise and a lot of the time we spent validating concepts. We went live in the U.S. in October and later in Asia. So, we have in nine months of almost-global coverage. It was lightning-fast. Cloud is really bringing us the speed and the flexibility to do that.

TRANSFORM: What are some use cases for eXtollo?

VETTER: We do a lot of forecasting cases. In the past, it took days to calculate forecasts in the finance or production areas, which the algorithms can now do in minutes and seconds. We also do driving behavior analytics and forecasting with AI on what a customer potentially wants to buy and that gives us a better portfolio of sales.

The best use case scenario is error code forecasting for the vehicle. When you take your car to the workshop for a repair, the mechanic can download an error code log from the car and immediately see how to solve the problem. The computer program is based on a machine-learning algorithm that analyzes historical, diagnostic data of cars to give targeted suggestions for faster, better service.

The cloud really enables the potential of AI for all levels of the organization. That’s one of the advantages of Azure – we have all the tools we need, whether we use AI algorithms or normal advanced analytics algorithms.

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US Defense Department awards 5-year enterprise services contract to Microsoft

The Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (DoD ESI) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) have awarded Microsoft a $1.76 billion, five-year indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide innovative enterprise services to the DoD, Intelligence Community and U.S. Coast Guard, enabling and accelerating the DoD digital transformation strategy and pivot to the cloud, ultimately enhancing mission success.

This Microsoft Services IDIQ will allow us to help enable these government agencies to both accelerate their adoption of cloud solutions, while also helping drive transformation throughout their organizations.

With over 40 years of experience and partnership with the DoD built on trust, the IDIQ expands the relationship to make the following Microsoft engineering and technology strategy support available, including:

  • Enterprise-wide and organization-specific architectural planning, solution design and innovation, and infrastructure optimization
  • Implementation, deployment and knowledge transfer of Microsoft products, cloud technologies and network solutions support
  • Access to technical support, problem resolution, solution workshops, strategic guidance
  • Assistance to customers with technical issues pertaining to developing cloud, intranet, internet strategies, prototyping and implementation and development of solutions spanning infrastructure and application areas.

Access to these services will enable the DoD to gain the hands-on support they need to quickly adopt the latest enterprise-class innovations, extend them all the way to the tactical edge, and optimize their general-purpose cloud to support the missions of the DoD, Intelligence Community and U.S. Coast Guard.

Today’s IDIQ award is directed by the DoD ESI, an official DoD initiative sponsored by the Defense Department’s chief information officer to lead in establishing and managing enterprise commercial-off-the-shelf information technology agreements, assets and policies. DoD ESI lowers the total cost of ownership across the DoD, Coast Guard and Intelligence Community for commercial software, IT hardware and services.

For official details about the contract, please visit the DoD’s contracts site for January 11, 2019.

For additional information about Microsoft’s commitment to empower government agencies to transform, modernize, innovate, gain efficiencies and cost savings, and achieve their missions while meeting rigorous security and compliance requirements please:

Visit Microsoft in government and Microsoft Services.

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The new business imperative: a unified cloud security strategy

As more businesses begin to explore the benefits of moving on-premises data and applications to the cloud, they’re having to rethink their traditional approaches to data security. Not only are cybercriminals developing more sophisticated attacks, but the number of employees and users who can access, edit, and share data has increased the risk of breaches. In fact, Gartner indicates* that “through 2022, 95 percent of cloud security incidents failures will be the customer’s fault. CIOs can combat this by implementing and enforcing policies on cloud ownership, responsibility and risk acceptance. They should also be sure to follow a life cycle approach to cloud governance and put in place central management and monitoring planes to cover the inherent complexity of multicloud use.”

Instead of relying on a patchwork of third-party security solutions that don’t always speak to each other, potentially leaving systems vulnerable to attack, companies are now adopting a unified, end-to-end cloud security defense. This typically involves choosing a cloud provider that can integrate security controls right into existing corporate systems and processes. When these controls span the entire IT infrastructure, they make it easier to protect data and maintain user trust by offering increased compatibility, better performance, and more flexibility.

Protection that’s always compatible

A holistic, cloud-supported threat warning and detection system can be designed to work seamlessly across every asset of an IT environment. For instance, built-in security management solutions can give IT teams the ability to constantly monitor the entire system from a centralized location, rather than manually evaluating different machines. This allows them to sense threats early, provide identity monitoring, and more—all without any compatibility issues.

Container shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has gone this route. As in many businesses, MSC’s IT environment is spread across a variety of locations, networks, and technologies, such as container ships, trucking networks, and offices. Its previous security strategy employed a mixture of third-party solutions that often ran into compatibility issues between different components, giving attackers a large surface area to probe. This made MSC vulnerable to threats such as fileless attacks, phishing, and ransomware. However, after transitioning to a unified cloud security solution, it has been able to guard against attacks using protection that integrates effortlessly into its existing environment.

Reliable performance, more efficiently

The more complex an IT environment gets, the more time employees spend testing, maintaining, and repairing third-party security solutions. A unified cloud security approach improves performance by not only providing a consistent, layered defense strategy, but by also automating it across the entire IT infrastructure. At MSC, software and security updates are now done automatically and deployed without delay across the cloud. Information about possible threats and breaches can quickly be shared across devices and identities, speeding up response and recovery times so that employees can focus on other issues.

Security with flexibility to grow

Scalability is another factor driving adoption. A cloud environment can easily scale to accommodate spikes in traffic, additional users, or data-intensive applications. A patchwork of third-party security solutions tends not to be so nimble. At MSC, security controls are integrated into multiple levels of the existing IT infrastructure—from the operating system to the application layer—and can be dynamically sized to meet new business needs. For example, continuous compliance controls can be established to monitor regulatory activities and detect vulnerabilities as they grow.

A unified security approach: becoming the standard

The best security solutions perform quietly in the background, protecting users without them noticing. Unified cloud security does this while also reducing the resources required to keep things running smoothly. “Once you have true defense in depth, there’s less chance of having to single out a user and impact their productivity because you have to reimage an infected machine,” said Aaron Shvarts, chief security officer at MSC Technology North America.

After moving its workloads to Azure and upgrading its previous third-party security solutions to the native protection of Windows Defender, MSC now has a defense strategy that suits the complexity of its business. Learn more about Azure security solutions and how Microsoft can help you implement unified security across your cloud.

To stay up to date on the latest news about Microsoft’s work in the cloud, bookmark this blog and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

*Gartner, Smarter with Gartner, Is the Cloud Secure?, 27 March 2018, https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/is-the-cloud-secure/

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The evolution of music: How the cloud helps reward artists and record labels

From vinyl records to cassette tapes, CDs, MP3 players and streaming services, the way we listen to music has rapidly evolved over the years.

As more and more people turn to the conveniences of streaming music, it’s easy to forget the challenges faced when making sure that artists and labels are fairly compensated.

Everyone talks about digital transformation providing companies with a competitive edge. For music rights organisations, however, adopting a digital culture isn’t a choice. It’s a matter of survival.

This was the situation facing the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), a music licensing organisation which represents the majority of music publishers and music copyright owners in Canada.

In 2011, the CMRRA along with the rest of the music copyright industry faced drastic changes to its business model. Streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music were dramatically increasing the number of transactions from tens of thousands to hundreds of millions, while the revenue per transaction decreased to small fractions of a cent.

In this new digital-first world, a file containing hundreds of millions of transactions can generate royalty payments of €100,000. In the pre-digital world, for comparison, this would have generated millions of Euros instead.

To help its transformation, CMRRA needed a robust and secure solution which would help with the increased number of transactions in a cost-effective way, while allowing it to continue to distribute royalties to artists and other rights holders. The company began its journey by turning to Spanish Point – a Microsoft Gold Partner in Ireland.

Hitting play on transformation
Spanish Point had already digitised the process for the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), but it wasn’t just a case of dealing with increased transaction volumes, as Spanish Point CEO Donal Cullen explains: “There is also the problem of matching millions of music streaming transactions with poor metadata against a database of millions of songs,” he states.

“Many copyright organisations have failed to cope with this increase in data volumes, meaning the songs and recordings have not been licensed or correctly identified. The license income that should have been paid to songwriters and music publishers has remained with streaming companies. The streaming services and other entertainment platforms do want to pay the artists, it’s just a question of finding a practical way of doing it.”

The solution developed by Spanish Point saw CMRRA move its operations to the cloud, enabling it to successfully cope with these challenges and generate more income for its members. Using Microsoft’s advanced features, Spanish Point provided a more agile and responsive service at a lower cost than a traditional on-premise or hosted provider.

“In the past, if a song was played on a radio station it was broadcast to thousands of listeners,” Cullen explains. “Now you have people using their smartphone in cars to stream music. Services like Spotify and YouTube are sending data to rights organisations on each individual stream. That has increased the volume of data by three or four orders of magnitude.”

“It is not unusual for files to contain 200 million transactions. The rights organisations now must identify each song from quite poor metadata and find the artists to pay royalties to. There is simply no way they could do that without a cloud solution. Even four or five years ago it would have been beyond our reach. It has enabled us to help customers like CMRRA improve their data processing performance by a factor of 40.”

Moving to the cloud solved the problems of scale, flexibility and financial viability. “Before the cloud, organisations would invest in computing power to meet peak demand,” Cullen notes. “That meant the payroll system had to be able to meet very high demand on one or two days each month while it would be barely used for the rest of the time. In the cloud you pay for what you use as you need it. Also, Microsoft’s cloud autoscales to meet the size of files and that’s directly related to how much we and our customers are going to get paid.”

Microsoft Ireland commercial director Aisling Curtis believes the challenge faced by the music rights industry demonstrates the enormous power of digital culture. “This is a great example of digital disruption and how a digital transformation approach can be used to solve issues across an entire industry”, she says.

“It’s not just something for large companies or enterprise-sized organisations to be concerned about. Organisations of every size can adopt a digital culture to innovate and gain competitive advantage. Spanish Point has done a fantastic job for CMRRA using the Microsoft platform and has created a new solution which is applicable to the whole music rights industry.”

Cloud with benefits
As a result of its transformation, CMRRA has dramatically increased its revenue and reduced its members’ annual subscription fees from 10.5 per cent to six per cent. It has also opened up new numerous new opportunities for the company.

“They are now going to licence mechanical works in the US,” says Cullen. “They were restricted to Canada up until now, but they have become a lot cheaper than their US competitors because of the Microsoft cloud solution.”

For the future, Spanish Point is planning to use Microsoft’s AI technology to further enhance its solution. Currently, the company is moving into the US market and is also working with customers in Spain and Turkey with this solution.

“Microsoft has worked closely with Spanish Point on a number of digital transformation projects over the years,” says Aisling Curtis. “Spanish Point is a very innovative firm. It explores new frontiers with Microsoft products and platforms which enables its customers to access new business opportunities and gain competitive advantage. This is a very tangible example of how digital culture and transformation is allowing an Irish company to solve a worldwide issue for customers. It is a defining example of the impact of digital culture.”

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InMobi partners with Microsoft to bring intelligence-driven capabilities to mobile marketing

Collaboration combines the power of the cloud with cutting-edge technologies such as AI and data to provide actionable insights for marketers in a mobile world

SAN FRANCISCO and REDMOND, Wash. — June 26, 2018 — InMobi, a global provider of enterprise platforms for marketers, today announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. to enable new-age CMOs in their transformational journey from digital to mobile marketing. The partnership will consist of InMobi moving to Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider, and will involve technology collaboration and combined go-to-market strategies aimed at accelerating the way marketers are looking at their advertising and marketing strategies in an always-connected world.

Simultaneously, InMobi is significantly expanding its platform for marketers via the InMobi Marketing Cloud, adding to its decade-long market leadership through InMobi’s Advertising Cloud. The Marketing Cloud will enable marketers to get a 360-degree view of every customer, uncovering insights that help them design customer journeys for engagement, action and measurement, and analyzing and acting on customer feedback from disparate channels to increase retention and lifetime value of customers, while remaining committed toward the privacy rights of the customer.

Picture of Satya Nadella, Naveen Tewari and Peggy Johnson
From L to R: Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO at InMobi, Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft

“As digital technology is transforming every industry and every aspect of our lives, companies are seeking new ways to engage customers where they are, with connected, personalized experiences,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The combination of Microsoft Azure with InMobi’s marketing platforms will deliver new intelligent customer experiences and business insights to organizations around the world.”

With this partnership, InMobi will move in a phased manner to Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider and tap into the power of its intelligent capabilities. With more regions than any other cloud provider, Microsoft Azure provides the global scale and trusted platform to meet the needs of the marketing industry.

There has been a fundamental shift in the advertising and marketing industry, with far more advanced technologies available to marketers, combined with an exponential increase in customer touchpoints across multiple connected devices. InMobi, with its new AI-powered Marketing Cloud, is at the forefront of these changes and evolving beyond its pure-play advertising platform to a comprehensive and integrated suite of advertising and marketing platforms.

“InMobi is building one of the most advanced enterprise platforms for marketers, and we’re extremely excited to partner with Microsoft as we dive into the next frontier of connected devices,” said Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO InMobi. “With Microsoft’s global reach and advanced security, privacy and compliance, alongside InMobi’s scale and decade-long experience in mobile-first technology, we can truly disrupt the marketing ecosystem. Together, Microsoft and InMobi will create a formidable force in the industry.”

The two companies are also looking at additional opportunities in combining the power of InMobi’s Advertising and Marketing Cloud capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics 365 on the back of the global Azure infrastructure, including AI, machine learning and analytics. The companies will also work in close cooperation on the go-to-market approach, offering these integrated advertising and marketing solutions to Microsoft’s global enterprise client base.

The InMobi Marketing Cloud will be sequentially launched market-wise worldwide over the next six months.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About InMobi

InMobi is a global provider of enterprise platforms for marketers. As a leading technology company, InMobi has been recognized as a 2018 CNBC Disruptor 50 company and as one of Fast Company’s 2018 Most Innovative Companies. For more information, visit inmobi.com.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

InMobi Media Relations

pr@inmobi.com