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Nuance and Microsoft partner to transform the doctor-patient experience

Strategic partnership accelerates the delivery of ambient technologies to reduce clinician burnout by enabling doctors to focus on patients, while AI focuses on administrative tasks

BURLINGTON, Mass., and REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 17, 2019 Nuance Communications Inc. and Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced they have joined forces to help transform healthcare delivery for a more sustainable future. Together, the companies will accelerate the delivery of ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) technologies that will power the exam room of the future where clinical documentation writes itself.

The Nuance-Microsoft partnership brings together leading technologies from both companies:

  • Nuance’s healthcare-optimized speech recognition and processing solutions such as its Dragon Medical platform already used by more than 500,000 physicians worldwide; advanced conversational AI for ambient clinical documentation and decision support; voice biometrics; and specialized ambient sensing hardware
  • Microsoft Azure, Azure AI and Project EmpowerMD Intelligent Scribe Service backed with advanced conversational AI and natural language understanding

“The Microsoft partnership will accelerate our ability to solve for healthcare’s most pressing challenges — together,” said Mark Benjamin, Nuance CEO. “The ambient technologies we will jointly deliver can improve productivity and professional satisfaction, while empowering doctors to focus on what they do best: take care of patients.”

Physician burnout is at epidemic levels. A recent study shows that primary care doctors now spend two hours on administrative tasks for every hour they’re involved in direct patient care. Physicians reported one to two hours of after-hours work each night, mostly related to administrative tasks.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, said, “We have an incredible opportunity to use advances in cloud and AI technology to transform healthcare delivery. Together with Nuance, we will apply the power of Azure and Azure AI to this challenge, with the aim of improving the day-to-day life of firstline healthcare workers everywhere — so they can provide better care.”

Working in tandem with long-term electronic health record (EHR) partners to develop the technology, ACI will deliver a seamless and engaging interaction between clinicians and patients. Through patient consent, ACI will synthesize patient-clinician conversations, integrate that data with contextual information from the EHR, and auto-populate the patient’s medical record in the system.

“Physician burnout has become one of the most important concerns facing the healthcare industry today,” said Dr. James Linder, Nebraska Medicine CEO. “We’re excited about the early results of ACI to help clinicians focus more on patients. We look forward to the innovations our two trusted partners, Nuance and Microsoft, will deliver together.”

The companies will expand upon Nuance’s early success with ACI and expect to introduce the technology to an initial set of physician specialties in early 2020. Built on Microsoft Azure, this new technology will marry the two companies’ strengths in developing ambient sensing and conversational AI solutions, including ambient listening, wake-up word, voice biometrics, signal enhancement, document summarization, natural language understanding, clinical intelligence and text-to-speech.

As part of the agreement, Nuance will migrate the majority of its current on-premises internal infrastructure and hosted products to Microsoft Azure. Nuance already is a Microsoft Office 365 customer for its more than 8,500 employees worldwide, empowering them with the latest in collaboration and communications tools, including Microsoft Teams.

About Nuance Healthcare

Nuance provides intelligent systems that support a more natural and insightful approach to clinical documentation, freeing clinicians to spend more time caring for patients. Nuance healthcare solutions capture, improve, and communicate more than 300 million patient stories each year, helping more than 500,000 clinicians in 10,000 global healthcare organizations to drive meaningful clinical and financial outcomes. Nuance’s award-winning clinical speech recognition, medical transcription, CDI, coding, quality, and medical imaging solutions provide a more complete and accurate view of patient care.

About Nuance Communications Inc.

Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN) is the pioneer and leader in conversational AI innovations that bring intelligence to everyday work and life. The company delivers solutions that understand, analyze, and respond to people – amplifying human intelligence to increase productivity and security. With decades of domain and AI expertise, Nuance works with thousands of organizations globally across healthcare, financial services, telecommunications, government, and retail – to empower a smarter, more connected world. For more information, please visit www.nuance.com.

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.

For more information, press only:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Nuance Media Relations, ReviveHealth for Nuance, (716) 553-3882, nuance@thinkrevivehealth.com

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Microsoft’s venture fund M12 partners with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures to announce $6 million competition for women-led enterprise startups

In its second year, the Female Founders Competition will help accelerate funding for women entrepreneurs globally

Melinda Gates, Peggy Johnson and Navin Chaddha

Editor’s note – Oct. 17, 2019 – The sentence below regarding Boston Consulting Group’s estimates of the global economy was updated following initial publication.

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 17, 2019 Microsoft’s M12, Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures on Thursday announced the second global Female Founders Competition to accelerate funding for women entrepreneurs developing business-to-business software-as-a-service and deeptech solutions. Eligible women-led startups developing enterprise tech solutions in the United States, Europe, Israel and India are encouraged to submit applications beginning Oct. 17, 2019. Four winning companies will receive a total of $6 million in venture funding, along with access to technology, resources, mentoring and other benefits.

“Last year’s competition helped highlight that there are innovative female entrepreneurs developing enterprise tech solutions, and they just aren’t getting equal access to capital,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, Business Development, Microsoft Corp. “The tech industry can’t afford to keep leaving women’s good ideas on the table. We need to level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, and together with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures, we aim to do just that with our second Female Founders Competition.”

Venture capital funding, particularly for seed-stage companies, is critical to power ideas from incubation to go-to-market. Venture funding for female-founded companies continues to be nominal in comparison with dollars invested in male-only-led teams. Last year, companies founded solely by women garnered 2.3% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups, according to PitchBook.1

Regardless of this disadvantage, female founders continue to deliver outsized returns. In a study conducted by MassChallenge and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), women-founded businesses delivered more than two times as much revenue per dollar invested than their male counterparts. If women and men participated equally as entrepreneurs, BCG estimates the global economy could experience up to a $5 trillion boost. According to Gartner, “The enterprise software market will experience the strongest growth in 2019, reaching $457 billion, up 9% from $419 billion in 2018.”2 Investing in women-led enterprise companies is essential to economic growth and to closing the gender funding gap.

“As a firm with a 50-year history of people-first investing, we are always looking for new ways to discover bold entrepreneurs,” said Navin Chaddha, managing director, Mayfield. “We are thrilled to partner with M12 and Pivotal Ventures on this innovative Female Founders Competition, through which we will find and invest in women creating built-to-last enterprise companies. In addition to providing funding, we plan to share our playbook with competition winners on how to accelerate their journey from idea to iconic company.”

Female Founders Competition logo“I am delighted to partner with M12 and Mayfield on this important competition,” said Melinda Gates, philanthropist and founder of Pivotal Ventures. “Enterprise technology is shaping our world in countless ways, but it will never reach its full potential unless women and their ideas are equally represented within the field.”

Submissions will be accepted from Oct. 17, 2019, to Dec. 15, 2019, and are open across Europe, India, Israel, Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United States. Companies will be eligible to apply if they have at least one female founder, have raised no more than $5 million in combined equity funding and/or debt loans upon date of application, and offer or intend to release a product, service or platform addressing a critical business problem for a global market.

A live finals pitch competition will take place March 18-19, 2020, with the announcement of winners to follow shortly thereafter. Two enterprise software startups will earn investment awards of $2 million each, and two deeptech startups innovating through substantial scientific and research advances will earn investment awards of $1 million each. Full guidelines and contest information can be found at www.FemaleFoundersComp.com.

About Mayfield

Mayfield is a global venture capital firm with a people-first philosophy and $1.8 billion under management. Mayfield invests primarily in early-stage consumer, enterprise and healthIT companies. Since its founding 50 years ago, the firm has invested in more than 500 companies, resulting in 117 IPOs and more than 200 mergers or acquisitions. Some notable investments include HashiCorp, Lyft, Marketo, Mammoth Biosciences, Moat, Poshmark, ServiceMax and SolarCity. For more information, go to https://www.mayfield.com or follow @MayfieldFund.

About Pivotal Ventures

Pivotal Ventures is an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates. We partner with organizations and individuals who share our urgency for social progress in the United States. Together, we grow understanding around issues, expand participation, encourage cooperation and fuel new approaches that substantially improve people’s lives. For more information, please visit https://www.pivotalventures.org/.

About M12

As the corporate venture arm for Microsoft, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) invests in enterprise software companies in the Series A through C funding stage with a focus on big data & analytics, business SaaS, cloud infrastructure, machine learning & artificial intelligence, productivity, and security. As part of its value-add to portfolio companies, M12 offers unique access to strategic go-to-market resources and relationships globally. The Company has offices in San Francisco, Seattle, London and Tel Aviv. For more information, visit https://m12.vc.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

1 PitchBook article, “The VC Female Founders Dashboard,” Feb. 28, 2019. https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/the-vc-female-founders-dashboard

2 Gartner Press Release, “Gartner Says Global IT Spending to Grow 0.6% in 2019,” July 10, 2019. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-10-07-gartner-says-global-it-spending-to-grow-06-in-2019

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Novartis and Microsoft announce collaboration to transform medicine with artificial intelligence

  • Multiyear alliance underpins the Novartis commitment to leverage data & artificial intelligence (AI) to transform how medicines are discovered, developed and commercialized
  • Novartis to establish AI innovation lab to empower its associates to use AI across the business
  • Joint research activities will include co-working environments on Novartis Campus (Switzerland), at Novartis Global Service Center in Dublin, and at Microsoft Research Lab (UK) – starting with tackling personalized therapies for macular degeneration; cell & gene therapy; and drug design

Basel, and Redmond, October 1, 2019 – Novartis today announced an important step in reimagining medicine by founding the Novartis AI innovation lab and by selecting Microsoft Corp. as its strategic AI and data-science partner for this effort. The new lab aims to significantly bolster Novartis AI capabilities from research through commercialization and help accelerate the discovery and development of transformative medicines for patients worldwide.

As part of the strategic collaboration announced, Novartis and Microsoft have committed to a multi-year research and development effort. This strategic alliance will focus on two core objectives:

  • AI Empowerment. The lab will aim to bring the power of AI to the desktop of every Novartis associate. By bringing together vast amounts of Novartis datasets with Microsoft’s advanced AI solutions, the lab will aim to create new AI models and applications that can augment our associates’ capabilities to take on the next wave of challenges in medicine.
  • AI Exploration. The lab will use the power of AI to tackle some of the hardest computational challenges within the life sciences, starting with generative chemistry, image segmentation & analysis for smart and personalized delivery of therapies, and optimization of cell and gene therapies at scale.

Microsoft and Novartis will also collaborate to develop and apply next-generation AI platforms and processes that support future programs across these two focus areas. The overall investment will include project funding, subject-matter experts, technology, and tools.

Novartis logo
Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, said, “As Novartis continues evolving into a focused medicines company powered by advanced therapy platforms and data science, alliances like this will help us deliver on our purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend lives. Pairing our deep knowledge of human biology and medicine with Microsoft’s leading expertise in AI could transform the way we discover and develop medicines for the world.”

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, added, “Our strategic alliance will combine Novartis’ life sciences expertise with the power of Azure and Microsoft AI. Together, we aim to address some of the biggest challenges facing the life sciences industry today and bring AI capabilities to every Novartis employee so they can unlock new insights as they work to discover new medicines and reduce patient costs.”

Novartis Data & Digital

Novartis is focusing itself as a leading medicines company powered by advanced therapies and data science. Going big on data and digital is a key strategic pillar that helps Novartis realize that ambition. Data science and digital technologies allow the company to reimagine how it innovates in R&D, engages with patients and customers, and increases operational efficiencies. Novartis focuses its efforts around four strategic digital priority areas:

  • Scaling 12 digital lighthouse projects: Build a strong foundation and jumpstart digital transformation
  • Make Novartis digital: sharing, learning and talent acquisition
  • Becoming the #1 partner in the tech ecosystem: bridge Novartis with external expertise
  • Bolder moves: lead through future disruptive healthcare scenarios with large-scale partnerships

Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that can generally be identified by words such as “to transform,” “multiyear,” “commitment,” “to found,” “aims,” “vision,” “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “committed,” or similar terms, or regarding the development or adoption of potentially transformational technologies and business models and the collaboration with Microsoft; or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the healthcare products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from collaboration with Microsoft or such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the collaboration with Microsoft will achieve any or all of its intended goals or objectives, or in any particular time frame. Neither can there be any guarantee that any healthcare products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that the collaboration with Microsoft or such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding the collaboration with Microsoft and such products could be affected by, among other things, uncertainties involved in the development or adoption of potentially transformational technologies and business models; the uncertainties inherent in research and development of new healthcare products, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally, including potential regulatory actions or delays with respect to the collaboration with Microsoft; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political, economic and trade conditions; safety, quality or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108 000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at www.novartis.com.

Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at http://twitter.com/novartisnews

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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.

Novartis Media Relations

E-mail: media.relations@novartis.com

Peter Zuest

Novartis Global External Communications

+41 79 899 98 12 (mobile)

peter.zuest@novartis.com

Microsoft Media Relations

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Eric Althoff

Novartis US External Communications

+1 646 438 4335

eric.althoff@novartis.com

Novartis Investor Relations

Central investor relations line: +41 61 324 7944

E-mail: investor.relations@novartis.com

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$60 million Microsoft investment boosts King County’s efforts to preserve affordable housing in greater Seattle region

Microsoft’s investment is part of the company’s $500 million commitment to combat the Puget Sound affordable housing crisis

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 26, 2019 — Microsoft Corp., King County Housing Authority (KCHA) and King County on Thursday announced a combined $245 million investment to protect 1,029 units of affordable rental housing throughout King County.

The partnership comes in the form of a 15-year, $60 million loan from Microsoft to KCHA at below-market interest rates, combined with $20 million in low-interest debt and additional credit enhancements provided by King County, and $140 million in bonds issued by KCHA. This investment marks a significant milestone for Microsoft’s $500 million commitment announced in January 2019 to advance affordable housing solutions in the Puget Sound region.

Microsoft’s investment will help finance KCHA’s acquisition of five residential apartment complexes in Kirkland, Bellevue and Federal Way, ensuring rents will remain affordable long term and allowing over 3,000 low- and middle-income people to remain in their communities. Because of their location, these affordable properties were at high risk of experiencing rapidly escalating rents or redevelopment as higher-cost housing.

“We are committed to maintaining and bolstering strong, vibrant communities here in the greater Puget Sound region,” said Jane Broom, senior director of Microsoft Philanthropies. “Thriving communities include safe, reliable and affordable housing options for people at all income levels. To do this, we all need to come together to not only build more housing options, but also to preserve what already exists.”

The investment provides the key piece of financing that allows KCHA to acquire the five properties and stabilize rents. Future rent increases can be driven by the cost to operate the property rather than by market pricing, and over time rents are expected to be well below rents in the surrounding market. It is estimated that over a 30-year period the cumulative rents charged at these complexes will save renters over $450 million in housing costs compared with what would have been charged if these properties had remained in for-profit ownership and priced at market rents.

“We have extraordinary partners in Microsoft and King County Housing Authority as we collaborate to secure housing opportunities for more than 1,000 low-to-moderate-income individuals and families in East and South King County,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Our combined investment makes this housing affordable not just now, but for generations to come.”

This partnership is an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to help address community issues. This initiative effectively partners corporate financing with efforts to preserve an adequate supply of affordable housing. The impact of this investment is immediate, with value added in the form of increasing affordability over time.

Local studies estimate King County has lost at least 36,000 affordable rental units in the last decade as rents increased by 43%.

“Across the Puget Sound region, people with lower and even middle incomes have been forced to move due to rising housing costs,” said KCHA Executive Director Stephen Norman. “This partnership preserves unsubsidized middle-market housing for moderate- and lower-wage earners. We believe this investment, which requires a good corporate partner to make the numbers work, will ultimately help stabilize rents and safeguard more than 3,000 existing tenants from being priced out of their homes.”

Ensuring a healthy community: The need for affordable housing

Puget Sound is the sixth most expensive region in the country, and despite a 21% increase in jobs since 2011, the increase in housing units rose by only 13%. This problem is even more pronounced in the smaller cities surrounding Seattle than it is in Seattle itself.

To help address this affordable housing crisis, Microsoft’s $500 million commitment included $225 million in loans at below-market-rate returns — such as KCHA has received — to inject capital to catalyze the preservation and construction of middle-income housing in the eastside of King County. The commitment also afforded an additional $250 million in loans at market-rate returns to support low-income housing across the entire Puget Sound region, and $25 million in philanthropic grants to address homelessness throughout the greater Seattle region. In June 2019, Plymouth Housing, a nonprofit that operates permanent supportive residences for individuals struggling with homelessness, received a $5 million donation from Microsoft, the second grant awarded.

About KCHA

KCHA, an independent municipal corporation established under state law, assists more than 20,000 households in the Seattle metropolitan region on a daily basis. The Authority administers rental housing assistance, develops and manages affordable housing, and works closely with community stakeholders to address local priorities such as ending homelessness, improving educational outcomes for the region’s low-income youth, and assuring that disabled and elderly households can live with dignity. KCHA is also a national leader in the preservation of affordable workforce housing.

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.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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Microsoft and ENGIE announce innovative renewable initiatives

CHICAGO – Sept. 24, 2019 – Microsoft Corp. and ENGIE today announced both an innovative, long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) that provides 24/7 supply in the United States and implementation of Darwin, an energy software developed by ENGIE using the intelligent cloud services of Microsoft Azure to optimize performance of ENGIE’s wind, solar, and hybrid (wind + solar) renewable assets worldwide.

The hybrid renewable deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW. Microsoft will purchase the majority of the output from the new 200 MW Las Lomas wind project, which will be located in Starr & Zapata Counties in south Texas. Microsoft will also purchase 85 MW from the 200 MW Anson Solar Center project, which will be built in in Jones County in central Texas. Both projects will be operated by ENGIE and are expected to come on-line in January 2021.

“ENGIE’s ambition is to work with our customers and communities to lead the transition to a zero-carbon world,” said Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE. “We are proud to support Microsoft in its plan to increasingly meet its energy needs with renewable power, and to do so in a highly customized way to meet 24/7 demand over many years.”

The relationship between ENGIE and Microsoft will not only produce more clean energy in the United States, it also creates an example for how customers can procure it. This PPA includes an innovative volume firming agreement (VFA) that will convert the intermittent renewable energy supply into a fixed 24/7 power solution aligned with Microsoft’s energy needs.

In addition, ENGIE and Microsoft are advancing the digital transformation of the renewable energy sector. ENGIE’s Darwin software, currently deployed on more than 15,000 MW of assets globally, enables real-time plant monitoring and control, reporting, forecasting, performance monitoring and predictive maintenance, among many other benefits. Darwin relies on the latest Microsoft Azure intelligent cloud technologies such as IoT and artificial intelligence, including machine learning and cognitive services. Darwin has already enabled ENGIE to increase plant availability and to enhance production performance of up to a few percent on some of its assets.

With renewable energy expected to be the largest single source of electricity growth in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), these kinds of data-driven solutions will become increasingly important. ENGIE alone has a program to build approximately 9,000 MW of new renewable energy projects from 2019–2021 globally, with 2,500 MW of new renewable capacity planned for North America. The company has an additional 10,000 MW of wind and solar projects in its broader development pipeline in the U.S. and Canada.

“Procuring more renewable energy helps transform our operations, but when we pair that with Microsoft’s leading cloud and AI tools, we can transform the world,” said Carlo Purassanta, area vice president, Microsoft France. “This agreement with ENGIE is an exciting step toward a low-carbon future, driven by capital investments and enabled by data.”

About ENGIE

We are a leading world group that provides low-carbon energy and services. To tackle the climate emergency facing us all, our aim is to become the world leader in the zero-carbon energy transition “as a service” for our customers. We use our expertise in our key business areas (renewables, gas, services) to provide competitive and bespoke solutions. With our 160,000 employees, our clients, our partners, and our stakeholders, together we form a community of imaginative builders, striving every day to bring about a more harmonious form of progress. www.engie.com The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (ENGI) and is represented in the main financial indices (CAC 40, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe) and non-financial indices (DJSI World, DJSI Europe and Euronext Vigeo Eiris – World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120, France 20, CAC 40 Governance).

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.

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Microsoft announces board changes and proposes election of new board member

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 19, 2019 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced the nomination of Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and member of the GSK board, to the Microsoft board of directors. Walmsley will be presented for election at the company’s annual shareholders meeting, which will be held Dec. 4, 2019.

“Emma is an accomplished business leader who led major advances in research and development at GSK and will bring her significant insights and global experience to Microsoft,” said John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent board chair. “We believe she will be a valuable addition to the board.”

Microsoft also announced that Charles H. Noski, former vice chairman of AT&T Corp. and Bank of America Corp., and Dr. Helmut Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW AG, have decided that after almost 16 years of service, both will not seek re-election to the Microsoft board. Their current term expires at the annual shareholders meeting.

“Chuck and Helmut each have brought tremendous wisdom and judgment to our board, including in the vital roles Chuck has played as chair of the Audit Committee and Helmut has played as chair of the Regulatory and Public Policy Committee,” Thompson said.

Bill Gates, who served as chair when Noski and Panke joined the Microsoft board in 2003, said “Chuck and Helmut have been critical and insightful directors during multiple key moments for Microsoft for more than a decade and a half, and we are grateful for their many contributions.”

“I very much appreciate the important role that Chuck and Helmut have both played as directors and advisors to me as we’ve pursued Microsoft’s transformation,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO.

Emma Walmsley was appointed CEO of GSK in April 2017 and has been a member of GSK’s corporate executive team since 2011. She was the CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare, a joint venture between GSK and Novartis, from its creation in March 2014 to 2017. Walmsley joined GSK in 2010, with responsibility for Consumer Healthcare, Europe. Before joining GSK, Walmsley worked for L’Oreal in a variety of marketing and general management roles in Paris, London, Shanghai and New York. She holds an MA in classics and modern languages from Oxford University.

If Walmsley and the rest of the company’s nominees are elected, Microsoft’s board of directors will consist of 13 members, including John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent board chair; William H. Gates, Microsoft co-founder and technology advisor; Reid Hoffman, partner at Greylock Partners; Hugh Johnston, vice chairman and chief financial officer of PepsiCo; Teri L. List-Stoll, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Gap Inc.; Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft; Sandra E. Peterson, operating partner at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Partners; Charles W. Scharf, chairman and chief executive officer of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.; Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International Inc.; John W. Stanton, chairman of Trilogy Partnerships; and Padmasree Warrior, founder, president and CEO, Fable Group Inc.

If nominees are elected by shareholders, the updated composition of each committee will be as follows. The board will determine a committee appointment for Ms. Walmsley once elected to the board.

  • Audit Committee: Hugh Johnston (chair); committee members include Teri List-Stoll, Arne Sorenson and John W. Stanton.
  • Compensation Committee: Sandra E. Peterson (chair); committee members include Charles W. Scharf and Padmasree Warrior.
  • Governance and Nominating Committee: John W. Thompson (chair); committee members include Teri List-Stoll, Sandra E. Peterson and Charles W. Scharf.
  • Regulatory and Public Policy Committee: Penny Pritzker (chair); committee members include John W. Stanton and John W. Thompson.

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.

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Investor Relations, Microsoft, (425) 706-4400

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers, and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

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Microsoft announces quarterly dividend increase and new share repurchase program

Annual shareholders meeting set for Dec. 4, 2019

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 18, 2019 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.51 per share, reflecting a 5 cent or 11% increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable Dec. 12, 2019, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2019. The ex-dividend date will be Nov. 20, 2019.

The board of directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases. The new share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, may be terminated at any time.

In addition, the company announced the date for the 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting, to be held on Dec. 4, 2019. Shareholders at the close of business on Oct. 8, 2019, the record date, will be entitled to vote their shares.

This year’s annual shareholders meeting will be held virtually and hosted by Satya Nadella, chief executive officer; Amy Hood, chief financial officer; Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer; and John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent board chair. A virtual meeting format provides a consistent experience to all shareholders regardless of location, as well as the opportunity for global, multilingual and interactive access to a dialogue with its senior executives and directors.

As with previous shareholders meetings, a business update from senior executives will be followed by a 30-minute question and answer session with shareholders. Microsoft’s board of directors will also attend the meeting to hear shareholders’ questions and feedback. More information about the virtual format can be found on the Microsoft On the Issues blog.

In addition to providing the live webcast of the annual meeting, shareholders will have the option to view the annual meeting through Microsoft Teams at www.microsoft.com/investor. As with previous meetings, the transcript with video and audio of the entire meeting will be available on the Microsoft Investor Relations website following the meeting.

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.

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Investor Relations, Microsoft, (425) 706-4400

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers, and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

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Nextlink Internet and Microsoft closing broadband gap in central US

The agreement could bring broadband access to benefit more than 9 million people, including approximately 1 million in unserved rural areas

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 18, 2019 — On Wednesday, Nextlink Internet and Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership that will help close the broadband gap in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, bringing high-speed internet to hundreds of rural communities. The agreement will further enable Nextlink to substantially expand their coverage areas and is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which is focused on addressing this national crisis, with the goal of extending broadband access to over 3 million unserved people in rural America by July 2022.

Lack of broadband connectivity is a pervasive national issue, and particularly acute in rural areas of the country. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that more than 21 million Americans lack broadband access, the vast majority of whom live in rural areas that continue to lag the national rate of broadband usage. The problem is almost certainly larger than that, though, as other studies and data sources, including Microsoft data, have found that 162 million people across the United States are not using the internet at broadband speeds, including approximately 29 million people across Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

“It’s time to deliver on the connectivity promises that have been made to people across the country, and this partnership will help do that for many who have been left behind and unserved in the heartland of America,” said Shelley McKinley, vice president, Technology and Corporate Responsibility at Microsoft. “In the past two years with our Airband Initiative, we’ve seen that progress is possible — particularly when the public and private sectors come together. Partnerships with regional ISPs like Nextlink that have the desire and wherewithal to provide internet connectivity are a critical part of closing the broadband gap and helping families, children, farmers, businesses and whole communities to not only survive, but thrive in the 21st century.”

Nextlink will deploy a variety of broadband connectivity technologies to bring these areas under coverage, including wireless technologies leveraging TV white spaces (e.g., unused TV frequencies) in select markets. Nextlink will continue its deployments in Texas and Oklahoma and immediately begin deployment efforts in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, with rollouts planned through 2024.

Nextlink CEO Bill Baker noted, “Nextlink is tremendously excited about the opportunity to join forces with Microsoft. This agreement will accelerate the rollout of high-speed broadband access to underserved areas that are desperate for this critical service. This in turn will make those areas more attractive for employers who require high-speed broadband to operate. By itself, this project is going to generate hundreds of full-time, long-term jobs in rural communities as Nextlink builds out and services the required networks. The overall impact to rural communities in terms of job creation and increased viability for all employers is tremendous.”

“This partnership will enable the coming of precision agriculture, IoT, digital healthcare, access to higher education and overall economic growth,” said Ted Osborn, Nextlink SVP of Strategy & Regulatory Affairs. “Our experience tells us that advanced broadband access and community support can make these promises a reality in relatively short order.”

Improved connectivity will bolster economic, educational and telehealth opportunities for everyone in the region, and could be particularly impactful for farmers. Together, the states covered in part by this deal — Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas — account for more than $120 billion in annual agricultural value, or 29% of the agricultural output of the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). With broadband access, farmers can gain better access to markets and take advantage of advancements in precision agriculture, enabling them to better monitor crops and increase their yields, which can translate into significant economic returns. The USDA estimates widespread use of connected technologies for agricultural production has the potential to unlock over $47 billion in annual gross benefit for the United States.

The partnership builds on Microsoft and Nextlink’s efforts to close the digital divide. Nextlink is familiar with the needs of rural communities and was awarded federal Connect America Fund funding to expand broadband access to unserved rural communities. The companies will also work together to ensure that, once connectivity is available in these regions, people will receive the digital skills training to help them take advantage of the economic and social benefits that come with broadband access.

About Nextlink Internet  

Nextlink Internet, LLC is a residential and commercial internet access and phone services provider based in Hudson Oaks, Texas. The company is a leading provider of broadband services to rural school districts and municipalities. Since 2013, the company has organically attracted over 36,000 broadband subscribers using solely private capital and has managed industry-leading operating metrics. Nextlink optimizes its IP-based optical-fiber and fixed wireless network with an unrelenting commitment to customer service to achieve high customer satisfaction.

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.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Dale Curtis for Nextlink Internet, dale@dalecurtiscommunications.com, (202) 246-5659

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

 

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Schlumberger, Chevron and Microsoft announce collaboration to accelerate digital transformation

Global organizations will work together to accelerate development of cloud-native solutions and deliver actionable data insights for the industry

MONACO September 17, 2019 — Tuesday at the SIS Global Forum 2019, Schlumberger, Chevron and Microsoft. announced the industry’s first three-party collaboration to accelerate creation of innovative petrotechnical and digital technologies.

Data is quickly emerging as one of the most valuable assets to any company yet extracting insights from it is often difficult as information gets trapped in internal silos. As part of the collaboration, the three companies will work together to build Azure-native applications in the DELFI* cognitive E&P environment initially for Chevron, which will enable companies to process, visualize, interpret and ultimately obtain meaningful insights from multiple data sources.

DELFI* is a secure, scalable and open cloud-based environment providing seamless E&P software technology across exploration, development, production and midstream. Chevron and Schlumberger will combine their expertise and resources to accelerate the deployment of DELFI solutions in Azure, with support and guidance from Microsoft. The parties will ensure the software developments meet the latest standards in terms of security, performance, release management, and are compatible with the Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) Data Platform. Building on this open foundation will amplify the capabilities of Chevron’s petrotechnical experts.

The collaboration will be completed in three phases starting with the deployment of the Petrotechnical Suite in the DELFI environment, followed by the development of cloud-native applications on Azure, and the co-innovation of a suite of cognitive computing native capabilities across the E&P value chain tailored to Chevron’s objectives.

Olivier Le Peuch, chief executive officer, Schlumberger, said, “Combining the expertise of these three global enterprises creates vastly improved and digitally enabled petrotechnical workflows. Never before has our industry seen a collaboration of this kind, and of this scale. Working together will accelerate faster innovation with better results, marking the beginning of a new era in our industry that will enable us to elevate performance across our industry’s value chain.”

“There is an enormous opportunity to bring the latest cloud and AI technology to the energy sector and accelerate the industry’s digital transformation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our partnership with Schlumberger and Chevron delivers on this promise, applying the power of Azure to unlock new AI-driven insights that will help address some of the industry’s—the world’s—most important energy challenges, including sustainability.”

Joseph C. Geagea, executive vice president, technology, projects and services, Chevron, said, “We believe this industry-first advancement will dramatically accelerate the speed with which we can analyze data to generate new exploration opportunities and bring prospects to development more quickly and with more certainty. It will pull vast quantities of information into a single source amplifying our use of artificial intelligence and high-performance computing built on an open data ecosystem.”

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger is the world’s leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry. With product sales and services in more than 120 countries and employing approximately 100,000 people who represent over 140 nationalities, Schlumberger supplies the industry’s most comprehensive range of products and services, from exploration through production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimize hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance.

Schlumberger Limited has executive offices in Paris, Houston, London, and The Hague, and reported revenues of $32.82 billion in 2018. For more information, visit.

About Chevron

Chevron Corporation is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the company’s operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.

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.

###

*Mark of Schlumberger

For further information, contact:

Moira Duff
Corporate Communication Manager−Western Hemisphere
Schlumberger
Tel: +1 281 285 4376
communication@slb.com

Sean Comey
Sr. Advisor, External Affairs
Chevron
Tel: +1 925 842 5509
seancomey@chevron.com

Microsoft Media Relations
WE Communications for Microsoft
(425) 638-7777
rrt@we-worldwide.com

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Microsoft and The Walt Disney Studios to develop ‘scene-to-screen’ content workflows

Companies collaborate to pilot new ways to transform content workflows in the Microsoft Azure cloud; Microsoft becomes a Disney Studios StudioLAB innovation partner

REDMOND, Wash., and BURBANK, Calif. Sept. 13, 2019 Microsoft Corp. and The Walt Disney Studios today announced a five-year innovation partnership to pilot new ways to create, produce and distribute content on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Through The Walt Disney Studios’ StudioLAB, a technology hub designed to create and advance the future of storytelling with cutting-edge tools and methods, the companies will deliver cloud-based solutions to help accelerate innovation at The Walt Disney Studios for production and postproduction processes, or from “scene to screen.”

The Walt Disney Studios’ StudioLAB logo“The cloud has reached a tipping point for the media industry, and it’s not surprising that The Walt Disney Studios, which has its heritage based on a passion for innovation and technology, is at the forefront of this transformation,” said Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft US. “The combination of Azure’s hyperscale capacity, global distribution, and industry-leading storage and networking capabilities with Disney’s strong history of industry leadership unlocks new opportunity in the media and entertainment space and will power new ways to drive content and creativity at scale. With Azure as the platform cloud for content, we’re excited to work with the team at StudioLAB to continue to drive innovation across Disney’s broad portfolio of studios.”

“By moving many of our production and postproduction workflows to the cloud, we’re optimistic that we can create content more quickly and efficiently around the world,” said Jamie Voris, CTO, The Walt Disney Studios. “Through this innovation partnership with Microsoft, we’re able to streamline many of our processes so our talented filmmakers can focus on what they do best.”

Microsoft and Disney — working closely with leading global media technology provider Avid — are already demonstrating that the kinds of demanding, high-performance workflows the media and entertainment industry requires can be deployed and operated with the security offered by the cloud, while unlocking substantial new benefits and efficiencies and enabling production teams to rethink the way they get their work done.

Microsoft logoBuilding on Microsoft’s strategic cloud alliance with Avid, the companies have already produced several essential media workflows running in the cloud today, including collaborative editing, content archiving, active backup and production continuity. Bringing these complex workflows into production using Avid solutions such as the Avid MediaCentral® platform, MediaCentral | Cloud UX™, Avid NEXIS® | Cloud storage and Avid Media Composer® — all running natively on Azure — will provide the foundation for helping transform content creation and content management to overcome today’s operational pressures, as well as pave the way for ongoing innovation.

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.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

The Walt Disney Studios Communications, angela.k.shaw@disney.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.