“The era of ambient intelligence has begun, and we are delivering a platform that allows companies of any size to create a data culture and ensure insights reach every individual in every organization,” Nadella said, in a statement.
In a blog post, Nadella explained that, “When these devices around us gain the capacity to listen to us, respond to us, understand us and act on our behalf, we enter into an entirely new era. The era of ambient intelligence.”
In addition, Nadella said, “Building out a comprehensive platform that can enable this kind of ambient intelligence is a whole company initiative that we are uniquely qualified to undertake. SQL Server, BI, Machine Learning, Bing, Azure each have a vital role to play on the road to creating a world in which our devices, services and environments truly anticipate and understand our needs.”
Also, in another blog post, Microsoft corporate vice president Quentin Clark, who also was present at the San Francisco event, said, “The Internet of Things (IoT) space is very clearly one of the most important trends in data today. Not only do we envision the data from IoT solutions being well served by the data platform, but we need to ensure the end-to-end solution can be realized by any customer. To that end, Intelligent Systems Service (ISS) is an Internet of Things offering built on Azure, which makes it easier to securely connect, manage, capture and transform machine-generated data regardless of the operating system platform.”
Indeed, Microsoft, along with other industry leaders, views data as currency for business. New research commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by IDC estimates that organizations could realize a “data dividend” of roughly $1.6 trillion in additional revenue, lower costs and improved productivity over the next four years by putting in place a holistic approach to data that spans datasets, analytics and more. The research was conducted among more than 2,000 mid-sized and large organizations in 20 countries worldwide.
“Customers who take a comprehensive approach to their data projects realize a higher data dividend than customers who take a point-by-point approach,” said Dan Vesset, program vice president for Business Analytics and Big Data at IDC, in a statement. “This new research shows that by combining diverse data sets, new analytics and insights to more people — at the right time — businesses worldwide can tap into a more than trillion-dollar opportunity over the next four years.”
In addition to the announcement of the Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service and the launch of SQL Server 2014, Microsoft also announced the general availability of the Analytics Platform System (APS). The APS combines the best of Microsoft’s SQL Server database and Hadoop technology in one low-cost offering that delivers “big data in a box,” Microsoft said.
These new solutions build on 12 months of innovation — including Power BI for Office 365, a cloud-based, self-service business intelligence solution with natural language capability; Azure HDInsight for elastic Hadoop in the cloud; PolyBase to bring structured and unstructured data together in a data warehouse appliance; and Power Query for Excel, which makes it easier for people to discover data — to deliver a comprehensive data platform with real-time performance built into everything.