Top 3 takeaways from Microsoft Build and why they matter

  • Posted on May 31, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes
Top 3 takeaways from Microsoft Build

Last week, Microsoft held its annual Build conference for the developer community. Avanade was a Featured Partner for the physical and digital experience where we put our passion for technology on display. And together with several Avanade MVP and technical colleagues we joined keynotes, livestreamed conversations with Microsoft leadership about generative AI, and even had some face time with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

The main theme was AI and it was everywhere. Here are my reflections.

The 3 most important takeaways from Microsoft Build and why they matter to our clients.

1. The launch of Microsoft Fabric makes data more valuable than ever

What’s new: Microsoft Fabric is the new end-to-end, unified Microsoft data, analytics and AI platform. It brings together the intelligent data platform and Power BI into a single SaaS solution, infused with generative AI capabilities from data engineering features to Azure Open AI integration. Microsoft Fabric is built on an open, lake-centric foundation with data governance built in – further assuring trustable data while optimizing data product, service, and analytics access across the entire organization.

The data platform will be the foundation that unifies core data workloads: data integration, data engineering, data warehousing, data science, real-time analytics, and business intelligence — all served together in a single Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution.

So what?: This is Microsoft’s monumental new data foundation approach that will accelerate how quickly our clients can extract insights and value from their data. Microsoft Fabric will help our clients harness maximum value of today’s generative AI technology and the rapidly-evolving AI innovations of tomorrow. Its built-in security and governance delivers trustable data that underpins responsible AI. Our clients can simplify and unify their entire data estate, while also helping democratize data access and data product development beyond technical data practitioner teams.

What to do next: We are a Microsoft Fabric launch partner and already working with several clients today. To accelerate your data journey, take advantage of our Microsoft Fabric workshop in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

2. Azure AI Studio and Copilots offer a revolutionary developer platform

What’s new: AI Copilots will soon be embedded across the entire Microsoft stack, meaning developers, makers and business users engaging with Microsoft’s cloud, workplace, security, low/no code tools and business applications will be able to collaborate with AI to get work done more efficiently. Going even further, Azure AI Studio enables developers to create their own AI copilots with the context of their organization’s own proprietary data.

So what?: By integrating AI capabilities into core platforms and making every user a power user, Microsoft is fundamentally changing how we work. Just like mobile app stores created an explosive market for app developers, the AI Studio platform allows for others to build copilots, too. Copilots are going to continue to be the best fit for problems that humans have created (e.g. writing code, finding things in large amounts of data, summarizing insights) rather than those that humans have eternally struggled with (e.g. emotion detection, interpersonal communication). As people will start to anticipate having a copilot to help them with anything and everything, businesses must be ready to meet those expectations by reinventing how their people work. Change management will be more important than ever.

What to do next: Read more about Microsoft’s Workplace announcements and find out what you need to be ready for the future of work. We can also help you exploit these capabilities with an AI-ready cloud.

3. Responsible AI is critical, intentional and will permeate these innovations

What’s new: The importance of responsible AI was consistently and thoughtfully embedded across many of last week’s announcements from Copilots to AI Studio, and more. For example, Azure AI Studio Content Safety is poised to empower organizations to create safer online environments. And because it will be increasingly difficult to detect whether items were created by a human or a machine, the launch of a new image and video AI labeling technology for Microsoft Designer and Bing Image Creator will help to ensure people understand when AI has been used to generate content.

So what?: As we enter the era of pervasive AI, responsibility and safety are paramount to creating and building trust. Microsoft is taking an important step here and should coordinate with other AI providers to create a standard. A solution for broad, transparent AI cannot be achieved in silos. And as new Avanade research* shows, this step will be critical for the 73% of Business and IT leaders who agree “safer and more responsible AI practices across the board” is among their top priorities in the next 12-18 months. As we work toward an AI-First mindset with Copilots by our side, we should continue to explore what is possible with AI, but only by innovating responsibly and ethically.

What to do next: Boost your Digital IQ on the topic of trust and Responsible AI, and contact us about AI governance and our Responsible AI Framework we’ve been applying with clients for over four years.

At Avanade, we have unmatched passion for technology, and are ever optimistic that technology can and will make the world a better place, helping us to do what matters. As Microsoft’s top partner with early access to capabilities like Microsoft 365 Copilot and Microsoft Entra Verified ID, we can share our learnings and help your organization increase its returns on technology investments, power your workforce and drive innovation responsibly.

If there’s anything we can do to help, contact us today.

*Avanade and McGuire Research, 2023 The Avanade and McGuire Research study surveyed 800 respondents across Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States in March and April 2023. Respondents included primary decision-makers across business (50%) and IT (50%), representing several industries, including industrial manufacturing (12%), financial services (13%), health (13%), life sciences (13%) consumer goods and services (13%), retail (12%), energy and utilities (13%), and government and non-profit (12%).

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