Doing more with less: How organizations shape the future with a strong digital posture

Photo illustration connected city
Photo credit: Weiquan Lin/Getty Images

It was great to connect with so many of you in person and virtually at Ignite, Microsoft’s annual gathering of developers and IT professionals. While attendees acknowledged the business impact of current macroeconomic challenges, they remain committed to maximizing the value of their digital investments by generating economies of scale with the Microsoft Cloud. Doing more with less is more important than ever as organizations are navigating uncertainty and shaping the future. Cloud-powered technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning, offer organizations unparalleled agility and efficiency, accelerate innovation, and make security comprehensive while driving growth and advancing sustainability commitments.

At Ignite, we showed how organizations help people use digital capabilities to enhance their personal and professional lives: The German carmaker Mercedes-Benz is simulating and refining its vehicle production processes infinitely in the Microsoft Cloud to make its car production 20% more efficient by 2025. To provide mutual customers with more choice, Cisco and Microsoft are providing the option to run Microsoft Teams natively on Cisco Room and Desk devices. 3M is offering its Post-It® App on the Teams App Store, allowing users to digitize handwritten notes. U.K.-based Haleon is enabling people who are blind or have low vision to hear the labels of more than 1,500 consumer health products in the U.S. and U.K. with Microsoft Seeing AI. With a reimagined global app running on Azure, the NBA is providing fans with new personalization features like wall-to-wall content from every NBA game and unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to players and teams. And just last week, Switzerland-based global bank UBS announced it would move over 50% of its applications to Azure as its primary cloud platform to further drive the modernization of its global technology estate.

Merecedes-Benz and Microsoft officials
Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft: New MO360 Data Platform makes car production more efficient, resilient and sustainable. From left, Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Microsoft, Jan Brecht, Chief Information Officer of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Jörg Burzer, member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, responsible for Production & Supply Chain Management.

Industry leaders unlock economies of scale with public cloud commitments
The iconic motor racing brand McLaren Automotive is committed to exceptional customer service and is using Azure for its production and development systems, unlocking cost savings of up to 70% by reserving resources for dedicated use on a one- or three-year basis. Global manufacturer Mars runs approximately 10,000 cloud flows and 4,000 apps and is using Power Platform to automate processes, including enterprise-wide approvals. Telecommunications company O2 Czech Republic is reducing the total cost of ownership by 30% for each workload it moves from its on-premises infrastructure to Azure. Taiwan-based manufacturer Inventec is improving production efficiency with Azure IoT, machine learning and 5G services, saving 50% on deployment time for its AI and auto optical inspection application and 25% on maintenance efforts. With Power BI, Denmark-based GN has raised the quality of its data by approximately 50% in only three quarters. With its cloud migration journey still underway, Greece-based energy company HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group has already seen a 30% reduction in IT infrastructure costs after migrating 50% of its workloads to Azure. Bahrain Public Transport Company is delivering increased punctuality and reliability to its customers while reducing costs by 30% with Azure.

Manufacturing setting
Manufacturing and transportation leaders drive efficiencies with the Microsoft Cloud.

Organizations reinvent their operations for a greener future
Coca-Cola Hellenic is embracing the industrial metaverse with HoloLens and Microsoft Mesh to visualize its bottling facilities and gain visibility across production lines. The technology also allows the company to reduce its energy consumption based on insights into the operating status of machines and its carbon dioxide emissions. Equinor is designing products and simulating their effectiveness before it implements them in the physical world. With Microsoft Energy Data Services and Azure, the Norway-based energy company is breaking down data silos to streamline operations for a low-carbon future. Germany-based energy company E.ON is accelerating the rollout of sustainable district heating and cooling grids by training its models 50% faster with Azure Data Factory and Azure Machine Learning. Telstra is looking to help enterprise, government and small business customers in Australia accelerate their sustainability progress and business growth through data insights gained with Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability. Canada-based Ontario Power Generation is choosing Azure to modernize its applications and IT infrastructure and eventually reduce its carbon footprint by accelerating its cloud migration and transforming business operations. The company has also joined the CEO Pledge initiative to commit its technology to the Government of Canada’s Computers for Schools Plus program.

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AI is the bridge to re-engage people across physical and digital worlds
U.K.-based Barclays is deploying Microsoft Teams to bring its employees worldwide closer together. Unity is working with Microsoft to empower digital creators, 3D artists and developers to build and run real-time 3D experiences on Azure, making it easier to publish to Xbox consoles and PCs so they can reach gaming and non-gaming communities. Nissan is choosing HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Guides to help its operators learn and reduce the workload on instructors. Luxembourg-based SES is leveraging Viva Insights to cut down 100,000 meeting hours a year with  meeting-free Wednesdays already making 70% of SES employees feel more productive. ESPN employees are taking advantage of a virtual community for career development with games and real-time analytics built with SharePoint spaces and Microsoft Power Platform low-code capabilities. Australia-based Bank of Queensland is using Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and Microsoft Surface devices to provide its customers and bankers with more personalized and intuitive experiences.

Employees in Microsoft Teams meeting
Barclays is enabling employees around the globe to connect without friction with Microsoft Teams.

Digital capabilities enable social inclusion and support education
India-based SEEDS is applying an AI model to generate heat wave risk information for vulnerable communities. Non-profit NWEA is creating ways for improved accessible math assessments for students with vision disabilities. The Welsh Government is holding multilingual meetings with the Language Interpretation feature in Microsoft Teams to enable citizen participation. With Azure Cognitive Services, Twitter is making live audio conversations accessible to users who are deaf or hard of hearing, and Swedish national public television broadcaster SVT is improving public news accessibility across 21 regions. Blind Veterans UK is bringing together veterans of different ages for peer support with Microsoft Teams, which is accessible through their mobile devices and landlines. To foster digital equity and facilitate the search for jobs, education and access to healthcare, the Seattle Housing Authority is equipping residents with Surface Laptop Go devices.

Woman being helped by Seattle Housing Authority
The Seattle Housing Authority is providing convenient access to digital tools.

Winning the good fight requires relentless security commitments
The Queensland Department of Education in Australia has secured 271,000 devices and servers in just six weeks with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Agribusiness and food company Land O’Lakes is turning to Microsoft Defender for Cloud and Microsoft Sentinel as the recipe for multicloud protection. With Microsoft Purview, the Prince William County School District in the U.S. is ensuring confidential information is properly handled and harmful content kept away from students. The State of Michigan Office of Children’s Ombudsman is enhancing data integrity and automating processes to investigate complaints regarding Michigan’s child welfare system more effectively. Brazil-based Grupo Fleury is deploying Microsoft 365 to bring advanced security and compliance controls to the company’s internal communications. FUJIFILM Group is introducing Microsoft 365 as the global communications foundation to deliver security without compromising usability. Microsoft Intune enables a unified experience for the Group’s more than 10,000 employees.

Girl in classroom using computer
Queensland Department of Education serves more than 580,000 students.

Despite economic, societal challenges, organizations across industries continue to adapt to evolving market dynamics to meet customer needs. Their solid digital foundation has gone a long way in helping them innovate quickly and deliver critical business outcomes. As their business and technology advisor, Microsoft is incredibly proud to see how many of our customers have prospered and even thrived in the current environment, and we are looking forward to co-innovating with them to lay the groundwork for their future success.

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