Microsoft Teams with Adobe on Digital Transformation Services
At the kickoff of its enterprise-focused Ignite conference in Atlanta today, Microsoft announced a number of new services designed to help organizations become more secure, more "digital" and more cloud-driven. Microsoft also unveiled a new partnership with Adobe that will see the two companies offering more integrated solutions.
The plan for the partnership is to support digital business transformations based on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise applications. As part of the alliance, Adobe will also make Azure its preferred cloud platform for its Marketing Cloud, Creative Cloud, and Document Cloud.
In addition, Microsoft plans to roll out a Secure Productive Enterprise and a new Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 suite, both of which will be available starting Saturday, Oct. 1. Other releases are aimed at boosting organizations' artificial intelligence capabilities and setting the stage for Azure to become a "foundation for the world's first AI supercomputer."
Spanning Security, Intelligence and Cloud
"Every company in every industry around the world is now being challenged to transform from being an organization that uses digital technology, to being a digital organization," Judson Althoff, Microsoft's executive vice president for worldwide commercial business, wrote in a blog post. "The solutions we announced today span security, intelligence and the cloud platform, which serve as the connective tissue that binds our three bold ambitions -- to deliver more personal computing, reinvent productivity and business processes, and build the intelligent cloud."
Aimed at the IT professionals who are working to help their organizations move into the digital business era, the new services announced by Microsoft include security and intelligence enhancements for Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics.
For example, starting next year, Windows 10 Enterprise users will see the arrival of Windows Defender Application Guard, which Microsoft said is designed to make its Edge "the most secure browser for the enterprise." Built using virtualization, Defender Application Guard employs containers to protect devices and networks from the spread of malicious code.
Another enhancement will extend Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. New capabilities include dynamic delivery, which lets users receive emails immediately while attachments are scanned with "URL detonation" to ensure no malicious links get through.
AI for Productivity, Sales and Marketing
Microsoft's announcements also revealed a range of new AI-driven capabilities that will be coming out for enterprise users. They include new skills such as health insights and reminders for its digital personal assistant Cortana, a "personal analytics service" to help Office 365 users better understand how they spend their time at work, and a Relationship Assistant in the soon-to-be-released Dynamics 365 for Sales designed to make customer engagement "more intelligent than ever before on any device."
In October, Microsoft plans to release both Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 for enterprises looking to launch "future-ready cloud applications." Windows Server 2016 will add the Commercially Supported Docker Engine at no additional cost to customers, while System Center 2016 will provide a simplified management system for data center and cloud software.
Microsoft said it is also moving forward with its vision for the "world's largest deployment of custom-developed field-programmable gate arrays" across 15 countries on five continents. That deployment, it said, "could be used to accelerate AI to near real time, making Azure the foundation for the world's first AI supercomputer."
Under its new partnership with Adobe, Microsoft is also making Adobe Marketing Cloud the preferred marketing service for Dynamics 365 Enterprise users. Working together, the companies plan to create standardized models for marketing and business applications that will enable enterprises to use artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced analytics to improve sales and marketing.
"Customers today expect a well-designed, personalized and consistent experience every time they engage with a brand," Adobe president and CEO Shantanu Narayen said in a press statement. "Adobe and Microsoft will bring together the cloud horsepower and end-to-end capabilities brands need to design and deliver great digital experiences."