Meeting entrepreneurs on their terms: Why we don’t require any “special rights”

Written by admin_wp_f1. Posted in Parceiros

Last week in Seattle, leading innovators, entrepreneurs and business minds came together to discuss best practices for startup funding and operations at M12’s inaugural summit. It was humbling to see almost 80 companies in our portfolio gathered from around the world, and to reflect on the progress we’ve made since we started the fund nearly three years ago. Our team has grown to more than 20 people supporting portfolio companies across 11 countries and 38 cities, seen four exits, and created new channels to ensure capital is reaching startups, such as our competitions to find female founded and led businesses and entrepreneurs innovating with AI.

In the days and weeks leading up to the summit, one thing I am particularly proud of is our pulse on the startup community, the relationships we’ve built there and our unwavering focus on doing what’s right for the entrepreneur. We’ve learned some important lessons, including one of the most egregious contributors to the poor reputation of corporate venture capitalists (CVCs) – terms and conditions like “Rights-of-first” (ROF), which we believe favor the corporation and restrict the startup.

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. ROF terms restrict that for entrepreneurs. Simply put, ROF terms limit an entrepreneur’s ability to maximize their exit valuation. Stifling those options can be detrimental to a startup’s growth and consequential to the return profile of founders and all the investors. That’s why at M12, we believe ROF and similar terms are neither necessary nor valuable.

While we’ve always believed this, we weren’t following through in practice when other CVCs utilized these rights in companies we invested in, leading us to ask for the same during the first year our fund operated. And while we’ve never asked for these terms if the other investors didn’t have the same, in retrospect, we should have never asked at all. Since then, we’ve stopped asking for any special rights regardless of what other strategic investors held in the company and we’ve started actively educating entrepreneurs to resist these terms and try to remove them if they already exist.

We firmly believe that being fully aligned with founders is the only way to drive value to all stakeholders, including M12 and Microsoft. So, we want to go one step further. Instead of simply thinking, “What’s best for us,” we want to encourage the CVC community to start thinking “What’s best for all,” starting with adopting similar rules of engagement M12 currently employs to benefit the entire startup ecosystem:

  • M12 will not require any ROF term as part of its investment. Ever. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s good for business.
  • As part of our due diligence, M12 will evaluate the business upside not only for our fund, but also whether we can meaningfully help you.
  • If M12 chooses to invest, we’re with you for the long term, for your company’s lifecycle. That may mean different things at different times, but we won’t be driven by artificial milestones or deadlines.
  • If M12 chooses not to invest, we will explain why. We will also try our best to suggest other ways you can gain funding or other resources to grow your business.

It’s time to reinvent what it means to be a CVC and live up to what makes us an attractive investment partner to begin with – empowering entrepreneurs through investments, insight, and unparalleled access to Microsoft. The next time a founder asks me if we are a strategic investor, I want to be able to say, “It shouldn’t matter because we’re all aligned in fostering your success.”

To learn more about M12, visit its website.

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New Microsoft 365 and business applications technologies enable government to modernize for the mission

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Our government agencies have a unique opportunity to deliver massive impact on the lives of U.S. citizens – an impact that can be accelerated and emboldened by technology innovation. However, these same agencies are challenged to modernize and keep pace with the changing technology landscape, while simultaneously reducing costs, protecting data and meeting stringent compliance regulations. To ensure the government can achieve its critical, mission-driven work, and improve citizen services, hundreds of CIOs and top decision-makers from federal, state and local government agencies are turning to secure cloud infrastructure, which can seamlessly enable operations efficiencies, and provide services that are faster, more reliable and more secure.

Government is taking a Cloud Smart approach

Right now, we’re seeing the evolution across U.S. government from a Cloud First approach – with an emphasis on just getting everything in the cloud – to a Cloud Smart approach – with a focus on embracing modern capabilities and equipping agencies with the technology tools needed in accordance with their mission needs. The recently revised Federal Cloud Computing Strategy is the first cloud policy update in seven years. We believe it constitutes more than labelling and is the right way forward to make the most of the incredible possibilities of cloud in advancing agencies’ missions. In recent years, commercial technology has increasingly found a foothold in the government market and Cloud Smart embraces best practices from both the federal government and the private sector. Cloud Smart is about equipping agencies with the tools, knowledge and flexibilities they need to not only move to cloud, but to fully embrace the potential of its many value-added capabilities such as Platform-as-a Service (PaaS) and Artificial Intelligence.

Securely enabling the mission end to end

All government cloud offerings are not the same, and Microsoft is committed to supporting the needs of government across all branches and levels enabling them with capabilities that support the advancement of their mission from end to end. We’ve built the most trusted, comprehensive cloud for government which includes Azure Government, Microsoft 365 Government, and Dynamics 365 Government.

Government organizations across the United States increasingly are turning to our powerful cloud offerings to modernize – becoming more productive, collaborative and efficient all while protecting sensitive data and privacy. Microsoft is delivering them the right capabilities where they are needed, when they are needed as the sole provider with offerings that span infrastructure, platform and software capabilities and services (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS) designed to meet government’s unique compliance needs.

To make it easier for agencies to efficiently modernize quickly and accelerate the speed in which they achieve a return on their cloud investments, Microsoft has worked with our government customers to achieve the most certifications of any cloud provider with more than 91 compliance certifications supported at every level of government to help them achieve their necessary requirements. We also invest $1 billion dollars per year on security and much of that goes to ensuring we deliver our customers the most trusted cloud platform.

Today, we’re announcing several advances across our landscape of comprehensive government cloud solutions, demonstrating our commitment to the unique needs of our customers and further differentiating our offerings:

Microsoft Teams is now available across all government cloud environments

Since launching Microsoft 365 Government last year, we’ve continually made investments to empower government with the newest tools for mobile productivity and secure collaboration, bringing together the best of Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and Windows 10 to meet agencies’ complex compliance and security requirements.

Today, we’re announcing Microsoft Teams, a product core to our vision for delivering intelligent and modern collaboration and communications, is now available in our Government Community Cloud (GCC) High and Department of Defense (DoD) environments exclusively for the U.S. government and its partners. This means Teams is now available across all our government cloud environments including GCC.

Microsoft Teams’ chat-based workspace enables teams of government professionals to be more productive by giving them a single and secure location that brings together everything they need including chats, meetings, calls, files, and tools. Integrated access through this hub for teamwork across multiple Office 365 services enables agencies to leverage their current investments and improves collaboration by providing central file sharing, co-authoring and many more functions making it possible for government customers to better deliver against their mission.

Introducing Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement for Government

Today we’re also announcing the availability of both Microsoft Power Platform (March 2019) and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (April 2019) for government professionals. These two new products will enable government to unlock new capabilities and features in three core areas: new business applications; new intelligent capabilities infused throughout; and transformational new application platform capabilities.

Once agencies have the infrastructure for harnessing data, they also need a layer atop that data that enables them to get insights easily. Microsoft Power Platform for Government is a system that will allow them to take three key actions on data: analyze, act, and automate. The system uses Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow working together to help anyone, regardless of technical ability, to make data-driven decisions. Joining Power BI, PowerApps and Flow standalone apps are now generally available for government agencies and their partners in GCC. PowerApps and Flow general availability will also land in Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365 and Office 365 in spring 2019.

We are also offering Dynamics 365 Government Customer Engagement for GCC High. This means agencies can now access customer service, contact centers, correspondence management, grants management, task management, mission planning and even more purpose-built cloud applications than they were able to previously.

New Microsoft 365 Government security and mobile enhancements

Recently we introduced Outlook Mobile for our GCC High and DoD customers. This update means the architecture of Outlook mobile now meets the security and compliance needs of Office 365 U.S. GCC High and DoD customers. Now government employees have advanced capabilities across email, search, and calendar from their mobile devices, so they can focus on what’s important and get more done for their citizens.

Coming soon, government agencies using Office 365 Threat Intelligence in GCC will gain new capabilities that automate investigation and remediation of cyber threats  to help them reduce the burden on their IT security teams and decrease response times. This is the latest addition to comprehensive set of Microsoft 365 Government tools designed to help government protect, detect and respond to cyberattacks.

Continuing our investments in government innovation, security and compliance

Microsoft is helping customers across the full spectrum of government, from the state and local level, to every military branch and all federal cabinet departments. We currently serve nearly 10 million U.S. government cloud professionals across more than 7,000 government entities diligently meeting their unique needs by deliver the highest levels of security and compliance.

Microsoft enables the digital transformation of government by offering effective, modern, enterprise-class cloud capabilities. Our government customers are driven by critical missions, and we are committed to helping them evolve their IT modernization efforts with innovative and trusted cloud, productivity and mobility solutions. As government agencies face a range of new challenges in meeting their missions, we are committed to enabling them to work smarter, with agility and confidence – using technology that can unlock the opportunities ahead. Learn more about how government agencies are using Microsoft cloud technology here.

 

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Announcing new cloud-based technology to empower cyber defenders

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Cybersecurity is about people. The frontline defenders who stand between the promise of digital transformation and the daily reality of cyber-attacks need our help. At Microsoft, we’ve made it our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. Today that mission is focused on defenders. We are unveiling two new cloud-based technologies in Microsoft Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Threat Experts that empower security operations teams by reducing the noise, false alarms, time consuming tasks and complexity that are weighing them down. Let me start by sharing some insight into the modern defender experience.

Every day Microsoft security professionals help organizations respond to threats at scale and through targeted incident response. In one recent example from the latest Security Intelligence Report, Microsoft experts were called in to help several financial services organizations deal with attacks launched by a state-sponsored group that had gained administrative access and executed fraudulent transactions, transferring large sums of cash into foreign bank accounts. When the attack group realized they had been detected, they rapidly deployed destructive malware that crippled the customers’ operations for several days. Microsoft experts were on site within hours, working around the clock with the customers’ security teams to restore normal business operations.

Incidents like this are a reminder that many defenders are overwhelmed by threats and alerts – often spending their days chasing down false alarms instead of investigating and solving complex cases. Compounding the problem is a critical shortage of skilled cyber defenders, with an estimated shortfall of 3.5 million security professionals by 2021. With today’s announcements we are unlocking the power of the cloud and AI for security to do what they do best—reason over vast amounts of security signal, spot anomalies and bring global scale to highly trained security professionals.


Too many enterprises still rely on traditional Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools that are unable to keep pace with the needs of defenders, volume of data or the agility of adversaries. The cloud enables a new class of intelligent security technologies that reduce complexity and integrate with the platforms and productivity tools you depend on. Today we are pleased to announce Microsoft Azure Sentinel, the first native SIEM within a major cloud platform. Azure Sentinel enables you to protect your entire organization by letting you see and stop threats before they cause harm. With AI on your side it helps reduce noise drastically—we have seen an overall reduction of up to 90 percent in alert fatigue with early adopters. Because it’s built on Azure you can take advantage of nearly limitless cloud speed and scale and invest your time in security and not servers. In just a few clicks you can bring in your Microsoft Office 365 data for free and combine it with your other security data for analysis.

Azure Sentinel is the product of Microsoft’s close partnership with customers on their journey to digital transformation. We worked hand in hand with dozens of customers and partners to rearchitect a modern security tool built from the ground up to help defenders do what they do best – solve complex security problems. Early adopters are finding that Azure Sentinel reduces threat hunting from hours to seconds.

Corey McGarry, Senior Technical Specialist, Enterprise Operations, Tolko Industries, Ltd., told me, “After using Microsoft Azure Sentinel for six months, it has become a go-to resource every morning. We get a clear visual of what’s happening across our network without having to check all our systems and dashboards individually. I haven’t seen an offering like Microsoft Azure Sentinel from any other company.”

Azure Sentinel supports open standards such as Common Event Format (CEF) and broad partner connections, including Microsoft Intelligent Security Association partners such as Check Point, Cisco, F5, Fortinet, Palo Alto and Symantec, as well as broader ecosystem partners such as ServiceNow. You can even bring your own insights and collaborate with a diverse community of defenders. Azure Sentinel blends the insights of Microsoft experts and AI with the unique insights and skills of your own in-house defenders and machine learning tools to uncover the most sophisticated attacks before they take root. Azure Sentinel helps empower SecOps teams to keep their organizations safe by harnessing the power, simplicity and extensibility of Azure to analyze data from Microsoft 365 and security solutions from other vendors. Azure Sentinel is available in preview today from the Azure portal.

screenshot of Azure Sentinel overview page with bar graph, map and other sample data


Our approach to security is not only about applying the cloud and AI to your scale challenges, but also making the security operations experts who defend our cloud available to you. Therefore, we are pleased to announce Microsoft Threat Experts, a new service within Windows Defender ATP which provides managed hunting to extend the capability of your security operations center team. Through this service, Microsoft will proactively hunt over your anonymized security data for the most important threats, such as human adversary intrusions, hands-on-keyboard attacks, and advanced attacks like cyberespionage—helping your team prioritize the most important risks and respond quickly. The service also provides world-class expertise on demand. With the new “Ask a Threat Expert” button, your security operations team can submit questions directly in the product console. To join the public preview of Microsoft Threat Experts, apply in the Windows Defender ATP settings.

There are no easy answers or silver bullets for security, however the cloud is unlocking new capabilities. This is why we are putting the cloud and AI to work to extend and empower the defenders whose unique human insights are key to avoiding cyber threats. Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Threat Experts are two new capabilities that join our broad portfolio of security solutions across identity, endpoints, data, cloud applications and infrastructure. We look forward to showcasing Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Threat Experts at the RSA Conference next week and encourage you to stop by the Microsoft booth on the main show floor or any of our compelling sessions to learn more.

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Microsoft at MWC Barcelona: Introducing Microsoft HoloLens 2

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This evening at a press event to kickoff MWC Barcelona, I had the pleasure of joining CEO Satya Nadella and Technical Fellow Alex Kipman onstage to talk in depth about Microsoft’s worldview for the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.

As part of today’s press event, we also introduced the world to HoloLens 2.

YouTube Video

This is a tremendously exciting time for Microsoft, our partners, our customers, the computing industry and indeed the world. The virtually limitless computing power and capability of the cloud combined with increasingly intelligent and perceptive edge devices embedded throughout the physical world create experiences we could only imagine a few short years ago.

When intelligent cloud and intelligent edge experiences are infused with mixed reality, we have a framework for achieving amazing things and empowering even more people.

Today represents an important milestone for Microsoft. This moment captures the very best efforts and passion of numerous teams spanning Azure, HoloLens, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Devices — this truly is a moment where the sum is greater than the parts. From cutting-edge hardware design to mixed reality-infused cloud services, today’s announcements represent the collective work of many teams. And none of this would be possible without our passionate community of customers, partners and developers.

On behalf of everyone on the team, it is my privilege to introduce you to HoloLens 2 and all the announcements we made today to kick off MWC Barcelona.

Introducing HoloLens 2

Side view of sleek black HoloLens 2

Since the release of HoloLens in 2016 we have seen mixed reality transform the way work gets done. We have unlocked super-powers for hundreds of thousands of people who go to work every day. From construction sites to factory floors, from operating rooms to classrooms, HoloLens is changing how we work, learn, communicate and get things done.

We are entering a new era of computing, one in which the digital world goes beyond two-dimensional screens and enters the three-dimensional world. This new collaborative computing era will empower us all to achieve more, break boundaries and work together with greater ease and immediacy in 3D.

Today, we are proud to introduce the world to Microsoft HoloLens 2.

Our customers asked us to focus on three key areas to make HoloLens even better. They wanted HoloLens 2 to be even more immersive and more comfortable, and to accelerate the time-to-value.

Immersion is greatly enhanced by advancements across the board, including in the visual display system, making holograms even more vibrant and realistic. We have more than doubled the field of view in HoloLens 2, while maintaining the industry-leading holographic density of 47 pixels per degree of sight. HoloLens 2 contains a new display system that enables us to achieve these significant advances in performance at low power. We have also completely refreshed the way you interact with holograms in HoloLens 2. Taking advantage of our new time-of-flight depth sensor, combined with built-in AI and semantic understanding, HoloLens 2 enables direct manipulation of holograms with the same instinctual interactions you’d use with physical objects in the real world. In addition to the improvements in the display engine and direct manipulation of holograms, HoloLens 2 contains eye-tracking sensors that make interacting with holograms even more natural. You can log in with Windows Hello enterprise-grade authentication through iris recognition, making it easy for multiple people to quickly and securely share the device.

Comfort is enhanced by a more balanced center of gravity, the use of light carbon-fiber material and a new mechanism for donning the device without readjusting. We’ve improved the thermal management with new vapor chamber technology and accounted for the wide physiological variability in the size and shape of human heads by designing HoloLens 2 to comfortably adjust and fit almost anyone. The new dial-in fit system makes it comfortable to wear for hours on end, and you can keep your glasses on because HoloLens 2 adapts to you by sliding right over them. When it’s time to step out of mixed reality, flip the visor up and switch tasks in seconds. Together, these enhancements have more than tripled the measured comfort and ergonomics of the device.

Time-to-value is accelerated by Microsoft mixed reality applications like Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Dynamics 365 Layout and the new Dynamics 365 Guides applications. In addition to the in-box value, our ecosystem of mixed reality partners provides a broad range of offerings built on HoloLens that deliver value across a range of industries and use cases. This partner ecosystem is being supplemented by a new wave of mixed reality entrepreneurs who are realizing the potential of devices like HoloLens 2 and the Azure services that give them the spatial, speech and vision intelligence needed for mixed reality, plus battle-tested cloud services for storage, security and application insights.

Building on the unique capabilities of the original HoloLens, HoloLens 2 is the ultimate intelligent edge device. And when coupled with existing and new Azure services, HoloLens 2 becomes even more capable, right out of the box.

HoloLens 2 will be available this year at a price of $3,500. Bundles including Dynamics 365 Remote Assist start at $125/month. HoloLens 2 will be initially available in the United States, Japan, China, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand. Customers can preorder HoloLens 2 starting today at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/hololens/buy.

In addition to HoloLens 2, we were also excited to make the following announcements at MWC Barcelona.

 Azure Kinect Developer Kit (DK)

Front and side view of compact silver Azure Kinect DK device

The Azure Kinect DK is a developer kit that combines our industry-leading AI sensors in a single device. At its core is the time-of-flight depth sensor we developed for HoloLens 2, high-def RGB camera and a 7-microphone circular array that will enable development of advanced computer vision and speech solutions with Azure. It enables solutions that don’t just sense but understand the world — people, places, things around it. A good example of such a solution in the healthcare space is Ocuvera, which is using this technology to prevent patients from falling in hospitals. Every year in the U.S. alone, over 1 million hospital patients fall each year, and 11,000 of those falls are fatal. With Azure Kinect, the environmental precursors to a fall can be determined and a nurse notified to get to patients before they fall. Initially available in the U.S. and China, the Azure Kinect DK is available for preorder today at $399. Visit Azure.com/Kinect for more info.

Dynamics 365 Guides

When we announced Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Dynamics 365 Layout on October 1, we talked about them as the “first” of our mixed reality applications for HoloLens.

Today, we are proud to announce our latest offering: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides.

Dynamics 365 Guides is a new mixed reality app that empowers employees to learn by doing. Guides enhances learning with step-by-step instructions that guide employees to the tools and parts they need and how to use them in real work situations. In addition to the experience of using Guides on HoloLens, a Guides PC app makes it easy to create interactive content, attach photos and videos, import 3D models and customize training to turn institutional knowledge into a repeatable learning tool.

This application will help minimize downtime and increase efficiency for mission-critical equipment and processes and becomes the third Dynamics 365 application that will work on both the previous generation of HoloLens and the new HoloLens 2.

Dynamics 365 Guides is available in preview starting today.

Man wearing HoloLens 2 consults a hologram of a guide as he works on machinery

Azure Mixed Reality Services

Today we also announced two new Azure mixed reality services. These services are designed to help every developer and every business build cross-platform, contextual and enterprise-grade mixed reality applications.

 Azure Spatial Anchors enables businesses and developers to create mixed reality apps that map, designate and recall precise points of interest that are accessible across HoloLens, iOS and Android devices. These precise points of interest enable a range of scenarios, from shared mixed reality experiences to wayfinding across connected places. We’re already seeing this service help our customers work and learn with greater speed and ease in manufacturing, architecture, medical education and more.

Azure Remote Rendering helps people experience 3D without compromise to fuel better, faster decisions. Today, to interact with high-quality 3D models on mobile devices and mixed reality headsets, you often need to “decimate,” or simplify, 3D models to run on target hardware. But in scenarios like design reviews and medical planning, every detail matters, and simplifying assets can result in a loss of important detail that is needed for key decisions. This service will render high-quality 3D content in the cloud and stream it to edge devices, all in real time, with every detail intact.

Azure Spatial Anchors is in public preview as of today. Azure Remote Rendering is now in private preview in advance of its public preview.

Microsoft HoloLens Customization Program

HoloLens is being used in a variety of challenging environments, from construction sites and operating rooms to the International Space Station. HoloLens has passed the basic impact tests from several protective eyewear standards used in North America and Europe. It has been tested and found to conform to the basic impact protection requirements of ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3 and EN 166. With HoloLens 2 we’re introducing the Microsoft HoloLens Customization Program to enable customers and partners to customize HoloLens 2 to fit their environmental needs.

The first to take advantage of the HoloLens Customization Program is our long-standing HoloLens partner Trimble, which last year announced Trimble Connect for HoloLens along with a new hard hat solution that improves the utility of mixed reality for practical field applications. Today it announced the Trimble XR10 with Microsoft HoloLens 2, a new wearable hard hat device that enables workers in safety-controlled environments to access holographic information on the worksite.

Hard hat incorporates HoloLens 2

Open principles

Finally, as we closed things out, Alex Kipman articulated a set of principles around our open approach with the mixed reality ecosystem.

We believe that for an ecosystem to truly thrive there should be no barriers to innovation or customer choice.

To that end, Alex described how HoloLens embraces the principles of open stores, open browsers and open developer platforms.

To illustrate our dedication to these principles, we announced that our friends at Mozilla are bringing a prototype of the Firefox Reality browser to HoloLens 2, demonstrating our commitment to openness and the immersive web. Alex was also joined by Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, who announced that Unreal Engine 4 support is coming to HoloLens.

In the coming months we will have more announcements and details to share. We look forward to continuing this journey with you all.

Julia

 

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Black History Month: A time to lift each other up

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As a child of “First to’s” (First African-American to command the U.S. Army Old Guard, First African-American to be selected National Elementary School Principal of the Year by President Bill Clinton), my family is deeply steeped in the history of African-American culture and civil rights in the United States, emanating from northern cities (Philadelphia, Pa. and Gary, Ind.) and the deep south (Hayneville, Ala.). I have been raised with a belief in the verse that “to whom much is given, much is required,” and a commitment to give back to our society, honoring those who paved a path forward for us.

When I look around our country today, I am so pleased to see how diversity and inclusion have moved from a concept to an expectation, embedded in every industry and sector of our society. I see leaders speaking up and actively listening to the feedback on what it takes to create diverse and inclusive environments. Mostly, I see regular citizens showing up, rediscovering their voice, sharing their stories, and demanding inclusion and equality – not just for people of color, but for groups of all kinds.

Every February during Black History Month, a 28-day window provides an opportunity for our nation, our company, and each of us to pause and take stock of the condition and progress of Black people and other minority populations. We can celebrate the achievements and contributions of so many and, at the same time, lament the increase in violence and hate crimes, inflammatory discourse in our political arena and sense of increasing polarization across our country.

At Microsoft, we have made the long-term commitment to build and sustain a culture that fosters an inclusive working environment, which will enable our employees to do their best work and serve the diverse needs of our customers around the world. We also are committed to engaging in and advancing diversity and inclusion conversations in communities where we believe we can help empower people.

Black History Month presents us with an opportunity to engage in diversity and inclusion dialogues across all minority groups.

  • At Microsoft, we kicked off the month with our Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) chapter ringing the Nasdaq bell on Wall Street for the second consecutive year. As a direct result of the impact our team had last year, Nasdaq has created its own employee network called GLOBE – Global Link of Black Employees.
  • Next week, I will share the stage with civil rights activist, Reverend Jesse Jackson, at the Wall Street Project, which strives to ensure equal opportunities for culturally diverse employees, entrepreneurs and consumers.
  • Reshma Saujani, who founded Girls Who Code with the single mission of closing the gender gap in technology, will be speaking with Microsoft employees later this month.
  • We celebrate the passionate young gamers who demonstrated to everyone, that a level playing field is possible with the help of their friends, family and adaptive technology.
  • At the upcoming BAM conference, we will recognize the pioneers who started the affinity group 30 years ago – the first employee group of its kind.

I count myself incredibly fortunate to work at a company that embodies many of the principles my parents instilled in me, which have stood the test of time as we continue to engage in the diversity and inclusion dialogue: set the bar high and exceed it, approach the world with a service mentality and, above all, lift each other up.

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Microsoft for Healthcare: technology and collaboration for better experiences, insights and care

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The healthcare industry’s leading minds are getting ready to educate, intrigue, and inspire attendees next week at the HIMSS19 conference—a leading healthcare IT event in the US. We expect to see many innovative ideas and solutions to the most prevalent and persistent challenges in modern health, and we are excited to show new technologies making a real difference in people’s lives and demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to transforming how healthcare is experienced and delivered.

Over the last few years, we have been learning alongside industry experts and making steady progress in helping health organizations navigate complex technology transformations. We have been so pleased by the enthusiastic response of the providers, payors, software developers, device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies we’ve been working with.

But what drives us most is the profound impact on people. As we all look for more personalized and transparent approaches for healthcare services, technology transformation will help providers deliver modern patient experiences that promote patient engagement, satisfaction, and well-being while increasing the chances of more successful treatment.

This year at HIMSS, we will talk about how Microsoft’s technology and partnerships are helping empower care teams, improve clinical and operational outcomes and advance precision healthcare, with a specific focus on putting people’s privacy at the center. To kick things off, today we’re announcing several new innovations supporting the industry’s transformation:

  • Microsoft 365 for health organizations: New capabilities in Microsoft Teams that enable healthcare teams to communicate and collaborate in a secure hub for teamwork.
  • Microsoft Healthcare Bot: Now generally available, this service helps organizations create AI-powered, compliant virtual assistants and chatbots for a variety of healthcare experiences.
  • Azure API for FHIR®: A new tool to help health systems interoperate and share data in the cloud.

Empowering health organizations with secure messaging and AI-powered tools

People are at the heart of healthcare – physicians, nurses, clinicians and of course, their patients. We are committed to empowering care teams with the tools they need to deliver their best care as well as empowering people as they interact with various aspects of the healthcare system.

When it comes to secure communications, many clinicians report having to choose between convenience and compliance. Adhering to compliance has often meant having to wait for critical information at the point of care. Conversely, many clinicians have turned to consumer messaging apps that facilitate communication but can compromise security.

Microsoft is working hard to ensure convenience and compliance are no longer a zero-sum equation. Today, we are announcing new capabilities in Microsoft Teams, a secure hub for teamwork that enables secure messaging and collaboration workflows that tap the wealth of patient information housed in electronic medical records.

Enable secure workflows in Microsoft Teams: The new priority notifications feature in Teams alerts a recipient of an urgent message on their mobile and desktop devices until a response is received, every two minutes for up to 20 minutes; message delegation enables clinical staff members to delegate their messages to another recipient when they are in surgery or otherwise unavailable. We are also announcing the ability to integrate FHIR-enabled electronic health records (EHR) data with Teams. The ability to view EHR data is enabled through partnerships with leading interoperability providers, including Dapasoft, Datica, Infor Cloverleaf, Kno2 and Redox. Clinical or hospital staff can securely access patient records in the same app where they can take notes, message with other team members, and start a video meeting, all in a single place to coordinate care.

For health organizations looking to optimize operational processes or create new experiences for their people and patients, we are also announcing the Microsoft Healthcare Bot general availability.

Microsoft Healthcare Bot: The Microsoft Healthcare Bot service is now generally available after first being introduced as a research project in 2017. It is designed to empower healthcare organizations to build and deploy compliant, AI-powered virtual health assistants and chatbots, and includes important features like healthcare intelligence, medical content and terminology, and a built-in symptom checker. The Microsoft Healthcare Bot service is fully extensible to help organizations adjust the bot to solve their own business problems, and can connect to health systems, like EHRs. In addition to partners like Premera, today we are announcing bots available, or available soon, from Quest Diagnostics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Clalit Health Services.

Securely connecting data for better clinical and operational outcomes

Our bodies are a lot like complex computers, and each interaction with today’s health system creates a new data point. These data points are often spread across multiple records, with valuable insights somewhat hidden in siloes. Microsoft is committed to helping address this opportunity by developing technology that connects data and surfaces important insights at exactly the right time, with privacy and security at the core.

A better-connected healthcare system would provide clinicians with more complete profiles of their patients, researchers with more complete data to study, and individuals with more information to take ownership over their health. I hear this often from leading experts in the research and care delivery communities.

With this in mind, today we’re announcing the Azure API for FHIR, a tool to help health organizations better connect systems and harness the power of data in the cloud.

Azure API for FHIR: The Azure API for FHIR will provide a method for health systems and data to ‘talk’ – what is known as interoperability – so for example, health records can connect to collaboration tools, pharmacy systems, fitness devices and others far more seamlessly. Data and insights from this more connected system can then be served up when and where they’re needed most.

API is a term for technology that links software programs together. Similar to electrical outlets and plugs, APIs can most easily be compared to the adapters you need to use electronics while traveling in foreign countries. Though technical, its functionality is important to everyone who interacts with today’s healthcare systems, as interoperability is a foundational health technology need.

The Azure API for FHIR is available in public preview, and we have more than 25 technology partners in our early access program that can help health organizations build FHIR-enabled services today.

Advancing precision healthcare

Some of the most exciting breakthroughs at the intersection of science and technology are in precision healthcare. We all stand to gain from a health system that can precisely care for us based on our unique biology, environments and ailments. Cloud and advanced AI are the key tools that will help achieve that future.

To advance precision care, Microsoft continues to invest in a series of services and computational biology projects, including research support tools for next-generation precision healthcare, genomics, immunomics, CRISPR and cellular and molecular biologics.

For example, Microsoft Genomics, which provides accelerated sequencing and secondary analysis, enables research insights for organizations like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with the St. Jude Cloud, the world’s largest public repository of pediatric cancer genomics data.

Earlier this year, we published an update on our partnership with Adaptive Biotechnologies, announcing we’ve opened up our joint research to immunosequence 25,000 individuals, targeting ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes and Lyme disease.

Work also continues on several Microsoft Research projects, including intelligent scribe Project EmpowerMD, medical imaging Project InnerEye, machine reading Project Hanover and metagenomics Project Premonition. These projects are pushing the boundaries of how technology can be applied in healthcare and we are excited to see how they might be used by health organizations in the future.

Working with the experts

Improving healthcare is not a singular or silver bullet effort. Microsoft’s ambition is not to be a healthcare provider, but to enable and empower those who are doing good things for people around the world. We see strategic alliances with leaders like Walgreens Boots Alliance, Allscripts, Hill-Rom, Novarad and others leading the way, with support from our thousands of technology partners. Here are a few examples:

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance: Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership aimed at transforming health care delivery. Our companies will combine the power of Microsoft’s cloud and AI technologies, health care investments, and retail solutions with WBA’s customer reach, convenient locations, outpatient health care services, and industry expertise with the goal of making health care delivery more personal, affordable and accessible for people around the world.
  • Veradigm: Veradigm, an Allscripts company, and Microsoft announced a collaboration focused on implementing an innovative, integrated model for clinical research, aiming to enhance clinical research design, conduct studies more efficiently and improve the research provider and participant experience.
  • Hill-Rom: Hill-Rom and Microsoft announced a collaboration to bring advanced, actionable point-of-care data and solutions to caregivers and healthcare provider organizations. Our collaboration will combine Hill-Rom’s deep clinical knowledge and streaming operational data from medical devices with Microsoft’s cloud, IoT and AI technologies to help drive enhanced patient outcomes.
  • Novarad: Novarad, a healthcare enterprise imaging company, recently obtained 510(k) clearance from the FDA for the OpenSight Augmented Reality System for Microsoft HoloLens. OpenSight received pre-operative clearance for augmented reality usage in surgical planning, giving physicians access to a new solution that can improve surgical procedures by enhancing accuracy and shortening operative times.
  • ThoughtWire: ThoughtWire, is helping save lives with its EarlyWarning application, designed to preempt and prevent patients from suffering cardiac arrest in hospitals. This solution has already reduced code blue calls, which signals a risk of cardiac arrest, by 61 percent at Hamilton Health Sciences, a medical group of seven hospitals and a cancer center. ThoughtWire will deliver the EarlyWarning app, running on Microsoft Azure, to health systems at scale.
  • Innovaccer: Innovaccer is a healthcare data activation platform company working towards solving data interoperability challenges in healthcare and helping health systems enhance their clinical and financial outcomes with a data-first approach. Innovaccer is a portfolio company of M12, Microsoft’s venture fund.

The future is bright – a more connected future to deliver better experiences, insights and care. We are looking forward to meeting many of you next week at HIMSS19 and sharing more about what we are working on. Please be sure to stop by our booth No. 2500 to see our solutions in action, and follow our HIMSS19 story on @Health_IT to learn more.

 

 

The post Microsoft for Healthcare: technology and collaboration for better experiences, insights and care appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Inspired and powered by partners

Written by admin_wp_f1. Posted in Parceiros

$32 billion in revenue. That’s an incredible number that Satya Nadella and Amy Hood shared during the Q2 earnings call last week. Just as impressive is the commercial cloud revenue increase of 48 percent year-over-year to $9 billion. Did you know that 95 percent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue flows directly through our partner ecosystem? With more than 7,500 partners joining that ecosystem every month, partner growth and partner innovation are directly fueling our commercial cloud growth. One accelerant, the IP co-sell program, now has thousands of co-sell ready partners that generated an incredible $8 billion in contracted partner revenue since the program began in July 2017.

It’s exciting to see the success of our partners, and to know we are collaborating with businesses of all types and sizes wherever there is opportunity. We’re working together with partners old and new to help them build their own digital capability to compete and grow. We’ve doubled down on our partnership with Accenture and Avanade, creating the new Accenture Microsoft Business Group to help customers overcome disruption and lead transformation in their industries. We’re partnering in new ways with customers like Kroger to bring their new Retail as a Service solution built on Azure, to use in their stores – and to sell to other retailers.

Part of Microsoft’s digital transformation is moving beyond transactional reselling via partners, to a true partnership philosophy where we’re working together to develop and sell each other’s technology and solutions. Our partners are building on our technology, collaborating with partners across borders to build repeatable solutions, and creating new revenue opportunities that didn’t exist in the past. We focus as much on selling third-party solutions as our own, and the speed of the cloud enables all of us to accelerate value to our customers.

I want to share more with you about how hundreds of thousands of Microsoft partners are powering customer innovation, and how we are evolving our partnership strategy in order to drive tech intensity for customers around the world.

Partner success and momentum

With hundreds of thousands of partners across the world, our partner ecosystem is stronger than ever.

CSP: Through our Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, our fastest-growing licensing model, partners are embedding Microsoft technologies into their own solutions and delivering more differentiated, long-term value for customers. The number of partners transacting through CSP is up 52 percent, and they are serving more than 2 million customers.

Azure Expert MSP: The Azure Expert MSP program has grown to 43 partners that deliver consistent, repeatable, high-fidelity managed services on Azure and are driving more than $100,000 per month in Azure consumption. A big part of this volume is in migration services, as SQL Server 2008 phases out this summer, followed by Windows Server 2008 a year from now. The opportunity for partners can’t be understated. Our estimates put the opportunity around $50 billion for partners to help customers move their existing on-premises workloads to Azure and start capitalizing on the benefits of the cloud.

IP Co-Sell: Our industry-leading IP co-sell program that rewards Microsoft sellers for selling third-party solutions is a runaway success, generating $8 billion in contracted partner revenue since July. Our partners are reaping the benefits and seeing co-sell deals close nearly three times faster, projects that are nearly six times larger, and drive six times more Azure consumption.

Building the largest commercial marketplace

Gartner estimates the opportunity for business applications will be $133 billion this year, with independent software vendors (ISVs) driving more than half of that. So we are upping our commitment to ISVs by investing in Microsoft’s marketplaces, Azure Marketplace, and AppSource, to build the largest commercial marketplace in the industry. Our marketplace provides a frictionless selling and buying experience that brings parity to first and third-party solutions and meets the needs of both IP builders and software purchasers. Partners with solutions in our marketplace can sell directly to more than a billion customers and partners, and they benefit from lower deployment costs and flexible procurement models for software. Through the marketplace go-to-market services, we’ve seen partners achieve an average of 40 percent reduction in cost per lead, and a 2x lead conversion to sales rate compared to industry averages.

New capabilities are coming soon to AppSource and Azure Marketplace. One of the biggest developments is the ability for partners to offer their solutions to our partner ecosystem through the CSP program, with a single click. We’re also improving the user experience and interface with natural language and recommendations features. And by setting up private marketplaces, partners will be able to customize the terms for any specific customer—billing or metering their services on a per-user, per-app, per-month, or per-day basis to meet customer needs. And soon we’ll be offering curated portfolio IP & Services solutions that leverage Azure, Dynamics, Power BI, Power Apps, and Office.

AI for enterprise

IDC estimates that global spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence systems is expected to triple between 2018 to 2022, from $24 billion to $77.6 billion. And just like Microsoft transformed the way people work and live by making personal computing widely accessible in the 1980s and 1990s, we plan to do the same with artificial intelligence. Our aim is to make AI accessible to and valuable for everyone. We’ll do it by focusing on AI innovations that extend and empower human capabilities, while keeping people in control. Our partners are finding huge success and growth in the AI space. Through our AI Inner Circle Partner program, partners provide custom services and enhanced AI solutions to customers and have seen more than 200 percent growth in their AI practices year-over-year.

As we encourage partners to go all-in on AI, we need to make sure they have substantial resources and training. So, we’ve developed AI Practice Development Workshops, Advanced Education, trainings in the classroom, online, and at events. So far, since July, more than 29,000 people have been trained across Microsoft’s data and AI portfolios. Our popular AI Partner Development Playbook and library of online resources—collectively with more than 1 million downloads—have put answers at the fingertips of partners launching and expanding their AI services.

New HR skills playbook and tools

The latest in our series of Cloud Practice Development Playbooks, released today, is an outstanding human resources guide for partners and customers. We collected input from more than 700 partners to develop “Recruit, Hire, Onboard & Retain Talent.” It is a hands-on guide to walk partners through the HR process of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding employees. Alongside the playbook, we’re launching a new learning portal on MPN that simplifies partner training, and a new Partner Transformation Assessment Tool to help partners map resources and investments against solution areas and workloads.

Partner opportunities ahead

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And we know that partners make more possible. As a customer-first, partner-led company, we start with the needs of our customers and work with our partners to deliver the best outcomes for each organization. We look forward to continued evolution in the Microsoft-partner relationship this year—with more innovation in AI, more co-selling opportunities, and more ways to connect partners to customers and to other partners through Azure Marketplace and AppSource. I invite you to learn more about how Microsoft leaders from the Azure, Dynamics, and ISV teams are supporting our partners, and how partners can capitalize on the opportunities ahead.

 

 

 

 

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From shopping to car design, our customers and partners spark innovation across every industry

Written by admin_wp_f1. Posted in Parceiros

Judson Althoff visits Kroger’s QFC store in Redmond, WA, one of two pilot locations featuring connected customer experiences powered by Microsoft Azure and AI. Also pictured, Wesley Rhodes, Vice President of Technology Transformation at Kroger.

Computing is embedded all around us. Devices are increasingly more connected, and the availability of data and information is greater now than it has ever been. To grow, compete and respond to customer demands, all companies are becoming digital. In this new reality, enterprise technology choices play an outsized role in how businesses operate, influencing how employees collaborate, how organizations ensure data security and privacy, and how they deliver compelling customer experiences.

This is what we mean when we talk about digital transformation. As our CEO Satya Nadella described it recently, it is how organizations with tech intensity adopt faster, best-in-class technology and simultaneously build their own unique digital capabilities. I see this trend in every industry where customers are choosing Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and intelligent edge to power their transformation.

Over just the past two months, customers as varied as Walmart, Gap Inc., Nielsen, Mastercard, BP, BlackRock, Fruit of the Loom and Brooks Running have shared how technology is reshaping all aspects of our lives — from the way we shop to how we manage money and save for retirement. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month, Microsoft customers and partners highlighted how the Microsoft cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) play an ever-expanding role in driving consumer experiences, from LGE’s autonomous vehicle and infotainment systems, to Visteon’s use of Azure to develop autonomous driving development environments, to ZF’s fleet management and predictive maintenance solutions. More recently, at the National Retail Federation (NRF) conference, Microsoft teamed up with retail industry leaders like Starbucks that are reimagining customer and employee experiences with technology.

In fact, there is no shortage of customer examples of tech intensity. They span all industries, including retail, healthcare, automotive manufacturing, maritime research, education and government. Here are just a few of my favorite examples:

Together with Microsoft, Kroger – America’s biggest supermarket chain – opened two pilot stores offering new connected experiences with Microsoft Azure and AI and announced a Retail as a Service (RaaS) solution on Azure. This partnership with Kroger resonates strongly with me because I first met with the company’s CEO in 2013 soon after joining Microsoft. Since then, I have witnessed the Kroger-Microsoft relationship grow and mature beyond measure. The pilot stores feature “digital shelves” which can show ads and change prices on the fly, along with a network of sensors that keep track of products and help speed shoppers through the aisles. Kroger may eventually roll out the Microsoft cloud-powered system in all its 2,780 supermarkets.

In the healthcare industry, earlier this month, we announced a seven-year strategic cloud partnership  with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA). Through the partnership, WBA will harness the power of Microsoft Azure cloud and AI technology, Microsoft 365, health industry investments and new retail solutions with WBA’s customer reach, convenient locations, outpatient health care services and industry expertise to make health care delivery more personal, affordable and accessible for people around the world.

Pharmacy staff member with patient

Walgreens Boots Alliance will harness the power of Microsoft Azure cloud and AI technology and Microsoft 365 to help improve health outcomes and lower overall costs.

Customers tell us that one of the biggest advantages of working with Microsoft is our partner ecosystem. That ecosystem has brought together BevMo!, a wine and liquor store, and Fellow Inc., a Microsoft partner. Today, BevMo! is using Fellow Robots to connect supply chain efficiency with customer delight. Power BI, Microsoft Azure and AI enable the Fellow Robots to provide perfect product location using image recognition to offer customers different types of products by integrating point of sale interactions. BevMo! is also using Microsoft’s intelligent cloud solutions to empower its store associates to deliver better customer service.

Fellow Robots product in a retail store

Fellow Robots from partner Fellow, Inc. are helping BevMo! connect supply chain efficiency and better customer service. The robots are powered by Microsoft Azure, AI and Machine Learning.

In automotive, companies like Toyota are breaking new ground in mixed reality. With its HoloLens solution, Toyota can now project existing 3D CAD data used in the vehicle design process directly onto the vehicle for measurements, optimizing existing processes and minimizing errors. In addition, Toyota is trialing Dynamics 365 Layout to improve machinery layout within its facilities and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to provide workers with expert support from off-site designers and engineers. Also, Toyota has deployed Surface devices, enabling designers and engineers to fluidly connect in real time as part of a company-wide investment to accelerate innovation through collaboration.

A Toyota engineer uses Microsoft HoloLens to perform a process called “film coating thickness inspection” to manage the thickness of the paint for consistent coating quality on every vehicle.
A Toyota engineer uses Microsoft HoloLens to perform a process called “film coating thickness inspection” to manage the thickness of the paint for consistent coating quality on every vehicle.

Digital transformation is also changing the way we learn. For example, in the education space, Law School Admission Council (LSAC), a non-profit organization devoted to law and education worldwide, announced its selection of the Windows platform on Surface Go devices to digitize the Law School Admission test (LSAT) for more than 130,000 LSAT test takers each year. In addition to the Digital LSAT, Microsoft is working with LSAC on several initiatives to improve and expand access to legal education.

Surface Go device
One of the thousands of Microsoft Surface Go devices running Windows 10 and proprietary software to facilitate a the modern and efficient Digital LSAT starting in July 2019.

Beyond manufacturing and retail, organizations are adopting the cloud and AI to reimagine environmental conservation. Fish may not be top of mind when thinking about innovation, but Australia’s Northern Territory is building its own technology to ensure the sustainable management of fisheries resources for future generations. For marine biologists, a seemingly straightforward task like counting fish becomes significantly more challenging or even dangerous when visibility in marine environments is low and when large predators (think: saltwater crocodiles) live in those environments. That is where AI comes in. Scientists use the technology to automatically identify and count fish photographed by underwater cameras. Over time, the AI solution becomes more accurate with each new fish analyzed. Greater availability of this technology may soon help other areas of the world improve their understanding of aquatic resources.

Shane Penny, Fisheries Research Scientist and his team using baited underwater cameras as part of Australia’s Northern Territory Fisheries artificial intelligence project with Microsoft to fuel insights in marine science.

Shane Penny, Fisheries Research Scientist and his team using baited underwater cameras as part of Australia’s Northern Territory Fisheries artificial intelligence project with Microsoft to fuel insights in marine science.

With almost 13,000 post offices and more than 134,000 employees, Poste Italiane is Italy’s largest distribution network. The organization delivers traditional mail and parcels but also operates at the digital frontier through innovation in financial and insurance services as well as mobile and digital payments solutions. Poste Italiane selected Dynamics 365 for its CRM, creating the largest online deployment in Italy. The firm sees the deployment as a critical part of its strategy to support growth, contain costs and deliver a better, richer customer experience.

Poste Italiane building
Poste Italiane’s selection of Microsoft is part of their digital transformation program that aims to reshape the retail sales approach and increase cross-selling revenues and profitability of its subsidiaries BancoPosta and PosteVita.

These examples only scratch the surface of how digital transformation and digital capabilities are bringing together people, data and processes in a way that generates value, competitive advantage and powers innovation across every industry. I am incredibly humbled that our customers and partners have chosen Microsoft to support their digital journey.

The post From shopping to car design, our customers and partners spark innovation across every industry appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Microsoft acquires Citus Data, re-affirming its commitment to Open Source and accelerating Azure PostgreSQL performance and scale

Written by admin_wp_f1. Posted in Parceiros

Data and analytics are increasingly at the center of digital transformation, with the most leading-edge enterprises leveraging data to drive customer acquisition and satisfaction, long-term strategic planning, and expansion into net new markets. This digital revolution is placing an incredible demand on technology solutions to be more open, flexible, and scalable to meet the demands of large data volumes, sub-second response times, and analytics driven business insights.

Microsoft is committed to building an open platform that is flexible and provides customers with technology choice to suit their unique needs. Microsoft Azure Data Services are a great example of a place where we have continuously invested in offering choice and flexibility with our fully managed community based open source relational database services, spanning MySQL, PostgreSQL and MariaDB. This builds on our other open source investments in SQL Server on Linux, a multi-model NoSQL database with Azure Cosmos DB, and support for open source analytics with the Spark and Hadoop ecosystems. With our acquisition of GitHub, we continue to expand on our commitment to empower developers to achieve more at every stage of the development lifecycle.

Building on these investments, I am thrilled to announce that we have acquired Citus Data, a leader in the PostgreSQL community. Citus is an innovative open source extension to PostgreSQL that transforms PostgreSQL into a distributed database, dramatically increasing performance and scale for application developers. Because Citus is an extension to open source PostgreSQL, it gives enterprises the performance advantages of a horizontally scalable database while staying current with all the latest innovations in PostgreSQL. Citus is available as a fully-managed database as a service, as enterprise software, and as a free open source download.

Since the launch of Microsoft’s fully managed community-based database service for PostgreSQL in March 2018, its adoption has surged. Earlier this month, PostgreSQL was named DBMS of the Year by DB-Engines, for the second year in a row. The acquisition of Citus Data builds on Azure’s open source commitment and enables us to provide the massive scalability and performance our customers demand as their workloads grow.

Together, Microsoft and Citus Data will further unlock the power of data, enabling customers to scale complex multi-tenant SaaS applications and accelerate the time to insight with real-time analytics over billions of rows, all with the familiar PostgreSQL tools developers know and love.

I am incredibly excited to welcome the high-caliber Citus Data team to Microsoft! Working together, we will accelerate the delivery of key, enterprise-ready features from Azure to PostgreSQL and enable critical PostgreSQL workloads to run on Azure with confidence. We continue to be energized by building on our promise around Azure as the most comprehensive cloud to run open source and proprietary workloads at any scale and look forward to working with the PostgreSQL community to accelerate innovation to customers.

For more information on Citus Data, you can read the blog post from Umur Cubukcu, CEO and co-founder, here.

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Microsoft announces commitment to help affordable housing in the Puget Sound region

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In 1979, Microsoft made the Puget Sound region our home when the company’s first 30 employees moved into an office building next to The Burgermaster in Bellevue. Over the decades, we’ve grown from a small start-up to become one of the world’s leading technology companies. And along the way, the entire region’s economy has diversified and expanded, bringing new jobs, people and prosperity. It’s an amazing place to call home and it’s a community that has always helped nurture Microsoft’s success.

But the Puget Sound area’s growth has also created new challenges. In recent years, our region hasn’t built enough housing for the people who live here. Since 2011, jobs in the region have grown 21 percent, while growth in housing construction has lagged at 13 percent. This gap in available housing has caused housing prices to surge 96 percent in the past eight years, making the Greater Seattle area the sixth most expensive region in the United States. Read more about this initiative on Microsoft on the Issues.

The post Microsoft announces commitment to help affordable housing in the Puget Sound region appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

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