Microsoft focusing on cloud & newertechnology to drive digitaltransformation in India


21 Jun 2013
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Microsoft hosted a two-day event in Bengaluru and some of the prominent names present were Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India, Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) and Sriram Rajamani, Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, among others.

After talking about its cloud adoption in India and how the company plans to go all out with emerging technologies like AI, bots and NLP, the company spoke about its mission for digital transformation in India. Microsoft is primarily known as the ‘Windows’ company, but the two-day event put forth a new face wherein the recognition goes beyond or is rather not limited to Windows.

Talking about this change, Pramanik said, “It is very evident. If you look at the personal computing strategy, it’s not just Windows, all our products like Office and Skype are available on Android and iOS. It doesn’t matter what the OS is. Secondly, we are creating bots on Skype so they will run on all platforms. Think about augmented reality, we can integrate with anything with the capability. But, Windows 10 is important. It gives the same user interface and flexibility across multiple platforms, be it IoT, XBox, Surface, tablets, and PC. While you will be able run apps and services across multiple devices, Windows gives you the unique opportunity to have the same software, apps and user interface. If I walk into my living room, my Xbox opens up, it has Cortana, Skype and Edge and whatever my phone knows about me, the device knows.”

The company is looking to create building blocks based on the current trends like the massive explosion of data, intelligence from machine learning and advanced analytics, along with the economies and agility of cloud computing to drive digital transformation in India. The focus remains on Microsoft cloud services that claim to be trying to fuel innovation by helping organisations engage with customers with a tailored experience, optimise operations through cost savings, cloud automation, IoT and operational insights, better customer relation management, analytics and also improve employee productivity via collaboration and new age ISV solutions on the cloud.

The company already has some initiatives in the education and agricultural sector in partnership with the Indian government (more on this here). For instance, The Andhra Pradesh government is using Microsoft’s Azure machine learning to predict dropouts across 10,000 schools.

To give a big boost to Digital India, PM Modi’s ambitious project, Microsoft also seemed pretty keen on enabling Aadhaar-embedded Skype. Pramanik explained how Aadhaar-embedded Skype could work, wherein it could be used to verify identity. He further spoke about working on technology that could replace ID verification using one time password to doing it using an iris scan. Though there is no current partnership to doing so, Microsoft is open to working on it.

Microsoft has also entered into a strategic relationship with PwC, which is now a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider. It will help expand the reach to organisations of all size in various sectors including Financial services, Government and public sector, manufacturing, consumer goods and so on.

Amway India also teamed up with Microsoft to conceptualise and design a digitally-enabled Experience Store in Bengaluru. The experience is a result of several new-age technologies such as Augmented Reality, Gamification, Virtual Makeover Studio, Interactive Table and Virtual Cart. Similarly, a Pune-based startup, CarIQ, is also using Microsoft cloud to enable deep analytics and scalability to process data and offer products to car owners. So, the device collects data directly from the car, uses Big Data to understand it and recommends a course of action to car owners accordingly. This data is further believed to help car insurance companies. Similarly, NIIT and Fortis Healthcare are using Microsoft cloud services. SBI Life is using a mobile-based tool (Vymo) that runs on Microsoft Azure.

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