Ignite Nov ’21: Microsoft expands Industry Clouds verticals

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While most normal people may equate the cloud to the vast void of store family photos and tax documents, Microsoft is busy hosting keynotes at its Ignite 2021 conference that speak to verticals that include Health, Finance, Manufacturing, and even non-profits and new extensibilities that can help automated a slew of processes.

First up is Microsoft’s Cloud for Financial Services which is now generally available for use and brings a set of extension meant to seamlessly integrate with Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform. The new features will help extend the core functions of Cloud for Financial Services which includes Risk Analytics, Remote Sales and Services, Unified Customer Profiles, Loan Management software, security, Fraud protection and other automated processes.

Not to be outdone, Microsoft also has updates for its first ever Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing that will expand its end-to-end manufacturing solutions that rolled out in February of this year as preview but is now generally available.

Supply chain and manufacturing disruptions are here to stay, bringing with them an intensified need for innovation and evolution. Manufacturers across industries are asking for help accelerating the transformation of all aspects of their end-to-end business. These are areas where Microsoft can help connect experiences across customer operations, workforce, design and engineering processes, customer engagements and the end-to-end value chain with Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing.

As previously mentioned, Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing marks the first time the company is offering an end-to-end, manufacturing industry-specific cloud tool. As with most Microsoft effort, customers can rely on a robust 3rd party partner stable to tie into this manufacturing cloud solution that includes PTC, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, ABB, Annata 365, Ansys, and many more.

Non-profits can also benefit from Microsoft’s push into expanding Industry Cloud solutions. Organizations already making use of Microsoft 365, Azure or Dynamics 365 can now gain additional collaboration tools for fundraising, volunteer, and program management, as well engagement accelerant through Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit.

At the core of the experience is you guessed it, Teams, which helps both communication and collaboration among volunteers and program managers. With many non-profits handling delicate information, Microsoft for Nonprofit also relies heavily on AccountGuard which the company launched back in 2018 and subsequently expanded to include AccountGuard for Healthcare, AccountGuard for Human Rights Organization and AccountGuard for Journalists.

Speaking of Healthcare, Microsoft also talked up its Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare which is now general available. As the name would imply, it’s a pretty straightforward solution for the healthcare industry that offers

  • Enhanced patient engagement: Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare offers
    an enhanced patient view that allows providers to associate one patient
    record with other patient records and easily navigate between them for
    faster access (in preview). The new Waiting Room in Microsoft Teams
    helps patients know they’ve taken the right steps to connect to their
    appointment (in preview). Integration of Microsoft
    Forms with Microsoft Bookings helps with data collection from a
    patient’s prior visit to a virtual visit (in preview). A new mobile browser
    join function allows a patient to join a virtual visit from a mobile device
    (generally available).
  • Improved clinical and operational insights: Microsoft Cloud for
    Healthcare offers better modeling of healthcare data in dataverse,
    allowing partners to define the process and experience for their
    customers (generally available). Improved ingestion of healthcare data
    allows customers to select how much data is copied between systems,
    minimizing duplication and saving space (in preview).
  • Increased health team collaboration: Microsoft Teams Electronic
    Health Record (EHR) Connector – Cerner allows visits to be launched
    from within EHR system patient or provider portals (in preview). A
    scheduled queue for virtual visits in Microsoft Bookings offers a
    dashboard-like view of the day and real-time appointment updates (in
    preview). Virtual Visits Manager, a standalone Teams app, simplifies the
    data analytics process through reporting and actionable insights about
    virtual consults (in preview).

Lastly, Microsoft’s future leaning Cloud sector solution Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability just moved into preview for select customers. As more businesses look to reduce their carbon footprint and optimize their use of servers, Microsoft is now testing its cloud solution which should help efforts to measure sustainability goals, better record and report carbon emissions reduction paths, and meet regulatory and reporting requirements.

Once again, Microsoft’s cloud investments are paying dividends for the company as it spins up specific Industry Cloud Solutions that already tie into other sustained efforts by the company that include its decades long involvement in government, healthcare, manufacturing, finance, science, and research.