As an Azure customer, are you keen on exploring the latest announcements for Azure at Microsoft Inspire 2023? Do you want to skip all those long sessions and get right to the point? 

Here we breakdown all the major details about Azure and benefits that trickle down from partners to customers.  

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1. Presenting Azure Migrate and Modernise 

Microsoft has taken its Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP) to the next level with a compelling rebranding as Azure Migrate and Modernise. This upgraded program brings a host of exciting additions, including enhanced assessments, more partner incentives, and support for additional workloads. Notably, there’s a significant expansion of capacity and capability across the Azure portfolio, now encompassing high performance computing (HPC), Oracle, Linux, SAP, and mainframe migrations, making it more versatile and adaptable than ever.

Azure Migrate and Modernise aims to simplify and smoothen the transition to the cloud for customers. It empowers users with powerful features like discovery, assessment, business case analysis, and planning capabilities, making the migration process seamless and efficient. For added convenience, Microsoft-led delivery for rehosted migrations to Azure is available, promising accelerated migration and cost savings for customers. 

Furthermore, to increase the scale and availability of Azure Migrate and Modernise, the tech giant has also tripled its investment and now offers a new solution—Azure Innovate

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2. Introducing Azure Innovate 

Azure Innovate is the outcome of Microsoft’s revolutionary investment of $100 million to empower partners and customers in their journey towards a cutting-edge future. With the goal of infusing AI into applications, advanced analytics, and custom cloud native app building, Azure Innovate promises a game-changing experience. 

Collaborating seamlessly with Azure Migrate and Modernise, Azure Innovate provides the ultimate support for your end-to-end cloud journey on Azure. It can help you predict customer needs, automate business processes, discover information in unstructured data, engage with customers in new ways to deliver better experiences. This will cutdown time for your partners to build custom AI solutions in Azure for your company. So, whether you’re migrating for a secure and AI-ready foundation or building a Copilot, Microsoft has got you covered! 

As a customer, your partners can now harness the power of Azure Innovate for comprehensive planning, deployment, and guided assistance. You can also unlock a world of exploration and design capabilities, backed by pilots and proofs of concept (PoCs), assessments for app modernisation, and resources for analytics migration. 

But that’s not all – Microsoft extends its support to help partners deploy their very own AI copilot, tailored to their data and requirements of their customers. So, users can expect highly tailored solutions based on Microsoft’s fast-evolving AI. 

3. Additional Azure Tools Access 

The other important Azure update includes Azure Arc-enabled Extended Security Updates. These updates ensure that you can continue operating with confidence, even if you can’t immediately switch to the free Azure extended security updates or purchase on-premises updates.  

But that’s not all; Azure Boost is also here, elevating your virtualisation processes to unprecedented levels of efficiency and security. Azure Boost empowers you to leverage next-generation hardware infrastructure for exceptional performance. It enables greater network and storage performance at scale, adds another layer of security, and minimises the maintenance impact for Azure updates in the future.

4. More Access to Microsoft’s AI 

Microsoft has also unveiled an exciting preview of Vector Search in Azure Cognitive Search. This cutting-edge feature brings the power of vector search to apps, enabling them to provide personalised responses in natural language.  

Vetor search is a new functionality that indexes, stores, and retrieves information from search index. It can be used to power similarity search and multi-modal search. Besides that, it also delivers product recommendations, and identifies data patterns. The capabilities of Vector Search promise to offer hybrid retrieval and sophisticated reranking. This showcases Microsoft’s dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction.

In addition to Vector Search, Microsoft is gearing up to introduce a Whisper Model to Azure OpenAI Service and Azure AI Speech. This upcoming addition will revolutionise the way audio content is transcribed and translated, allowing for high-quality batch transcriptions at an impressive scale for customers. 

Additionally, the Azure AI Speech platform is also introducing exciting new features, including the custom neural voice. This capability promises to enhance the user experience even further. Furthermore, the public preview of real-time transcription is set to elevate the capabilities of this powerful service.

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Not to be left behind, Microsoft Fabric is now available for partners in public preview as a free trial. This unique offering aims to consolidate an organisation’s data and analytics into a single, AI-powered platform, specially designed to unify data estates, build AI models, and responsibly expand access to valuable insights. Fabric seamlessly integrates Microsoft technologies such as Azure Data Factory, Microsoft Power BI, and Azure Synapse with newer solutions like Data Activator. That makes it a comprehensive and efficient solution for data-driven organisations. 

With these groundbreaking advancements, Microsoft continues to lead the way in harnessing the power of AI and Azure to deliver unparalleled value to its users and partners.

5. Meta’s Llama 2 Added to Azure AI Model with Other Tools 

Here’s another groundbreaking announcement from Microsoft: Meta’s family of Llama 2 open-source foundation models will soon be accessible on both Azure and Windows platforms, starting from 18 July 2023. 

Not stopping there, Microsoft revealed exciting plans for the Azure OpenAI service to expand its reach to Asia, while also increasing availability in North America and Western Europe. 

The Azure AI model catalogue, now in public preview, empowers developers to harness the full potential of AI in their applications. With offerings like GPT-4 and a library of other cutting-edge AI models from Hugging Face, developers can browse, fine-tune, and deploy them effortlessly within Azure’s sandboxes. 

A major benefit of this feature for customers is that their developers can have their own dedicated instance of the model. That ensures they have ample time to enhance model effectiveness and adhere to AI safety best practices with built-in guidelines. 

In other words, application developers will now have the best of both worlds, gaining access to the latest frontier models of OpenAI and an array of models available in open source.

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Here’s Your Next Step 

Figuring out all the intricacies and advantages of using Azure can be a little tricky! That’s why we’re here to guide you through your Azure journey. Dogma has helped over 600+ clients globally to transform digitally and embrace their digital imperative with cloud solutions like Azure. You could be next!

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