Microsoft AI cloud platform, Azure AI, is at the center of CEO Satya Nadella’s vision for the long run of Microsoft.
The platform currently has 20,000 customers, and more than 85th of Fortune 100 companies have used Azure AI within the past 12 months, consistent with the company.
Azure AI takes technologies Microsoft already uses internally and sells it to customers.
The company that figures out a way to sell “pedestrian” uses for artificial intelligence can have an advantage in the cloud computing business, Gardner analyst Sid Nag said.
The Redmond-based company has had to work out a way to transition its ancient businesses to use the cloud and AI. That expertise, plus its history working with enterprise customers, could give Microsoft an advantage in selling esoteric technologies like AI to non-tech businesses.
Microsoft shaped a replacement group throughout a company wide reorganization last year, charged with finding a way to sell the artificial intelligence research and technologies already used in the Redmond-based company’s products to customers.
Now, the chief running the group says that it’s a key differentiator for Microsoft’s Azure cloud business against competitors together with market-leading Amazon web Services.
“We knew that the customers wanted this,” Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence platform Azure AI, told Business Insider. “Really it absolutely was this recognition of, ‘How do we tap into all of the great learning that we have both from our research division and from all of our product divisions and make it something?’”
Simplifying artificial intelligence and machine learning for cloud customers could build Microsoft more competitive in the fierce cloud computing battle with AWS. Microsoft’s cloud computing business Azure is widely considered to be the second-place player against AWS, however it’s gained vital ground, as well as grading a much-contested $10 billion cloud computing contract with the Pentagon.
About eighteen months past, Microsoft reorganized, dismantling its traditional Windows organization in favor of its target cloud computing. Amid the shift, Microsoft formed new engineering teams: one for the cloud and artificial intelligence, and another for user experiences and devices as well as Windows. Boyd’s group was created at that time.