Digital transformation is already in motion. If you are still not sure about your role in this transformation, don’t miss Microsoft Envision 2017 this September. Artificial intelligence is simply everywhere today and many companies are leveraging it to transform their business digitally. Software products are now expected to have at least some sort of intelligence built into them. Below are the five Microsoft tools to enable you to enter this digital transformation era by using A.I. and machine learning in your products.
Microsoft is a leader in Magic Quadrant for Data Management Solutions for Analytics, and Business Intelligence and a visionary in Data Science Platforms. No matter which platform you use for software development, you can leverage the APIs in these Microsoft tools and bring intelligence to your software without the need to hire a data scientist or machine learning expert.


1. Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite

Every solution you need for adding intelligence to your products and services is now part of the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite. ETL gets an intelligent form here. From IoT devices to your big data sources, you can store and transform heterogenous forms of data in the same ecosystem and use Azure Machine Learning, Azure Data Lake Analytics, or Azure HDInsight to populate insights for people, apps, or back into your edge devices via IoT Edge.

Here’s an example of a complete solution using the Cortana Intelligence Suite for predicting the length of stay in hospitals. Microsoft Power BI is used effectively to visualize a large amount of data in a single page.
You can find more examples, like this Personalized Offers solution from Cortana Intelligence Gallery.


2. Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (formerly CNTK) for deep learning

Improvements in deep learning techniques turned difficult machine learning problems into interesting applications. Convolutional nets, autoencoders, and LSTM recurrent nets are forming the deep intelligent behind many platforms.
Microsoft’s open source cognitive toolkit just released Microsoft CNTK 2.0RC2 with Python 3.6 support and many more features. CNTK has a strong Python API and has its own script called BrainScript. LSTM recurrent networks are fully supported in CNTK and are very efficient and easy to use compared with other toolkits.
CNTK is an optimized deep learning toolkit built for scale which when using GPUs, is faster than Tensorflow, Theano, Torch 7 and Caffe. You can use the Azure GPU series virtual machines to train your deep network using latest NVidia GPUs. Moreover, you can try the data science virtual machine (DSVM) to have all the tools already installed in the VM:


3. Microsoft Cognitive Services

Looking for the easiest way of bringing intelligence to your apps? Don’t go further from Cognitive Services APIs. Computer vision, speech, language understanding, knowledge, search services, and even playing with experimental tools via labs. Using a simple API call, you get rich face recognition, sentiment analysis, recommendations, and image captioning for any of your apps and more. You may call the API from any platform or webpage, and add valuable insights to your product without implementing the intelligence behind it.


Furthermore, experiment like Project Prague, is helping to bring even more intelligence into your apps. In this case, using gestures to control your app and services!


4. Microsoft Graph and Bot Framework

In an enterprise environment, you can simply replace assistances and front customer service clerks with Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Bot Framework, respectively. Conversation User Interface (CUI) is the adopting intelligent UI adding  more polite agents for impatient customers. These tools embed perfectly with Office 365, Skype, and Cortana and can enhance your user experience dramatically. In addition, with Cortana Skills Kit, you can target and reach 145M monthly users across all platforms.


5. SQL Server 2017

Why is the SQL Server 2017 here? SQL Server 2017 is the first RDBMS with built-in support for A.I. scripts. Machine learning is now integrated right into the SQL Server 2017 with Python, R, and GPU support. From the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit to Tensorflow, you can run Python script in the SQL Server and integrate it directly with your data. Using Linux? SQL Server 2017 runs on Linux as well!


Having all these tools and many more available, there is no reason to defer digital transformation. Bringing intelligence to products makes them more valuable and help you offer competitive services. So, tell us about your vision for this transformation and let us know which tools seems to be bringing more value into your business.


If you want to learn more about Machine Learning in the Cloud, watch our Webinar on-demand. Here!