Igniting the Cloud: Microsoft Conference Looks at New Cloud, AI Solutions

Igniting the Cloud: Microsoft Conference Looks at New Cloud, AI Solutions

Key Takeaways

    Microsoft conference featured new innovation around cloud computing

    Artificial Intelligence developments also highlighted the conference

    Tech investors might want to consider keeping an eye on developments as earnings approach

With earnings season around the corner, investors are likely to hear a lot about the far-reaching technology realms of cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) as tech firms outline their results and plans.

These innovations represent  potentially large market opportunities that many tech companies are going after. Among them is Microsoft (MSFT), which presented some new technologies designed in part to help businesses become more efficient late last month at its Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference. 

The Microsoft Ignite conference is geared toward developments in enterprise technology; that is, technologies that have a direct bearing on how large-scale businesses operate. For investors trying to get a better sense of what these technologies might mean and which industries might be affected, the conference offered some key insights.

Digital Transformation Hitting All Industries, Microsoft CEO Says

To kick off the event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella focused his keynote speech on the notion that intelligent technology has already begun transforming every aspect of modern business. And to capitalize on this paradigm shift, businesses must adopt what Nadella calls  “tech intensity”—the capacity not only to adopt but to build technology. “We are well and truly into this era of the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge,” Nadella said. “All are being transformed by digital technology. Everything, whether it’s a car or a refrigerator or the factory floor, are getting connected and then becoming intelligent. Now in order for us to capitalize on this paradigm shift, we need tech intensity. Irrespective of which industry you’re in, you’re a digital business, and you need to…both adopt technology and build technology.”

Here are just a few of the announcements and presentations from Microsoft Ignite 2018.

Team Effort To Help Companies Extract Data

Microsoft, Adobe (ADBE), and SAP (SAP) are teaming up to create a combined data resource and data analytics model for storing, transferring, and analyzing customer data between enterprise systems. This is a collaborative project—a hybrid of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relations management (CRM).

Dubbed the “Open Data Initiative,” this project aims to link products from all three companies—many of which are cloud-based and AI-driven—to help businesses transfer and extract value from customer data more efficiently and expediently; factors that may allow businesses to increase their productivity, drive down costs, and respond to customer needs with greater efficacy. 

Microsoft Teams, a group chat platform, has become its fastest growing app, with 320,000 organizational users worldwide.

Using facial detection, Microsoft Teams now features a background blur functionality, which can be used to enhance video meetings. Another new feature is the app’s ability to record meetings, replay them with captions, and provide transcripts of the content. To address industry-specific needs, Microsoft Teams now features two new apps—Home and Shifts—designed respectively for workers and managers. 

Tech and Other Sectors: Learn More

When it comes to researching a sector like tech, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether a tech sector investment opportunity might be right for your portfolio and investment objectives. Typing a particular stock’s symbol into the Search function in your TD Ameritrade account will retrieve the Stocks: Profile page for the company, which includes tabs that provide a fundamental overview as well as charts for technical review. This function can help provide you with an informative technical and fundamental overview of each stock, information that may be helpful when making a decision based on your preferred criteria.

Another thing to consider keeping in mind is that companies participating in AI and the cloud generally aren’t pure-play cloud or AI stocks. The Company Profile tool, available in the thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade, can show you the revenue breakdown of each business unit, plus a rundown of the competitive landscape, for each company you may be considering.

Windows Virtual Desktop

Businesses can now rent a virtual Windows 10 desktop using Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure. Not only does this mark the first time that a multi-user Windows platform is made available via the cloud, it’s also the first time that Windows platform can be rented directly from Microsoft, as opposed to purchased from a third-party vendor.

Future Impact?

It remains to be seen what impact, if any, Microsoft’s latest innovations may have on the company’s overall health. To stay informed on MSFT and others, take a look at the Earnings section on The Ticker Tape, which covers different company previews as well as sector outlooks each season.

TD Ameritrade clients can research  how certain stocks measure up to one another by using the Stock Screener tool. The tool can help you quickly locate and compare the historical performance of publicly traded companies according to fundamental and technical metrics. This tool, as well as others, are covered more in depth in the webcast TD Ameritrade Tools and Resources.

Looking to stay on top of the markets on a daily basis? Check out the Daily Market Update on the Ticker Tape.  Or tune into the TD Ameritrade Network, which is live programming from our media affiliate that brings you market news and helps you hone your trading knowledge.

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