Category Archives : Updates

01

Oct

Protecting banks through cloud-based sanction screening solutions

At a previous position, I owned the software and hardware testing across a 6,000-branch network for a large fortune 100 bank in the U.S. The complexity and sophistication of the end-to-end delivery of products and services to existing customers was daunting. Vetting new, potential customers while simultaneously building a new system was tough. Especially since the new system had to balance a pleasant front-end user experience with the backend processes from strong Know Your Customer (KYC) scrubbing (in other words, due diligence). That backend system was invisible, batch-based, and only had post-transaction look back capability. I learned that banks can have their cake and eat it too, but the business implications of limiting user friction are not trivial, and properly vetting customers puts a lot of pressure on the technology capabilities.

As a compliment to my online and mobile fraud theme this quarter see Detecting Online and Mobile Fraud with AI, I’ll provide some insights on how banks are seeking to rationalize and simplify security and compliance processes in real-time. The path stretches from the device to the network and back-end infrastructure. The goal is to ease the burden on employees and reduce costs from fines. Specifically, the requirements

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26

Sep

New features and enhancements released in Bing Custom Search V3
New features and enhancements released in Bing Custom Search V3

We are happy to share the release of additions and enhancements to Bing Custom Search. Bing Custom Search is an easy-to-use, ad-free search solution that enables users to build a search experience and query content on their specific site, or across a hand-picked set of websites or domains. To help users surface the results they want, Bing Custom Search provides a simple web interface where users can control ranking specifics and pin, or block, responses to suit their needs.

The Bing Custom Search API gives you powerful ranking, a global-scale search index, and document processing with fast, simple setup. 

At Microsoft, we are committed to making AI accessible to everybody, and we are happy to see that a considerable number of websites around the world are powered by Bing Custom Search. We have been prioritizing new features and enhancements based on the feedback we have received since we announced the general availability of Bing Custom Search v1 in October 2017. In May 2018, we released Bing Custom Search v2 with important new features like custom image search, custom autosuggest, and a means for retrieving key insights regarding the usage of the custom search instance. Today, with Bing Custom Search

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24

Sep

Azure Service Fabric updates at Ignite 2018
Azure Service Fabric updates at Ignite 2018

Service Fabric is a microservices platform to build, deploy, discover, and scale services with message routing, low-latency storage, and health monitoring. It powers both first- and third-party applications including core Azure infrastructure and cloud services along with several mission-critical applications for enterprises.

This week at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, we are announcing an update of the Azure Service Fabric Mesh preview, the serverless microservices platform that was released in July this year. We are also announcing Service Fabric runtime version 6.4 with corresponding SDK and tooling updates which will start rolling out in the coming weeks and come with a bevy of enhancements.

Support for Windows Server version 1803 and multi-tenancy features

We are announcing support for Azure clusters running Windows Server version 1803, as well as those running containers based on the same image for Azure clusters and Service Fabric Mesh. Windows Server version 1803 includes several improvements and fixes.

Customers have often asked us to provide network isolation in addition to compute isolation to help enable multi-tenant scenarios. With this update, Service Fabric enables isolated networks per application as a preview. With an isolated network per application, service endpoints can only be reached from other

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24

Sep

Release models at pace using Microsoft’s AutoML!
Release models at pace using Microsoft’s AutoML!

What is the real problem?

When creating a machine learning model, data scientists across all industry segments face the following challenges: Defining and tuning the hyperparameters, and deciding which algorithm to use.

If a customer plans to create a ML model that will predict the price of a car, the data scientist will need to pick up the right algorithm and hyperparameters. Narrowing down to the best algorithm and hyperparameters is a time-consuming process. This has been a challenge for Microsoft’s customers across all verticals, and Microsoft recently launched an Azure Machine Learning python SDK that has AutoML module. The AutoML module helps with not only defining and tuning hyperparameters but also picking the right algorithm!

What is AutoML?

AutoML helps create high quality model using intelligent automation and optimization. AutoML will figure out the right algorithm and hyper parameters to use. It is a tool that will improve the efficiency of data scientist!

AutoML’ s current capabilities

AutoML currently supports the problem spaces regression and classification. Additional problem spaces such as clustering will be supported in future releases. From a data pre-processing perspective, AutoML allows one hot encoding (converting categorical variable to binary vector) and assign values to

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24

Sep

Azure Networking Fall 2018 update
Azure Networking Fall 2018 update

Announcing: 100 Gbps, fastest connectivity in public cloud and availability of branch connectivity, new cloud native security capabilities and application performance services

As enterprises move ever more demanding mission-critical workloads to the cloud, we strive to provide comprehensive networking services that are easy to deploy, manage, scale, and monitor. Customers continue to ask for better ways to connect to the cloud, better protection of their cloud workloads, optimal application performance delivery, and more comprehensive monitoring services.

In terms of how to Connect, customers have asked for significantly higher bandwidth solutions as they struggle to transit massive amounts of data into the cloud to take advantage of advanced analytics and machine learning. Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SDWAN) holds tremendous promise to reduce costs by intelligently routing more traffic onto the Internet and helping customers better manage connectivity to their branch offices. The concept of the virtual datacenter has taken hold but building such solutions on a global scale remain a challenge. With 54+ Azure regions and more on the way our global network continues to expand to new locations while we increase its overall capacity. Customers have asked us for new ways to take advantage of our global WAN. We

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13

Sep

Microsoft Azure Media Services and our partners Welkom you to IBC 2018

Content creators and broadcasters are increasingly embracing Cloud’s global reach, hybrid model and elastic scale. These attributes combined with AI’s ability to accelerate insights and time to market across content creation, management, and monetization are truly transformative.

At the International Broadcasters Conference (IBC) Show 2018, we are focused on bringing Cloud + AI together to help you overcome common media workflow challenges.

Video Indexer, generally available starting today, is a great example of this Cloud + AI focus. It brings together the power of the cloud + Microsoft AI to intelligently analyze your media assets, extract insights and add metadata. It makes it easier to understand your vast content library and get the more than 20 new and improved models, easy to use interfaces, a single API, and simplified account management. I have been part of Video Indexer team since its inception and could not be more excited to see it reach GA. I’m also incredibly proud of the work the team has done to solve real customer problems and make AI tangible in this easy to use elegant solution.

Our partners are already innovating on top of Video Indexer and extending Azure Media Services to advance the state of

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13

Sep

Video Indexer – General availability and beyond
Video Indexer – General availability and beyond

Earlier today, we announced the general availability (GA) of Video Indexer. This means that our customers can count on all the metadata goodness of Video Indexer to always be available for them to use when running their business. However, this GA is not the only Video Indexer announcement we have for you. In the time since we released Video Indexer to public preview in May 2018, we never stopped innovating and added a wealth of new capabilities to make Video Indexer more insightful and effective for your video and audio needs.

Delightful experience and enhanced widgets

The Video Indexer portal already includes insights and timeline panes that enables our customers to easily review and evaluate media insights. The same experience is also available in embeddable widgets, which are a great way to integrate Video Indexer into any application.

We are now proud to release revamped insight and timeline panes. The new insight and timeline panes are built to accommodate the growing number of insights in Video Indexer and are automatically responsive to different form factors.

By the way, with the new insight pane we have also added visualizations for the already existing keyframes extraction capability, as well as new

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12

Sep

Azure preparedness for weather events
Azure preparedness for weather events

As Hurricane Florence, and now Typhoon Mangkhut, continue their journey to the East Coast of the US and SE Asia respectively, our thoughts are with those in its path. Please stay safe. We’re actively monitoring Azure infrastructure in the region. We at Microsoft have taken all precautions to protect our customers and our people.

Our datacenters (US East, US East 2, US Gov Virginia, and East Asia) have been reviewed internally and externally to ensure that we are prepared for this weather event. Our onsite teams are prepared to switch to generators if utility power is unavailable or unreliable. All our emergency operating procedures have been reviewed by our team members across the datacenters, and we are ensuring that our personnel have all necessary supplies throughout the event.

As a best practice, all customers should consider their disaster recovery plans and all mission-critical applications should be taking advantage of geo-replication.

Rest assured that Microsoft is focused on the readiness and safety of our teams, as well as our customers’ business interests that rely on our datacenters. 

You can reach our handle @AzureSupport on Twitter, we are online 24/7. Any business impact to customers will be communicated through Azure Service Health in

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12

Sep

Azure preparedness for Hurricane Florence
Azure preparedness for Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence continues its journey to the mainland, our thoughts are with those in its path. Please stay safe. We’re actively monitoring Azure infrastructure in the region. We at Microsoft have taken all precautions to protect our customers and our people.

Our datacenters (US East, US East 2, and US Gov Virginia) have been reviewed internally and externally to ensure that we are prepared for this weather event. Our onsite teams are prepared to switch to generators if utility power is unavailable or unreliable. All our emergency operating procedures have been reviewed by our team members across the datacenters, and we are ensuring that our personnel have all necessary supplies throughout the event.

As a best practice, all customers should consider their disaster recovery plans and all mission-critical applications should be taking advantage of geo-replication.

Rest assured that Microsoft is focused on the readiness and safety of our teams, as well as our customers’ business interests that rely on our datacenters. 

You can reach our handle @AzureSupport on Twitter, we are online 24/7. Any business impact to customers will be communicated through Azure Service Health in Azure portal.

If there is any change to the situation, we will keep

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30

Aug

Protecting privacy in Microsoft Azure: GDPR, Azure Policy Updates

Today more than ever, privacy is of critical importance in the technology industry. Microsoft has an enduring commitment to protect data privacy, not as an afterthought, but built into Microsoft Azure from the ground up. Microsoft designed Azure with industry-leading security controls, compliance tools, and privacy policies to safeguard your data in the cloud, including the categories of personal data identified by the GDPR. These also help you comply with other important global and regional privacy standards such as ISO/IEC 27018, EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, EU Model Clauses, HIPAA/HITECH, and HITRUST.

When you build on Azure’s secure foundation, you accelerate your move to the cloud by achieving compliance more readily, allowing you to enable privacy-sensitive cloud scenarios, such as financial and health service, with confidence.

In this episode we describe key tools in Azure to help you achieve your privacy goals that include:

The Azure Data Subject Requests for the GDPR portal, which provides step-by-step guidance on how to comply with GDPR requirements to find and act on personal data that resides in Azure. This capability to execute data subject requests is available through the Azure portal on our public and sovereign clouds, as well as through pre-existing APIs and

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