Microsoft and Adobe announce cloud pact

  • Partnership will see both companies embracing each others’ products
  • Made several key announcements on new products and enhancements across most, if not all, products
 Microsoft and Adobe announce cloud pact
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (left) and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen on stage at Microsoft Ignite 2016

MICROSOFT Corp has made a series of key announcements during this year’s Microsoft Ignite, and all of these announcements, may it be announcement of partnerships, upcoming launches as well as enhancements have one theme in common – digital transformation.
“We all know that IT is information technology, but today, I believe that IT is more about innovation and transformation,” said Microsoft corporate vice president Julia White in Atlanta on Monday morning.
One of the biggest announcements of the day goes to the strategic partnership between two software giants – Microsoft and Adobe Systems Inc.
The strategic partnership is aimed at helping enterprise companies to embrace digital transformation and to deliver compelling, personalized experiences through every phase of their customer relationships.
Together, the two firms will enable businesses to strengthen their brands through solutions with Microsoft Azure, Adobe Marketing Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
“Business leaders in every industry are focused on how to better engage their digital customers wherever they are. Together, Adobe and Microsoft are bringing the most advanced marketing capabilities on the most powerful and intelligent cloud to help companies digitally transform and engage customers in new ways,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
With this strategic partnership, Adobe will make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform for the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud.
Meanwhile, Microsoft will make Adobe Marketing Cloud its preferred marketing service for Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition.
“Customers today expect a well-designed, personalized and consistent experience every time they engage with a brand. Adobe and Microsoft will bring together the cloud horsepower and end-to-end capabilities brands need to design and deliver great digital experiences,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO.
Besides the announcement of the strategic partnership, Microsoft announced the launch of a series of new products and services that will make it easier for IT professionals to drive digital transformation throughout their organisation.
These products and services cover four key areas, including security, productivity, intelligence and cloud. 
In fact some of its products, such as its Office 365, will soon have new features that made it more secure and intelligent.
What’s new in security?

 Microsoft and Adobe announce cloud pact

In the area of security, Microsoft introduced enhancements across its products like Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility+Security.
One of the most notable announcement during Microsoft Ignite 2016 is the introduction of Windows Defender Application Guard. 
The solution, which will be available to Windows Insiders soon and Windows 10 Enterprise customer next year, will make its new browser Microsoft Edge the most secure browser for the enterprise. 
"It is powered by virtualisation-based security technology and uses isolated containers built directly into the hardware to prevent malicious code from spreading across employee devices and corporate network," said Microsoft vice president Ann Johnson (pic above)
This means, if a user clicks on an email link or a link or a link within a webpage that has malicious malware on it, the malware will be contained in an isolated environment/ container and will not be spread to other computers or across the network.
This is a significant enhancement as 90% of phishing attacks use a browser to open and initiate the attack.
“We will start testing out the service with enterprise customers who have expressed initial interest,” said the company.
It also announced that the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Office 365 ATP will now be able to share intelligence among each other. 
This helps IT professionals to investigate and respond to security threats across both Windows 10 and Office 365 more quickly and efficiently.
One of the key enhancement to its Office 365 ATP is the URL detonation (which will be available end of this year). This allows deeper protection against malicious URLs. Not only does it check a list of malicious URLs when a user clicks on a link, but it also do real time behavioural malware analysis in a sandbox environment to identify malicious links.
Artificial intelligence 
Its new artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities - which span agents, applications, services and infrastructure, will transform the way people and organisation work and operate. 
It announced that the Office 365 is getting new cloud powered intelligent capabilities. These capabilities include: Tap in Word and Outlook, Quickstarter for PowerPoint and Sway, and Map. 
Tap uses Microsoft Graph to make it easier to incorporate content from existing documents within an  organisation into the user’s own documents and emails. 
Quickstarter provides curated outlines for any topic, including text and images, that can be used as a starting point to build presentation slides.
Meanwhile, Maps is a new chart type in Excel powered by Bing Maps. This transforms geographic data into high-fidelity visualisations.
It also introduced new features to Microsoft MyAnalytics. The solution, formerly known as Delve Analytics, is a personal analytics service in Office 365 that helps people understand how they spend time at work. Its new capabilities provide team members and leader with insights to help find better ways of working together.
During the conference, it gave a preview of the new skills and inputs for Cortana — Microsoft’s personal assistant and AI agent. These new skills and inputs include: Health Insights (generated automatically from multiple sources) and Reminders (suggested automatically from commitments made in email).
Cloud platform 
As the market expected, the Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 were unveiled during Microsoft Ignite. The company said that the Windows Server 2016 is designed to help IT innovate faster in a hybrid world.
Both of these new products will bring improvements in three areas. First, is that they enable advanced multilayer security. Customers can better block attacks and increase the security of virtual machines, applications and data with layers of protection built into the OS. 
Secondly, its Azure-inspired infrastructure allows customers to get a more flexible and cost-efficient OS for their data centre through software-defined computer, storage and network virtualisation.
Third, is its cloud-ready application platform. The platform offers new way to deploy and run both existing and cloud-native application, regardless if its on premises or in Azure.

Goh Thean Eu reports from Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta, at the invitation of Microsoft Corp. All editorials are independent.
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