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Becoming an agile company means building efficiency into every business function. With the explosive growth of the cloud, there are now countless tools and applications right at our fingertips for achieving this. Almost any aspect of work—from data storage to developer tools to the workspace itself—can benefit. Recent updates to a variety of Microsoft tools and systems showcase some of the opportunities today’s organizations have for saving money and increasing productivity across the globe.

Smart buildings can increase productivity, collaboration, and energy efficiency with IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are revolutionizing not only the digital environment but the physical space as well. When applied to buildings and infrastructure, these technologies can help align a company’s culture with its energy-efficiency goals, as well as increase collaboration and productivity. Microsoft recently announced a $5 billion investment in IoT to continue innovation, and smart buildings are a key focus. We are adding new spatial intelligence capabilities to Azure IoT that make it easier to design smart buildings, manage interconnected infrastructures, and promote new thinking about physical spaces. To learn more about these groundbreaking capabilities, read the full post on the IoT blog.

Match IT infrastructures to physical needs

Moving your business processes into the cloud is an important first step toward modernization, but optimizing your cloud configuration to match your specific needs will help your organization run even more efficiently. Azure now allows businesses with lighter workloads to use Standard SSD Disks on their virtual machines, giving them a cost-effective option that’s faster than HDD Disks but uses less energy than Premium SSD. This update also improves reliability, with robust built-in disaster recovery and flexible data backup. To learn more about these recently added capabilities and other benefits of Azure, read through this post on the Azure blog.

More choice and flexibility

Companies that build apps need choice and flexibility around where to run their workloads so they can move quickly and stay competitive. There’s strong demand for solutions that let customers work seamlessly between on-premises resources and those in the cloud. Now we’re making it easier for organizations to extend Azure services and capabilities on premises and on the edge by increasing availability of Azure Stack to a total of ninety-two countries. One leading Romanian telecom service provider, BinBox Global Services, is finding value in the consistency of Azure and Azure Stack by expanding its services to new customers who have data privacy or residency requirements. BinBox CEO Tiberiu Croitoru says, “Microsoft Azure Stack will bring us customers who wanted to exploit the public cloud but were holding back due to data location concerns. In fact, our pipeline already includes about sixty customers we couldn’t have targeted pre-Azure Stack.”

We are always looking for new ways to introduce more efficiency into your business, so you can get more done in less time and at a lower cost. Stay up to date on Microsoft’s latest work in the cloud at http://cloudblogs.microsoft.com.