Microsoft acquires Orions Systems to expand Dynamics 365 capabilities

Helping organizations maximize the potential of their observational data

The role of computer vision is rapidly expanding to include helping businesses run better and increase earning potential. Retailers, for example, can better manage their physical spaces by gaining a deeper understanding of customer behavior. However, most brick-and-mortar retailers lack the right data to track real-world behaviors and actions leading to missed opportunities to manage costs and increase revenue. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Connected Store is committed to closing this gap, using computer vision and IoT sensors to help understand spaces better, optimize business operations, and meet new levels of customer expectation with real-time observational data.

Computer vision unlocks the opportunity, but challenges remain on how to rapidly configure, train, deploy, and utilize the data to drive actionable business decisions. Additionally, most spaces are unique—creating a last-mile challenge that requires specific customization for each space to optimize the outcomes. Today, this critical step is hard and requires deep expertise, which is scarce and costly for businesses. Our vision is to simplify this customization process so that businesses can more easily use their domain expertise to teach the solution to adapt to their needs using visual tools—no code or tech expertise required. In achieving this vision we will prioritize the businesses’ ability to maintain control and security of their own data, without having to share information with Microsoft or other vendors.

Towards this, today we are announcing the acquisition of Orions Systems, a pioneer in the development of large-scale, hybrid, smart vision systems focused on “human-in-the-loop” machine teaching combined with services that can adapt to running on a single device or scale to address large scale edge-to-cloud network topologies. This adaptable runtime is innovative in many ways. One example is its ability to utilize computer or human insights in real-time to learn and adapt to new data at the edge. Orions Systems has developed a strong reputation and leading technology for organizations seeking to gather and analyze high-value data specifically in the areas of video and image content. The acquisition will bring additional technologies that will allow solutions like Dynamics 365 Connected Store and the Microsoft Power Platform to offer retailers and other organizations a way to build and train their own AI models to customize and optimize how they can learn from their physical space. This extra set of tools will deliver on scenarios beyond what is offered out-of-the-box today and can adapt to the truly unique dimensions and needs of their physical spaces.

Today’s announcement also signals our continued commitment to enabling intelligent retail spaces by leveraging observational data to unlock the full potential of customers, employees, and assets. Check out this short video to see Dynamics 365 Connected Store in action, or visit the product page, and learn more about Orions Systems.