Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, was under the Cirque du Soleil Big Top yesterday to discuss the keys to digital and artificial intelligence. In a nutshell, he discussed “Digital Transformation.” Discover more about digital transformation and artificial intelligence:

What is digital transformation?

Answer: Digital transformation is actually the next step in the evolution of our industries to stimulate business results. It is also, and above all, the 4th industrial revolution. Digital transformation has no borders and is a milestone of substantial change.

Think about opportunities in the public sector, whether to revolutionize the health and civil security sectors or to empower citizens to play a greater role in the development of their communities and reinvent them. Let’s take an example – a health organization that wants to allow its teams to coordinate care for individuals and communities.

Imagine an online retailer who wants to understand its clients and communicate with them to influence their purchasing decisions and who can now use, structure and analyze their data.

Or think of a financial institution that wants to offer a personalized service to its customers and allow more fluidity and reactivity in the management of its operations, drawing inspiration from the successful practices of a branch to allow all the others to distinguish themselves and promote awareness of their services and brand.

Digital transformation is all of this.

What is a digital business?

Answer: The digital transformation of business has long focused on operational efficiency. But its potential is much greater. Gartner defines digital business as “the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds.

CIOs and other leaders of digital businesses are currently thinking about ways to reinvent their vision from the questions asked below. We must examine in more detail some of the concerns of such leaders and the opportunities that are offered as they implement digital transformation.

Organizations must ask and answer for themselves the following two key questions:

How does digital technology change your business?

How does digital technology change your business model?

To answer these questions, you need to think like a digital business… Namely, operating as a digital business beyond the acquisition and deployment of individual solutions – such as CRM, ERP or even office automation solutions – and instead aim to develop intelligent systems.

Artificial intelligence for your business: what does it mean?

Answer: Data is the primary asset of modern businesses, and artificial intelligence allows them to exploit such data in ways that were not possible before, thus providing your business with incredible opportunities to distinguish itself.

Understanding this data allows companies to concretely study markets, customers, trends and draw conclusions in real time on a large scale. Imagine taking your customers’ comments, interactions, business documents, videos, voice, etc. and understanding them in real time, analyzing them and making recommendations.

Finally, natural user interfaces help your business eliminate the technological barriers between your business, customers and employees. Conversational agents, voice detection, emotion detection, and more – all of this will offer a more humane technology, accessible to everyone.

For more information:

Microsoft is investing in artificial intelligence in Canada with Element AI and Maluuba, a start-up company based in Montreal and Waterloo that focuses on deep learning. By doing so, Microsoft marks another milestone in its strategy of making AI more accessible and easier to use for consumers, businesses and developers.

Visit our digital transformation page.