Microsoft today, at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, announced the Cortana Analytics Suite which is a service that will take the company’s machine learning, big data and analytics products and package them together in one huge, monolithic suite.
The service is an integration of various other tools from Microsoft including Azure ML, the company’s cloud machine learning product, its data visualization tool PowerBI and Azure Data Catalog, a service announced just last week and launched today, designed for sharing and surfacing data stores inside a company and many others.
According to Joseph Sirosh, Corporate vice president at Microsoft, who is in charge of Azure ML, the new suite aims to bring integration of pieces, which are the different analytics and data services from Microsoft, so customers have a comprehensive platform to build intelligent solutions.
Cortana is a small part of this solution and according to Sirosh, the suite has been named after the software giant’s voice driven assistant to “symbolize” the contextualized intelligence that the company hopes to deliver across the entire suite.
Using the suite, the Redmond giant expects to provide an integrated solution, third parties and systems integrators will build packaged solutions based on the suite, and that customers will be attracted by a product with pieces designed to play nicely together. This new approach makes the solution much simpler as it is an integration of smaller units. Thus, the complexity of the problem is reduced, at least on paper.
Further, Microsoft explained the service using an example of a new medical service the company is working with. The program is called ImagineCare, a coordinated medical care project at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; it is built on top of the Cortana Analytics Suite and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM tool.
The service aims to monitor a patient’s vital signs including heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, weight gain and so forth. The collected data is then uploaded to the Azure cloud which will help coordinate better care and perhaps prevent a major medical event like a heart attack. This is supposedly going to be a service Microsoft will be making mainstream in the near future as it has not yet been through to the implementation stage.
However, this is not the first time that a company has been working to provide its consumers with an integrated suite.
The Office Suite from Microsoft itself could be a good example as it is an integration of different services including Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc. According to Sirosh, buying this suite as a whole would be a better option for consumers than buying each software individually as this would result in a much lower price as well as a single billing.
Pricing of the new suite hasn’t been out yet but according to the company, the service will be out later this Fall.