Tag Archives: Business Innovation

BIMA & Microsoft Roadshow Liverpool – Wednesday 2nd May 2018

Working in the IT industry, it is important to keep abreast of the latest developments. For me personally, I like to take an interest in how the changing technology landscape, affects both the economic and social society we live in.

Earlier this month BIMA North West in partnership with Microsoft held an event at Avenue HQ, which looked at the above. I was looking forward to learning more about how Microsoft is developing technological solutions, which will shape the future for businesses and agencies. In addition, I also relished the opportunity to network with other technical professionals and creative minds.bima_microsoft1

The event began with an introduction from Andy Kent of Angel Solutions and Ian Finch of Mando. Both set the tone, by talking about the innovative work of their agencies, and how emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and cloud computing are changing how businesses operate.

Andy and Ian were then followed by James Akrigg of Microsoft, who delivered an informative presentation. This looked at using AI to understand and translate languages, as well as Microsoft’s ongoing research to improve its capabilities, including image recognition and cognitive services (vision, language, speech, emotion and audio). All of this sounds like science fiction, but they are becoming more entrenched in reality.

Following this, the event split into separate workshops that were delivered by Microsoft technologists, Philip Harvey and Jodie Rodgers. Each presented various aspects of how technology and data can be used intelligently by businesses. This included looking at good practices of intelligent handling, storing, processing, and cleansing of cloud-based data from its rawest form, to accurately visualise and present it. By using these innovations, this provides businesses with the opportunity to identify areas of improvement, and create further value.

What impressed me about James, Philip and Jodie, is they were knowledgeable, friendly, and able to explain technical content in a simple and understanding tone. Coming from a technical background, I was able to understand the terminology, and it was wonderful to sit and listen to them talk about such exciting technological innovations. Quite simply I shall say, the possibilities to enrich and benefit businesses and society, are endless!

So what did I learn from the event? The answer is that I picked up so much in great detail about Microsoft’s Azure cloud solution and Power BI data analytics tools. There were also reoccurring themes from the event related to data and technology, which I have learned and included below:

  1. Data is the new oil!
  2. It is important to amplify human ingenuity with intelligent technology.
  3. Technologies have to be the right fit for a business.
  4. Ability to process data is a vital skill in the marketplace.
  5. Today’s software is becoming smarter.
  6. Before using data, it is important to sort, cleanse, organise and secure it.
  7. If harnessed intelligently, data can bring value to any business.
  8. Quality of data is important, and security is everyone’s responsibility.
  9. Humans prefer data presented visually.
  10. Data needs to be accurate, cleansed, simplified and presented in real-time.

Following lunch, there was an opportunity to take part in a boot camp. This involved taking a fictional case study and applying the knowledge learned from the workshops to devise a solution. Working as part of a team, I was able to contribute ideas, but also to listen and take in suggestions of fellow team members, before helping to present a solution to other attendees.bima_microsoft3

To conclude, I loved every moment of this event. From the speakers, networking and those incredible Microsoft tools, this has given me an insight into the future. It has also given me fresh impetus to learn and write more about AI, ML and cloud computing, especially Microsoft Azure, which I am looking forward to sharing in the future.

I would like to thank everyone involved with organising a terrific day. This includes Andy, Ian, everyone at BIMA, Angel Solutions, Mando and also to Avenue HQ for their hospitality. My thanks also go to James, Philip, Jodie and everyone at Microsoft for sharing their knowledge, technical expertise, visionary thoughts, and their smiles and humour.

If you would like to find out more, why not click on the link below:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/partner/digitalagency/

Thank you for reading!

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KTN Entrepreneur’s Forum – Driving Growth through Business Model Innovation

As times change, businesses need to adapt and innovate constantly. With technology driving changes, this means that innovation is required for businesses and organisations, to drive growth and develop organically.

Last Wednesday, I attended an interesting Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) Entrepreneur’s forum, held at Launch22, on this very subject. Although I am not a business owner or entrepreneur, I believe the principles of adopting innovation is just as necessary for personal development, in order to become more productive.

As with previous events, there was the usual opportunities for networking and nibbles (in this case giant pizzas!), before listening to three excellent speakers. These speakers were Ian Tracey from KTN, Mark Russell from Bmicro, and Peter Lang from Giggle Software. Each speaker talked about different aspects to consider when innovating your business. These ranged from starting off your business, doing something you enjoy that will also earn you money, as well as ensuring your business is nimble enough to adapt and change quickly. Listening to all three was a real pleasure, as each talked in good informative detail that was understandable and jargon-free, allowing me to understand easily.

I was particularly taken with Peter’s story. Listening to him talk about starting up Giggle Software to develop video games, resulting from his passion for drawing and illustrating from a young age, was a delight to listen to. Seeing such enthusiasm is what makes attending these events so worthwhile to me. You can have find out more about Peter’s work here.

Other useful points mentioned included the following:

  1. Be careful on how many freebies you give away.
  2. Have the confidence to ask for money for your product.
  3. Excellent customer service is paramount, as you need to stand out from others, for the right reasons.
  4. You are not just selling a product, but the experience you provide.
  5. Be selective with the information that you share, as others can steal your ideas.
  6. Important to collaborate and meet with others.
  7. Look at what the competition are doing.
  8. Collect feedback on your business and act on it!

Following the talk, there were opportunities for further discussion between attendees. This was my favourite part of the evening, as it allowed me to listen, contribute and learn from others. The discussions along with the excellent talks given by the speakers, made for a quality event, and as I left afterwards, I thought about what I had learned from the evening, regarding innovating business models, in order to change, adapt and grow.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Ian, Mark and Peter for giving a very informative and interesting talk. In addition, my thanks also go to Laura Thomas and Celina Ploskonka of Freshly Squeezed, as well as KTN and Launch22, for a successful forum.