Microsoft Cloud for COVID-19. Facts and Data

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If the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has pushed your 2020 plans in dire straits, you aren’t alone. Businesses all over the world, across the industrial facet and countries, are facing the wrath of human negligence. As expected, profit margins have dropped, unemployment rates have gone higher and above all, the enterprise processes are trying hard to dodge the bullet and execute as much possible by working remotely.

And like every time, technology is at the epicenter of driving communications, empowering millions of remote workers to perform normally and to put it correctly, saving the world. While a swaddle of technology companies have rolled out innovative software applications, Microsoft’s Azure and other applications are leading the show with their prompt response to the world crisis.

Azure’s explosive surge is known as its demand quadrupled within a few weeks. With tools like Microsoft Teams that cater to millions of sessions every day, Azure, which is the backbone of all cloud applications is once again setting examples of producing solutions most effectively.

Just a few weeks before the official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azure had already registered a growth by 62%; taking Microsoft’s collective quarter turnover to USD 11.9 billion.

Here’s a quick run through the different applications that are either built on Azure or working closely with the cloud platform.

Microsoft Teams 

Since millions of employees are confined to work from home, enterprises are in a fix to replace their standard processes; except those who had a backup plan for extreme circumstances like these. However, Microsoft Teams has come to the rescue of enterprises across industrial facet.

In Italy, the platform’s demand surged by 775% due to abrupt lockdown enforced in the country. This has put the application at the forefront of all enterprise communications.

Not only is the Azure driven meeting service seamlessly running professional engagements but also saving cost for the organizations; that helps insensitive days like these. Despite hosting over 900 million meetings every day, Teams hasn’t faced any major disruptions. The number of users has grown explosively to more than 40 million.

In their latest upgrade that is due for the end of April, up to 9 team members will be able to participate in a single video call feature.

The COVID-19 Assessment Bot

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been burning the midnight oil to reinvent better methods for containing the pandemic. Since vulnerability identification is a key process here, Microsoft has joined forces with the agency for quick and accurate filtration of those showing any symptoms of the COVID-19 disease.

Powered by Microsoft Azure, the bot asks users questions about their health so that possible infections could be faultlessly assessed. The bot further uses an AI screening process and empowers organizations in detecting potential infection.

For the first few weeks, the Healthcare Bot service can be accessed on the CDC’s website. The bot will interact with people who fear any symptoms in their health condition and filter those who are at a higher risk of acquiring the infection.

Based on the series of chats and the data analyzed, the bot suggests the next course of action including home remedies, sharing medical support contact numbers of the concerned team and any other details as asked by the user.

Given the severity of the situation caused due to panic, such an automated service helps in educating the population about the right process to follow and that there’s nothing to fear about.

The COVID-19 Portal

As tech giants across the world lock horns with a dependable website to track the COVID-19 expansion, Microsoft’s Bing team had developed the COVID-19 Tracking Portal. Publishing a US heat map illustration, the portal depicts disease distribution in all 50 states while highlighting the worst affected areas in red and so on.

Furthermore, the interactive map also lets the user click on a specific country on the world map and consume updated information about the status in real-time. This includes newly reported cases, deceased count, recovered count and predicted cases.

Aggregating the data from different sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others.

Going Forward

Given the upheaval of events in 2020, businesses need to rekindle their goals for the year ahead. And that requires flexible policies and above all, patience. While all of us need to retrospect and weigh our options, the disparity in profit margins should be expected. Yes, the customer base shall contract that’ll directly impact the income and bring on allied consequences.

Does that mean the end is near? No way! Embracing our learnings from the 2008 dip, we must act wisely, rework our plans and emerge stronger.

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