Big UC News from AWS, Daisy, Microsoft, Google and OpenAI

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Published: May 3, 2024

Kieran Devlin

AWS’s Enterprise Gen AI Assistant Amazon Q Now Generally Available

AWS has announced that its generative AI assistant for enterprise, Amazon Q, is now generally available.

Also targeting developers, AWS positions Amazon Q as a leading Gen AI-powered assistant designed to expedite software development and harness internal data within companies.

AWS’s enterprise-specific iteration, Q Business, is promised to be a transformative AI-powered assistant capable of answering queries, providing summaries, generating content, and executing tasks securely using enterprise data. This innovation empowers employees to enhance creativity, leverage data-driven insights, and boost efficiency, readiness, and productivity.

Dr. Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Artificial Intelligence and Data at AWS, said:

Amazon Q is the most capable generative AI-powered assistant available today with industry-leading accuracy, advanced agents capabilities, and best-in-class security that helps developers become more productive and helps business users to accelerate decision making.”

Q Business was inspired by organisations having to grapple with vast data distributed across numerous documents, systems, and applications, consuming valuable time as employees scour internal sources for information, conduct analyses, write reports, and adapt content.

Daisy Reportedly Close To £1.2Bn Merger With Wavenet

Daisy is reportedly close to a merger with IT solutions provider Wavenet.

As first reported by Sky News, Matthew Riley, Founder and Executive Chairman of Daisy Group, is said to be in the concluding phases of a merger agreement with Wavenet, a company that has been majority-owned by Australian financial firm Macquarie since 2021.

The deal will entail Daisy being demerged from Daisy Group and merged into Wavenet. Sky’s sources say the result could be a company valued at over £1 billion.

“This deal brings together two prolific consolidators, making Wavenet the largest independent Managed Service & Security Provider for large SME & corporate customers,” Philip Grannum, Chief Executive of Wavenet, told Sky News. “It provides both Daisy and Wavenet customers greater access to enterprise-grade solutions combined with the very best customer service and gives fantastic career opportunities for our employees.”

The combined business, which is set to be named Wavenet, will form a managed services provider boasting over 2,000 employees and over 20,000 UK enterprise clients, including prominent names such as Costain, the NHS, and Transport for London. Wavenet says this will make it the UK’s largest independent provider of managed IT services.

Google Worries Catalysed Microsoft’s OpenAI Investment, Emails Say

Emails published in the US Justice Department’s antitrust case against Google suggest that Microsoft‘s investment in OpenAI was prompted by concerns about Google’s superior progress in AI.

As first reported by Business Insider, the Justice Department’s investigation triggered the release of an internal email between Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates, CEO Satya Nadella, and CTO Kevin Scott. The June 2019 email, titled “Thoughts on OpenAI”, outlined the investment opportunity in the AI organisation while highlighting the areas in which Google was significantly ahead of Microsoft in its AI research and models.

Although Scott admits to being initially “dismissive” of OpenAI and Google DeepMind’s “game-playing stunt(s)”, possibly referring to the latter’s AlphaGo Zero demonstrations of AI’s potential, Scott became alarmed when he observed how advanced competitors’ natural language processing (NLP) models had become.

“The thing that’s interesting about what Open AI and Deep Mind and Google Brain are doing is the scale of their ambition,” Scott said in the email.

I was highly dismissive of their efforts. That was a mistake. When they took all of the infrastructure that they had built to build NLP models that we couldn’t easily replicate, I started to take things more seriously. And as I dug in to try to understand where all of the capability gaps were between Google and us for model training, I got very, very worried.”

Microsoft Upgrades Offline Mode for OneDrive, Launches ‘Follow’ Teams Meeting Option in Outlook

Microsoft is upgrading OneDrive with several new significant offline capabilities to boost productivity and collaboration.

The new features can be grouped into two categories: those that support users when they are offline and those that support them when they are online but wish to proactively prep for more effective offline working.

The former capabilities include opening and interacting with OneDrive’s “Home”, “My files”, “Shared”, “Favorites”, “People”, and “Meeting” views, as well as opening locally stored Office and non-Office files in their native app to make and save edits. The latter features users being able to designate specific files or folders for offline access directly from the OneDrive web interface.

In other Microsoft news, Microsoft Outlook users will soon be able to choose to “follow” a Teams meeting in response to meeting invitations.

Currently, invitees have a limited range of responses, such as “Accept”, “Decline”, or “Maybe”. The new Follow option will allow users the added possibility of simultaneously rejecting a meeting invitation while also expressing their desire to stay informed, meaning they will automatically receive post-meeting recaps.

Artificial IntelligenceBig UC NewsCorporate FinanceDigital TransformationGenerative AIHybrid WorkMergers and AcquisitionsMicrosoft TeamsProductivityUCaaSVideo ConferencingWorkplace Management

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