IBM and Microsoft are expanding their collaboration to enable joint clients to speed the deployment of generative AI – and create a new solution that will provide clients with the expertise and technology they need to reinvent their business processes and successfully scale generative AI.

With this announcement, IBM Consulting will focus on assisting clients in implementing and scaling the Azure OpenAI Service in conjunction with Microsoft. The new IBM Consulting Azure OpenAI Service offering, which is now available on Azure Marketplace, is a fully managed AI service that enables developers and data scientists to use strong large language models, such as those in the GPT and Codex series. Its goal is to assist businesses in developing an adoption strategy as well as an initial collection of specialized and value-add generative AI use cases.

In addition to the new offering, IBM and Microsoft have been working together on AI, combining IBM Consulting capabilities and Azure OpenAI Service to develop viable solutions and solve specific use cases, such as:

Procurement and source to pay: The firms are collaborating to provide a solution that combines Microsoft Power Platform and Azure OpenAI Service to assist businesses in automating the extremely manual and fragmented sourcing and procurement process while also driving fresh insights about their supply chain. The system is intended to improve operational efficiency, save time, and provide users with new actionable insights.

Summarization and content generation: Financial institutions and banks are looking into how generative AI may help them develop personalized content for their consumers faster. For example, at a hackathon with Julius Baer Group, IBM Consulting and Microsoft worked on a use case to effectively digest and summarize financial reports while automatically creating an audio version of the report.

Streamline healthcare processes: IBM Consulting is leveraging Azure OpenAI Service to offer a solution that is designed to automatically ingest and analyze complex medical records and policy documents to help automate the prior authorization process. In addition, it is built to provide nurses and doctors with a virtual assistant to help collect information from patient records. The solution aims to help decrease the time needed to process prior authorization requests, reducing administrative burdens and improving the clinician experience.

Enterprise search and knowledge base: For many organizations the information employees need to do their jobs is dispersed and siloed. Working together, IBM Consulting and Microsoft helped Wintershall Dea implement a knowledge extraction tool designed for information retrieval within vast knowledge bases. By integrating OCR and Microsoft Azure OpenAI, a user-friendly tool is created that eliminates the need for manual browsing, allowing users to effortlessly search for valuable insights.

“Businesses are looking for responsible ways to adopt and integrate multi-model generative AI solutions that augment the work their teams are doing in areas such as creative content and code creation, content summarization, and search,” said Francesco Brenna, Global VP & Senior Partner, Microsoft Practice at IBM Consulting. “Our work with Microsoft is another example of IBM’s open ecosystem model designed to bring value to clients while helping them responsibly build and scale generative AI across their businesses.”

As part of the new solution, enterprise customers will also have access to IBM Consulting experts, including 21,000 data, AI, and experience consultants, who can help them effectively implement generative AI models to advance their business transformation.

An open ecosystem approach to AI

IBM Consulting takes an open and collaborative approach to plan, build, implement, and operate generative AI solutions that embrace multiple models on multiple clouds from industry leaders. An open ecosystem approach helps clients define the right models and the right architecture to deliver the desired outcomes. As part of this open approach, IBM Consulting works with clients across industries to assess their generative AI readiness, define the right strategies for their business, and help them implement and responsibly govern generative AI in production.

Getting to enterprise AI at scale requires a human-centric, principled approach, and IBM Consulting helps clients establish guardrails that align with the organization’s values and standards, mitigate bias, and manage data security, lineage, and provenance.

Proven work, expertise and partnership momentum

To help clients prepare data to fuel their generative AI models, select IBM AI technology is currently available on the Azure Marketplace and can be deployed on Azure. Together, we’re enabling clients to accelerate the impact of generative AI using their trusted data.

This work builds on recent momentum with IBM and Microsoft to help clients transform their businesses. IBM Consulting, which has a dedicated global practice focused on Azure Data and AI, has focused on training its consultants, who now have over 40,000 Azure certifications. Additionally, IBM Consulting brings expertise and capabilities to help Microsoft clients through its acquisition of Neudesic, which specializes primarily in Microsoft Azure.

IBM Consulting and Neudesic, together, were also recognized with Microsoft’s 2023 Partner of the Year Award in 13 categories. IBM Consulting is this year’s U.S. Partner of the Year Winner for GSI Growth Champion, which distinguishes IBM as the partner that’s demonstrated the most significant growth—a partner that best offers solutions aligned with Microsoft’s in driving digital innovation and cloud transformation for our joint customers in the U.S.

“Together, Microsoft and IBM are collaborating to deliver innovative solutions, that will help customers responsibly accelerate deployment of generative AI,” said Dinis Couto, GM Global Partner Solutions, Microsoft. “As a leader in the delivery of generative AI and data solutions, we believe that partners like IBM are critical to enabling customers successful use of generative AI to advance business transformation.”


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