Based on interviews with Sai Nageshwaran, Sumeet Parashar, Ananth Ram, Sri Gecka, and Francesco Brenna

Today, at Microsoft’s Ignite conference, we learned that Microsoft Fabric – an AI-powered analytics platform – has reached General Availability (GA). It is set to transform how organizations access, manage, and act on data insights.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the launch of Fabric in public preview. If you missed that announcement or want to learn more about the AI-powered data analytics platform, check out our previous post or our Microsoft Fabric offerings.

In this blog you will hear from data and AI (Artificial Intelligence) leaders at Neudesic— Microsoft’s 2023 US Artificial Intelligence Partner of the Year—and IBM Consulting as they breakdown the announcements, what it means for your organization, as well as where we can help.

What’s New with Microsoft Fabric?

Microsoft Fabric has reached GA, boasting new capabilities that unify the entire data estate and bring powerful AI models to the hands of data scientists – all from within one platform.

We interviewed Neudesic’s Sai Nageshwaran, responsible for Neudesic’s Data Engineering Innovation offerings, on the enhanced Data Engineering capabilities:

  1. Let’s start with Synapse Data Warehouse in Microsoft Fabric. It natively supports open data formats, blending Synapse Dedicated and Serverless SQL Pools. Sai mentions, "the addition of features like real-time table cloning, automatic statistics computation, and SQL security enhancements empowers enterprises to harness the full potential of their data. This is crucial for organizations looking to extract more value from their data and make data-driven decisions."
  2. Real-Time Analytics offers low-latency data streaming, support for various query languages, and integration with other data storage solutions. Sai claims, "this is especially valuable for use cases involving logs, events, and telemetry data.”
  3. Data Factory is now GA in Microsoft Fabric and combines Power Query and Azure Data Factory with over 170 connectors. Sai describes this as "a game changer for ingesting and transforming data while orchestrating data workflows. The platform's enterprise-ready data movement capabilities, along with seamless integration to OneLake and Lakehouse, make it a versatile tool for managing data pipelines effectively."
  4. Unified Security, Administration, and Data Governance is a direct response to the evolving data landscape. Its integration into Microsoft Fabric is huge, according to Sai: "With comprehensive admin, governance, and security features, it offers a complete solution for managing and governing data end-to-end. It's essential for organizations looking to strengthen their data management and governance practices."
  5. Data Engineering Workloads in Microsoft Fabric brings CI/CD integration and REST API support, which streamlines work on notebooks and lakehouses.

To summarize the new AI and ML (Machine Learning) capabilities, we spoke with Sumeet Parashar, Azure Data & AI offering leader, and Sri Greka, Associate Partner, at IBM Consulting:

  1. Microsoft Fabric now includes Copilot, an AI tool that uses natural language to assist with dataflows, pipelines, SQL statements, reports, and machine learning models.
  2. Integration with Azure AI Studio provides a comprehensive solution for exploring, building, evaluating, and deploying AI solutions while adhering to responsible AI practices.
  3. Data Science workloads in Microsoft Fabric receive updates, like the MLflow widget and Synapse ML 1.0, enhancing the capabilities for machine learning and natural language data transformation.

Sumeet added his excitement on the Data Mesh announcement, “Data Mesh is the future, Neudesic and IBM Consulting align seamlessly with Microsoft, particularly with the general availability of Domains in Microsoft Fabric. This paradigm shift will not only simplify the process but also enable a more effective and streamlined approach to building and maintaining architectures."

Perspective on impact: Highlighting Fabric’s benefits in financial services, healthcare, and retail sectors

Organizations across all sectors can benefit from the Fabric. Sai shared how he’s seeing Microsoft Fabric bring transformation to these three sectors:

Financial Services: "In the world of financial services and insurance (FSI), managing vast data amidst stringent regulations is a formidable challenge. Fabric empowers banks, investment institutions and insurance companies with a unified data source, ensuring seamless access to portfolio, reference, market, and risk data, transcending the complexities of compliance and expediting critical decision-making."

In a recent webinar, Neudesic and Microsoft dived deep into the In a recent webinar, Neudesic and Microsoft dove deep into the potential of GenAI (Generative AI) for efficient risk and compliance management. Watch the on-demand session, Revolutionizing Financial Services with Generative AI-Powered Risk Management, or join us in an upcoming FSI Generative AI roadshow near you.

Healthcare: "In the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, payors and practitioners that embrace Fabric will realize swifter execution, minimize data redundancy, and convert data into actionable impacts. There are many diverse use cases, ranging from unlocking valuable patient insights, identifying cancerous tumors, or automating a manual claims process."

Retail: "When data is wielded effectively, it becomes the key to personalizing customer experiences and driving greater profitability in the retail sector. The hurdle for many retailers lies in fragmented data. Fabric unifies these diverse data sources, providing a comprehensive view of customer transactions, and digital or in-store interactions.”

How Neudesic and IBM Consulting drive business value with Microsoft Fabric

As featured Microsoft Fabric partners, both Neudesic and IBM Consulting have been part of Microsoft Fabric’s private and public preview from the early days. Innovation teams from both companies have partnered to create joint solutions that accelerate business value and the adoption of Fabric for clients.

One such client is Energy Transfer, who engaged Neudesic and IBM Consulting to create a predictive model that would enable their teams to make better, quicker, more accurate decisions and improve profit margins.

"Neudesic introduced us to the game-changing potential of Microsoft Fabric. The unified data estate and powerful AI modeling have empowered us to accelerate time series forecasts further into the future than before. Enabling earlier and impactful business decisions."

– Clay Doise, Director, IT (Information Technology) Business Intelligence at Energy Transfer.

Partner with Neudesic and IBM Consulting

Neudesic and IBM Consulting is your trusted advisor for both your Microsoft Fabric strategy and implementation. But don’t just take our word for it:

“IBM Consulting is instrumental in the growth and adoption of Microsoft Fabric. IBM Consulting, along with Neudesic, is investing in building end to end usage scenarios for specific industry sectors and adopting Microsoft Fabric for a co-developed Source to Pay solution.”

— Arun Ulag, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft

Getting started with Microsoft Fabric

Here are a few ways you can get started on your transformation journey:

Schedule a Fabric Workshop

Neudesic and IBM offer a Fabric workshop that enhance your understanding of the solution, explores use cases, and helps you develop a roadmap for deploying Fabric in your organization.

Microsoft Fabric Jumpstart and Accelerators

Neudesic and IBM have built IP for lightning-fast implementation and industry specific use cases. The firms have invested over 50,000 engineering hours into these accelerators to create enterprise-grade solutions that are easy to implement and maintain.

Migrate to Microsoft Fabric

Ananth Ram, CTO at IBM Consulting, describes what makes Neudesic’s and IBM’s Fabric migration offering unique:

"At the heart of our framework is generative AI, facilitating a seamless transition to Fabric. We employ this technology to address a wide range of tasks, from data discovery to code optimization, resulting in elevated system performance and efficiency. Additionally, generative AI automates critical functions, including query generation, workload analysis, and code conversion, enabling a smoother and more efficient migration."

Source to Pay Solution on Azure.

In collaboration with Microsoft, the firms have co-developed this S2P Platform which enhances procurement and focuses on orchestrating processes end-to-end.

Francesco Brenna, VP and Senior Partner, Global Microsoft Practice leader at IBM Consulting provided a summary of the offerings:

“With over 1,000 practitioners building IP assets and offerings, Neudesic and IBM Consulting are fully committed to and invested in accelerating the adoption of Microsoft Fabric for our clients. Our offerings cover GenAI-enabled migration to OneLake, industry specific usage patterns, as well as adoption of Microsoft Fabric for our own co-developed solution for Source to Pay. As a strategic partner of Microsoft, we will not only work as a trusted advisor to clients for strategy and implementation of Microsoft Fabric’s adoption, but also work with Microsoft to provide valuable feedback and roadmap recommendations.”

Wrap Up

The now-available Microsoft Fabric signifies a commitment to empowering organizations with the tools and capabilities they need to manage, analyze, and secure their data effectively. These enhancements are pivotal in enabling organizations to make informed decisions and drive innovation through data-driven insights.

Read more in Fabric’s GA on the Microsoft blog