Microsoft Helps Educate Customers, Partners on AI

Keeping up is like constantly training for a marathon. Microsoft wants to help.

Lynn Haber

March 11, 2019

3 Min Read
Artificial intelligence

When the pace of rolling out new technologies seems faster than ever, keeping up is like constantly training for a marathon. For partners banking on new technologies to open doors to their business, education is key to their success — even when that means the education of their customers. To help business leaders boost their AI savvy, Microsoft on Monday launched its AI Business School.

The AI Business School is designed to serve as a resource for business leaders as they create their own AI strategy and establish an AI-ready culture across their organizations. The time is ripe for partners and their customers to expand their knowledge around AI.

Late last year, CompTIA’s newly formed Emerging Technology Community voted AI as the No. 3 technology out of a list of 10, poised for near-term profitability for partners. Around the same time, Microsoft added more AI applications to its Dynamics 365 portfolio, on its quest to democratize the technology.


Microsoft’s Mitra Azizirad

“There is a gap between what people want to do and the reality of what is going on in their organizations today, and the reality of whether their organization is ready,” said Mitra Azizirad, corporate vice president for AI marketing at Microsoft. “Developing a strategy for AI extends beyond the business issues; it goes all the way to the leadership, behaviors and capabilities required to instill an AI-ready culture in your organization.”

The AI Business School is non-technical and focuses on helping executives ready to lead their organization on a journey of AI transformation.

This isn’t Microsoft’s first educational AI initiative — the AI Business School complements other efforts such as the developer-focused AI School and the Microsoft Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence, which provides job-ready skills and real-world experience to engineers and others looking to improve their skills in AI and data science.

The curriculum is focused on four key learning modules: strategy, culture, responsible AI, and AI technology:

  • AI Strategy: Best practices on how to drive successful strategic approaches to AI, from different vertical industries, including shared knowledge from customers in industries including manufacturing, telecom, retail and health care.

  • AI Culture: There will be several detailed experiences and guidelines for approaching AI and its impact across organizations, and best approaches for building an AI-ready culture, incuding detailed case studies from Microsoft’s internal AI approach.

  • Responsible AI: Brad Smith, president at Microsoft, leads a discussion on responsible AI approaches, including detailed whitepapers on Microsoft’s lessons learned with early AI efforts, as well as shared guidelines for how to approach AI use in an ethical responsible way.

The AI Business School was developed in partnership with INSEAD, a graduate business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and offers insights from executives across industries and business functions about overcoming the top challenges faced when using AI in organizations.

The curriculum will be updated with new, relevant content as AI continues to impact every business process and every employee. This master class series is free and available online, so users can consume it at their own pace.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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