Is Florida for sale? Because I know a newly rich salesperson. 

By Jane Dornemann

Decorative image of a hot air balloon with a title that reads cloud cover vol 16

Image by Evan Aeschlimann

Wheelin’ and dealin’ 

  • Tax, audit, and advisory firm KPMG has made a multi-billion-dollar commitment to Microsoft (OMG who got that sales comish?! Maybe that person can just buy Florida and put us all out of our misery already). The company will use the Microsoft Cloud and AI services to do things like run smart auditing, get more integrated access to data, and create specialized client solutions. 
  • Teladoc Health plans to integrate Microsoft’s AI-enabled notetaking tools for clinical documentation so physicians can auto-transcribe things like patient visits. OH NO, what if someone comes into the ER and says on arrival, “I’ve got a high temperature!” and the transcription doesn’t work so when the doctor says, “Patient said on arrival they were hot” turns into “Patient dead on arrival, they were hot.” Then someone goes out to tell the family the terrible news except the patient isn’t actually dead, it’s just a fever, and then in the courtroom during the ensuing lawsuit, the doctor is accused of sick thoughts for thinking a dead person was sexually attractive. Maybe we should hit the brakes on this one. 
  • Lacework, which always makes me think of grandma’s doilies, is expanding its partnership with AWS to offer anomaly detection with composite alerts linked to Amazon GuardDuty findings. It also includes integrations with Amazon Security Hub. 
  • In its “growing partnership with Meta…as a preferred partner,” Microsoft and Snowflake announced their support for the Llama 2 family of large language learning models (LLMs). Available on Azure and Windows, this will help developers build generative AI-powered tools. (Not to be confused with AI power tools, which don’t exist but should.) 
  • Snowflake and Microsoft are also working together to simplify their joint customers’ AI projects. The two are working on integrations with Microsoft products like Power Apps and Azure ML. A bigger deal is that joint customers will be able to use Azure OpenAI Service with records stored in Snowflake.  
  • Dell thinks Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 are too complicated to use together, so it’s offering professional services to show businesses how to do so successfully.  
  • Data development platform provider MongoDB is expanding its global efforts with Microsoft to include integrations, service options, and joint marketing initiatives. 
  • Splunk announced it will build its new cloud solutions natively on Azure. Splunk is also previewing its AI Assistant, a generative AI chat interface that is an improved version of the former SPL Copilot. 
  • Global banking firm BBVA will use AWS to deliver advanced analytics and data services in the cloud as part of its data and AI transformation process. Automated insights! Unified data! I can hardly contain myself over this new look. I LOVE makeovers and think this should be a reality show. It would be a Queer Eye meets The Office meets Billions meets Silicon Valley.  
  • In a new collab with Microsoft, Teradata is bringing its VantageCloud Lake to Azure, which will broaden Teradata’s generative AI use cases. 
  • French company Teleperformance, which provides digital communications services to businesses, is using Azure OpenAI in a $185M deal to improve its business communication services. 

World domination 

  • The ability to leave Ohio is no longer the best thing about it—AWS is investing $7.8B to expand its central Ohio data center.   
  • AWS has launched a CloudFront edge location in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s the first one in the country. 
  • In a pioneering act for Japan, banking firm Mizuho is rolling out Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service to 45,000 employees. Staff are pitching ideas on how to use it, but some have already been using it for things like scanning wealthy client portfolios. I wanna scan wealthy client portfolios!!  
  • Leading African payments technology company Flutterwave is working with Microsoft to build its next-gen platform on Azure. 

Gossip (for nerds) 

  • Just as Microsoft dropped a hefty price tag for its corporate AI tools, AWS says it’s focusing on lowering the computing costs customers will need to implement AI, including the price performance of its chips. 
  • It’s a LinkedIn key party! Raejeanne Skillern is now AWS VP and CMO; former AWS data center exec Chris Vonderhaar is now VP of demand and supply management at Google; and once-AWS CMO Rachel Thornton is CMO at Fivetran. 
  • Analysts have no doubt that AI will be Microsoft’s cash cow, driving a potential $100B in revenue by 2027. That is like, 100 Kardashians. In turn, expect the stock price to jump about 25%. Within this broader AI push are six money-making strategies, which include AI APIs, telecom, “bringing Copilot to the masses,” and generative AI for government. (In fact, the company did just add AI tools for Azure Government.) Bing was also cited as a driver but hey, analysts can’t get it right all the time. 

New stuff  

  • Time to learn good! AWS is investing $100M in a generative AI center that will teach businesses how to create and deploy AI projects. The center is already working with companies like Ryan Air and Lonely Planet. 
  • At Inspire, Microsoft said some AI features are headed to Azure, most notably Vector Search, which uses ML to understand the meaning and context of unstructured data.  
  • AWS announced the General Availability of AppFabric, a no-code service that stitches together SaaS applications and security tools. Eventually, AppFabric will get AI capabilities powered by Amazon Bedrock, where The Flintstones live. 
  • Microsoft thinks people are a bunch of AI dumb-dumbs and that we need to get smart on the technology, so to motivate our lazy asses the company is doling out grants, courses, and toolkits for teachers.  
  • Laminar, which sounds like a cheap finishing that goes on my kitchen cabinets but is actually an agile data security platform, co-built a security solution with AWS. It automatically installs, configures, and integrates with native AWS Cloud Foundational Services across multiple domains. 

Ma’am, I’m going to have to call security 

  • It was not a great month for Microsoft security. Orca Security, forever the Microsoft tattletale, disclosed two vulnerabilities in Azure Bastion and Azure Container Registry. 
  • An Azure Portal outage affected 77% of users due to a DDoS attack led by the hacker Anonymous Sudan. But before you’re all like, stop being a jerk Sudan, it was actually Russia. ::Feigns shock:: 
  • Then, a Chinese cyber-espionage group known as Storm-0558 breached the emails of 25 organizations, INCLUDING the US State and Commerce Department. And Microsoft still doesn’t know how they got a hold of the keys they used to access an inactive Microsoft account. 
  • THEN, Microsoft admitted that a Russian cybercrime group called RomCom exploited a vulnerability that is YET TO BE PATCHED in a phishing attack against organizations attending the NATO Summit. The phishing attack “deployed payloads called RomCom Backdoor” which just…takes on a whole different vibe.  

Best Friends Forever 

  • AWS  
    • Multimodal synthetic data generation platform Gretel is now on AWS Marketplace. Can you imagine how boring a marriage to someone would be who works at a multimodal synthetic data generation platform company? I would DREAD the obligatory “what happened at work today?” question. Ugh, prepare my gallows. 
    • Planetscale, a serverless database management company, has joined the AWS ISV Accelerate program. 
    • Digital product engineering company Simform has achieved SaaS competency status with AWS. 
    • Snowflake achieved the US Department of Defense Impact Level 4 Authorization on AWS GovCloud. Sounds scary! Do they get to see Area 51, or what? If not, then ignore this news because it doesn’t matter.  
  • Microsoft 
    • Vector database company Pinecone is now available on Microsoft Azure.  
    • UK-based Sandbox provider NayaOne has arrived on Azure. It helps banks to accelerate solution discovery, prototyping, and scaling. 
    • Whatfix, a digital adoptions platform, is now listed on Azure Marketplace. 
    • Mobile app defense company Appdome has integrated its Cyber Defense Automation Platform with Microsoft Azure DevOps. 


  • TCS is training 25,000 of its engineers to certify them in Azure OpenAI.