Yulia Chala from Microsoft Ukraine: Azure Cloud Services Are High-End Security Yulia Chala from Microsoft Ukraine: Azure Cloud Services Are High-End Security

Yulia Chala is Partner Solution Professional Data and AI (Multi-country Europe) at Microsoft Ukraine. She has the following certificates: Microsoft-INSEAD Value Negotiation, Insight Selling, EXIN DevOps Professional, Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, ICAgile Certified Professional, and ITIL Foundation. The expert constantly participates in company’s public and private events.

On July 4, Yulia took part in AI Conference Kyiv, making a presentation: Introducing AI in large projects from the first steps to the results using Azure cloud services. She examined a case study of applying AI by Rolls Royce as well as explained how AI helped to reduce expenses and increase the level of customer service. Besides, the speaker illustrated how to manage resources from a single window and use predicative analytics in the process.

Yulia provided AI Conference Kyiv with a comprehensive interview. She talked about features and options of Azure cloud services and business objectives solved by artificial intelligence. She also focused on successful examples of utilizing AI technologies in Ukrainian businesses and potential positive changes caused by the common adoption of innovative technologies.

Interviewer: AI Conference Kyiv (AICK)
Respondent: Yulia Chala (Y.C.)

AICK: How do Azure cloud services help in business processes? What is their specific nature?

Y.C.: Cloud services allow companies to speed up corporate changes: it is referred to either optimization projects providing companies with bigger income and fewer expenditures or innovative projects that give a competitive advantage and eventually help to earn more and spend less.

Azure cloud services are high-end security and a cloud with the largest amount of international certificates. It means protection from threats and attacks, the number of which exponentially grows year by year. Moreover, Azure cloud services account for a wide spectrum of tasks (depending on the necessity of applying company’s local resources) from IaaS, PaaS, SaaS to OOB solutions that can be bought in Marketplace like any off-the-shelf product.

AICK: Does Microsoft use big data analytics in its operations? What goals are solved using it?

Y.C.: Surely. For instance, My Analytics in the Office365 package gives a report on the efficiency of working hours to each employee. It allows to asses not only the productivity but also the balance between working and nonworking time. Another example: Intelligent search indexes OneDrive and SharePoint images to recognize texts, while Microsoft Excel’s Insights offers patterns to simplify data analysis and visualization.

My favorite is the Blur option: it recognizes only faces of conference participants during Teams video calls and blurs things behind them, encouraging comfortable communication in any environment. That’s just a small subset of scenarios.

AICK: What business objectives can be solved using AI?

Y.C.: Primarily, AI can solve tasks aimed at accepting business decisions based on real data and provide prompt access to reports updated by a click, thus you can assess the current situation, business performance, and metrics of the company at any time of day or night and from any device.

The technology can reduce the human factor impact: people can get tired,get distracted, or make mistakes. A smart system allows to minimize errors, but people stay in charge of decision making.

Artificial intelligence can enhance security and decrease injuries at the enterprise, improve the 24/7 support of both internal and external clients (chatbots), inform of machinery breakdown, estimate credit risks, detect fraudulent transactions, monitor the environment, and predict climate changes.

AICK: What case studies of successful integration and application of AI in Ukrainian businesses do you know?

Y.C.: The application of Azure cognitive services helps banks to prevent credit money robberies. A taxi service offers a dynamic price formation depending on the time of day and the number of cars at a given place. AI is used to develop the price setting for promotional models in retail. Real-time collection and analytics of sensor data triggered the evolution of alternative В2В area.

AICK: What factors interfere in AI and Big Data promotion in Ukraine?

Y.C.: First off, the data quality, its scatter, the level of readiness for algorithm and model operations. Other important things include poor engagement of businesses in AI optimization idea generation and complexity of input data collection when preparing a business case and describing business requirements. AI and Big Data solutions are not an IT initiative, but a business initiative.

AICK: Your presentation at AI Conference Kyiv was dedicated to the integration of AI into major projects. Is it profitable for small and medium enterprises to adopt AI?

Y.C.: The advantage of small and medium businesses is strong flexibility as well as the speed of decision making and approvals. On the other hand, they face limited capital investments, especially if their compensation period is unclear.

The specific nature of cloud services is that they do not require substantial investments in local IT resources from financial and time perspectives. Furthermore, Azure has ready-to-use services and tools (both PaaS and SaaS ones – ML studio, IoT hub, database management, etc.) as well as a single cloud where you can implement a hybrid task solution.

Regardless of the company size, a lot of innovative projects begin with small steps and goals in order to learn by doing. It doesn’t matter whether a company applies such flexible methods as Аgile or follow the conventional approach to project operations. The issue of AI integration definitely centers around a business case in any change. The statistics shows that companies applying AI advance at a far quicker rate than their competitors.

AICK: Is it possible to calculate now how much a company will save after adopting artificial intelligence?

Y.C.: Certainly. Each company knows its tight spots: where we spend a lot and how we want to earn more. Generally, the collaborative work of business divisions, business analysts, and IT department allows to collect input data: why we need to integrate AI solutions, what it will result in, how much money we have to spend. Indeed, some expenses or changes are difficult to estimate, but they can be added in the business case as supplementary ones.

AICK: How much do companies integrating AI technologies outperform their competitors?

Y.C.: There is nothing permanent except change. Companies outrun competitors due to the better quality of goods, better understanding and care of clients, more qualitative solutions, and involvement of personnel in the uninterrupted cycle of innovations.

AICK: What positive changes can happen in Ukraine because of the common adoption of innovative technologies?

Y.C.: We believe that technologies can and should be the impetus for significant innovations. Microsoft aims to provide each individual with these tools. Innovations are valuable for helping people to achieve excellent results. Imagine a computer that models a natural world, allowing us to develop practical climate changing solutions. Imagine a computer that models human biological systems, creating conditions for incredible discoveries in healthcare.

Technological products and services are becoming more competitive, helping Ukrainian companies to enter foreign markets and small companies to grow easier. Cloud services offer them flexibility in financing new projects using operational expenditures rather than capital ones. New projects are implemented faster, allowing to learn and explore new horizons more rapidly.

AICK: Share your impressions about AI Conference Kyiv. What presentations were the most interesting?

Y.C.: I liked the event, as speakers and attendees had a great opportunity to talk to each other. I listened with a keen interest to presentations by Oleksandr Krakovetskyi, Volodymyr Saviak, Andriy Burlutskyi, and found out many interesting things about Ukrainian innovative projects.

AICK: How, in your opinion, do AI conferences affect industry development? How significant are similar events?

Y.C.: Similar events cut the time between idea emergence and its implementation, inspire for changes not only in our heads but also in fact, which allows Ukrainian companies to keep up with the times and to improve eventually the well-being of Ukrainian citizens and the whole country.

Event results are available on AI Conference Kyiv.

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