“Everything we do in technology is centered around the customer connection in the store, the human connection, one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time.”
At the Microsoft Build 2019 conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently demonstrated how Starbucks delivers its signature customer experience with new technologies.
Making recommendations more relevant with reinforcement learning
Starbucks has been using reinforcement learning technology — a type of machine learning in which a system learns to make decisions in complex, unpredictable environments based upon external feedback — to provide a more personalized experience for customers who use the Starbucks® mobile app.
Within the app, customers receive tailor-made order suggestions generated via a reinforcement learning platform that is built and hosted in Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft is shutting down its azure blockchain service
Joshua Mapperson 6 hours ago Microsoft quietly closing down Azure blockchain in September
Microsoft is closing its Azure Blockchain Service, giving existing customers just four months to transition to new service providers.
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Microsoft is turning off its corporate Azure Blockchain Service on September 10 and will not accept any new deployments effective immediately, with no official explanation provided.
Large corporate customers who use Azure Blockchain include J.P. Morgan, GE Aviation, Singapore Airlines, Starbucks, and Xbox according to its website.
The announcement was made in a low key post on the Microsoft documentation site on Monday, informing all current customers to migrate to alternate services.
Microsoft shutting down azure blockchain
In the interim, the focus was to add blockchain partners of all kinds, rather than trying to pick a limited number of potential winners, officials said.
Also:Bitcoin and 11 more cryptocurrencies you need to know
Blockchain is the technology that underpins the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But many tech vendors and users felt it had far more uses beyond that.
A blockchain is a shared ledger that can store the complete transaction history of not just cryptocurrency but other kinds of records. As such, it attracted initial interest among some enterprises, especially those in banking and finance.
Microsoft ended up fielding a preview of Azure BaaS, but lately had not done much to update the service.
However, Microsoft’s product page for Azure BaaS lists GE, J.P.
Microsoft to shut down azure blockchain service
This kind of transparency offers customers the chance to see that the coffee they enjoy from us is the result of many people caring deeply.”
Starbucks previewed digital traceability for shareholders at its annual meeting in March. Eventually, customers will be able to use the Starbucks mobile app to trace the journey of their Starbucks packaged coffee.
“What we’re still working on is interviewing coffee farmers in Costa Rica, Colombia and Rwanda, learning more about their stories, their knowledge and their needs in order to determine how digital traceability can best benefit them,” says Burns.
In essence, reinforcement learning allows the app to get to know each customer better. And while the recommendations are driven by a machine, the end goal is personal interaction.
“Starbucks is an experience,” says Martin-Flickinger.
“And it’s centered around that customer connection in the store, the human connection, one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time. I think that mission is so critical to how technology has to show up for us.”
Now, Starbucks is looking to expand this technology to the drive-thru experience.
“As an engineering and technology organization, one of the areas we are incredibly excited to be pursuing is using data to continuously improve the experience for our customers and partners,” says Martin-Flickinger.
Azure Blockchain Service to ConsenSys’ Quorum Blockchain Service, which is a managed offering on Azure that supports GoQuorum Ledger technology.
“Expanding our relationship with Microsoft helps organizations take advantage of ConsenSys Quorum and Quorum customer support to offer users an enterprise-grade managed blockchain service that can be effortlessly set-up and deployed,” said Joseph Lubin, CEO and founder of ConsenSys.
“We are excited to bring the awarding-winning Quorum product to Azure users as the next step in our collaboration with Microsoft.”
Alternatively, users can opt to self-manage their blockchains using virtual machines (VMs).
How To Migrate To An Alternative:
- To migrate a production workload, first export your data from Azure Blockchain Service.
And according to Francis, reinforcement learning will continue to have an important role at Starbucks in many other applications going forward.
“We’re meeting our customers where they are — whether in-store, in their car or on the go through the app — using machine learning and artificial intelligence to understand and anticipate their personal preferences,” he says. “Machine learning also plays a role in how we think about store design, engage with our partners, optimize inventory and create barista schedules. This capability will eventually touch all facets of how we run our business.”
Implementing IoT to deliver a smooth coffee experience
Each Starbucks store has more than a dozen pieces of equipment, from coffee machines to grinders and blenders, that must be operational around 16 hours a day.
Verify Role is set to Administrator
The added users are displayed in the list with the administrator role assigned.
Managing Blockchain Workbench members
Use the Blockchain Workbench application to manage users and organizations that are part of your consortium. You can add or remove users to applications and roles.
Open the Blockchain Workbench in your browser and sign in as an administrator.
Members are added to each application.
Evaluate the following alternatives based on your development status of being in production or evaluation.
Whaaaat? Buyers should survey the market for the products they need? Thanks, Microsoft. We wouldn’t have figured that out without your wise counsel.
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Microsoft’s document eventually recommends the Quorum Blockchain Service from ConsenSys as a very fine replacement because it uses the GoQuorum Ledger technology that Azure’s Blockchain uses too.
Unsurprisingly, Quorum is also right at home in Azure.
Vole said that existing deployments would be supported until then, but as of May 10 this year, no new deployments or member creation is being supported.
Microsoft had been rather keen on Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) in 2015 with an offering on the Etherum Platform with ConsenSys.
In late January 2016, Microsoft made a preview of a lab environment in Azure’s DevTest Labs so that Blockchain-related services and partners can decouple the Blockchain technology from virtual machines.
Microsoft’s short-term goal for the Azure BaaS was to make available a certified blockchain marketplace.