A decade-long partnership between Publicis Groupe and Microsoft has recently grown stronger. The holding company and its agency businesses will gain access to data capabilities and artificial intelligence designed for marketing with Microsoft Azure and the Cortana Intelligence Suite.
"This partnership is critical for us because it's one of the biggest bets we're making on the Microsoft platform," Samih Fadli, chief intelligence officer at SapientRazorfish, told Media Daily News. "There's Google, Microsoft and AWS, but we made a decision … that Microsoft Azure would become our preferred platform to build assets."
Fadli said the agency created a customized version of Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant, specifically for Publicis with the algorithms and data models embedded into COSMOS, the holding company's cognitive intelligence marketing platform.
The two companies will jointly create new consumer interfaces and interactions such as facial recognition, natural-language processing and voice recognition.
"We are talking about a new breed of artificial intelligence that brings a new set of marketers that eliminates the need to hire PhDs," Fadli said.
SapientRazorfish leverages COSMOS AI, the artificial intelligence part of the platform, to help brands create custom apps. In one instance, the technology helps to create a custom version of a mobile app that lets the brand's consumers snap a photo of themselves. Based on their location, weather, skin tone, facial features, and eye and hair color, the app would make a product recommendation.
The relationship began in 2009 when Publicis acquired Razorfish from Microsoft. That acquisition turned into a partnership that now supports artificial intelligence through Publicis' marketing cloud COSMOS.
COSMOS, like the universe, creates one view of the consumer by integrating data across a company's network of businesses. "Each star in the universe is a business problem," he said. "The idea is to solve each business problem individually and connect them."