By Kevin Peesker, President Microsoft Canada
We start 2022 with much of the country in various stages of lockdown due to the surge of the Omicron variant. And yet I feel hopeful for the year ahead, because if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s this: Canadians are resilient. We’ve endured almost two years of this pandemic, which has disrupted every part of our work and lives, but I am so encouraged by the innovations from our partners and customers.
Across Canada, organizations of all types are using cloud, data and AI to make life more inclusive, accessible and sustainable for Canadians and driving innovation across sectors that will help Canada thrive in the post-pandemic world.
A small sampling of innovations introduced by our customers and partners in the last year:
Mercedes-Benz Canada is leveraging Microsoft HoloLens and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to empower frontline workers and redefine vehicle maintenance; the City of Laval is using AI to transform citizen services.
In banking, Interac is leveraging Azure to fuel innovation, enabling faster payments for Canadians at a time when digital transactions are soaring; CIBC is leveraging AI tools and the cloud to turn their huge swaths of data into actionable insights to better serve their customers.
On the healthcare front, CAE Healthcare in Montreal created a mobile app to teach clinicians how to handle and administer approved COVID-19 vaccines; University Health Network in Toronto is continuing their groundbreaking work to treat cancer with more precision using AI and machine learning.
Ontario Power Generation, Natural Resources Canada and Desjardins are all leveraging AI to create a more sustainable future for all Canadians; the Government of Nunavut is using it to preserve Inuit culture and make services like education, training and healthcare more accessible for residents with the introduction of Inuktitut in Microsoft Translator.
These incredible, impactful projects were possible because organizations had access to innovative technology like cloud, data, AI, and mixed reality, but they also had the skilled workforce needed to build on this technology. Helping every Canadian access the skills they need to succeed in a tech intensive world has long been a priority for Microsoft Canada. We will continue to drive this forward in 2022 with partners like Npower and our work with the Digital Supercluster, and programs like the Canada Skills Program.
2021 was a difficult year but we have much to celebrate. As we look ahead, I am excited to see even more innovations from our partners and customers that will drive a more sustainable future and make Canada more accessible, inclusive, and prosperous for all.