EY is extending alliance with Microsoft to bring innovative digital solutions to the agribusiness industry

Data-driven approach enhances agricultural productivity with artificial intelligence and Internet of Things

LONDON, Oct. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- EY today announced that it is extending its alliance with Microsoft to combine digital and cloud technologies to help the agricultural industry turn its digital transformation strategies into action. The alliance will provide a foundation to develop data-driven solutions that leverage advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to help agricultural organizations use data to drive efficiencies and business opportunities.

The initiative will combine EY's technology consulting experience and its agribusiness knowledge with Microsoft's digital suite of tools and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to help companies innovate and transform their businesses.

For example, EY and Microsoft will collaborate to develop solutions with a focus on data, analytics and artificial intelligence to support farmers and growers in increasing productivity, and help the industry digitize how crop data is aggregated, monitored and analyzed through e-commerce capabilities. This will help farmers increase efficiencies and competitive advantage using the data they collect on crop production, supply chain, machinery operation, and other business-critical data points.

EY and Microsoft announced the initiative at Chicago Ideas Week, an annual festival in October that features more than 200 events spread across the city, during a session about data-driven farming and the role that technology will continue to play in increasing yields and field sustainability. EY and Microsoft are among the sponsors of the event.

Rob Dongoski, EY Global Agribusiness Leader, says:

"By 2050, the world's population will increase to an estimated 9.6 billion people, which will require 70% more food than is available today. The entire food value chain is challenged with feeding the world in ways that are safe, transparent, and sustainable. The EY-Microsoft Agribusiness initiative will play a significant role in helping to deliver the solutions the industry needs to provide for a growing population, whether that is through connected field services or other digital solutions. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft and go to market with a robust, dynamic initiative with a focus on agribusiness."

At Chicago Ideas Week, Microsoft demonstrated a number of proofs of concept that include sensors, drones, connectivity capabilities, and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning.

Egbert Schroeer, Microsoft Chemical & Agribusiness Leader, Microsoft, says:

"Microsoft's vision for shaping the future of agriculture is to help feed the world with innovative technology solutions that use fewer chemicals in a sustainable way. EY leadership and experience in agribusiness consulting and data analytics matched with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and Azure Machine Learning can together provide farmers, agribusiness suppliers, manufacturers and traders with unique and custom solutions."

Under the new initiative, EY and Microsoft will focus on the comprehensive agribusiness value chain, which includes retail, crop protection, crop inputs, grain processing, machinery, precision agriculture and grain and meat processing.

Greg Cudahy, EY Global Leader Tech, Media and Telco and EY Global leader -- Microsoft Alliance,says:

"The EY and Microsoft alliance was formed with a vision to jointly develop innovative digital solutions that can help clients address an array of problems. This latest extension of the alliance into the area of agribusiness advances our objectives, leverages our Advisory knowledge base and is a significant milestone in not only improving the food production supply chain, but in greater food safety and increased transparency. We look forward to applying EY initiatives as a result of this alliance to build a better working world for our clients, our communities, and our people - in this case, with capabilities that can help meet the challenge of producing enough food to keep pace with worldwide consumption."

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