Microsoft hopes its cloud expertise can modernize nonprofits

It's also bringing its Industry Cloud package to Manufacturing and Financial Services.

After debuting its new Industry Cloud service with a suite of tools for the healthcare sector last year and unveiling a Retail-specific version in January, Microsoft is ready to introduce more areas of focus. The company is announcing today three new offerings — Cloud for Financial Services, Cloud for Manufacturing and Cloud for Nonprofit. That last one is most interesting, given how nonprofits are a slow-moving industry that can take longer to modernize.

Microsoft said that its Tech for Social Impact initiative has been working to empower the nonprofit sector since 2017. Last year, it introduced a Fundraising and Engagement service for its Dynamics 365 sales tool that can support common scenarios like recurring donations and membership opportunities. The new Cloud for Nonprofit will integrate this tool, while bundling Microsoft 365, Power Platform, Azure and Linkedin to make tasks like fundraising and volunteer engagement and management easier.

The two other new Cloud products are similar packages tailored for their respective industries. For Manufacturing, for example, the tools will work with standards like the Open Manufacturing Platform, the OPC Foundation and the Digital Twins Consortium. It'll offer means to automate certain processes, along with the usual Microsoft tools like Teams and Dynamics 365. Both the Manufacturing and Nonprofit packages will be available as public previews by the end of June.

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement

Cloud for Financial Services will be ready a little sooner, going into public preview on March 31st. It's meant to help financial institutions build unified customer profiles, simplify onboarding and support and make remote service easier. Since fraud and crime are of particular concern here, Microsoft also highlighted Cloud for Financial Services' financial crime protection and risk analytics tools.

In addition to bringing Cloud to three new industries, Microsoft is also releasing its first update to the Healthcare service and sharing that Cloud for Retail will be available as a public preview on March 31st. As a recap, Cloud for Healthcare offered medical businesses a suite of tools like a patient portal, a bot to answer frequently asked questions and Teams for secure remote visits

This April, an update will bring new Dynamics 365 Patient access features to make it easier to self-schedule virtual and in-person appointments. A Power Portals feature will allow physicians to see what appointments are coming up and who's waiting in their virtual patient queue. Microsoft is also adding a "new device management feature for continuous patient monitoring" that can help medical providers track their inventory of products like wearables or remote blood pressure monitors. Cloud for Healthcare will also support eight new languages.

Microsoft will be sharing more details about the Industry Cloud products and more of its upcoming news at the Ignite virtual conference in early March, so stay tuned for more news out of that.