Accenture (ACN) - Get Report and Microsoft have teamed to develop and deliver a digital platform to support Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana's (CNMI) first-ever Milan Digital Fashion Week, which goes live today. The platform will digitize key moments of Milan Fashion Week, helping to sustain the sales campaign ecosystem, and maintain core industry relationships in an effort to address the challenges presented by the current market environment.
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Accenture and Microsoft provide digital platform to support Milan Digital Fashion Week (Photo: Business Wire)
Fashion brands, emerging designers and industry professionals can use the digital hub to interact with buyers, media, influencers and consumers from anywhere in the world through an engaging, multi-channel experience that includes chats, videoconferences, bots, holograms and completely virtual spaces.
Accenture Interactive designed and developed the digital experience and the Accenture Microsoft Business Group built and implemented the innovative technology platform. Microsoft deployed its cloud and artificial intelligence solutions and expertise, envisaging and supporting the development of the digital hub.
"For the first time in its history, CNMI is experimenting with a highly innovative formula through a live digital platform to tell the story of Italian fashion. We are very happy with our collaboration with two large companies such as Accenture and Microsoft for the creation of this innovative digital platform," said Carlo Capasa, Chairman of CNMI. "Today we are presenting a revolutionary project that will open Milan Fashion Week up to a broader audience of non-professionals: a demographic composed of younger generations that consume fashion via images and to whom CNMI has assumed the role as Fashion Translator with the aim of conveying the creativity and culture that emanates from the Italian fashion world."
The platform is organized in three layers: 1) a fashion content hub for live streaming of fashion shows, virtual catwalks and other industry-related events and roundtables; 2) a virtual showroom system, showcasing digital catalogues and ambience virtualization, as well as providing dedicated support to manage ordering processes; 3) and finally, a data-driven insights platform, accessible to professionals, to obtain business insights from people's interaction with brands, events and content.
"Bringing together Accenture talent and drawing on our technology and industry experience, as well as our close relationship with Microsoft, the digital platform is an innovative way to help CNMI address today's unique circumstances," said Alessandro Zanotti, managing director, Accenture Interactive. "This platform enables fashion industry stakeholders - from brands and buyers to trendsetters - to come together to experience the magic of Milan Fashion Week in a new, digital way."
The hub integrates solutions for the complete management of the customer journey, using the Microsoft Teams collaboration and communication platform and Dynamics 365 Customer Relationship Management features, including the possibility for brands to develop customized apps and virtual agents through Microsoft Power Platform.
The solution was delivered in collaboration with Avanade and relies on Accenture and Microsoft's rich partner ecosystem. Customer-centric digital experience platform provider Episerver, a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms, was chosen for its ability to manage both content and commerce.
Luba Manolova, director, Business Group Lead Microsoft 365 & CyberSecurity Microsoft Italia, said, "Now more than ever, it is essential to look at new technologies as an opportunity to drive positive change. The fashion world represents one of the country's flagships and by making available our cloud platforms, digital expertise and ecosystem of Partners/ISVs we mean to support this strategic industry in its recovery. Thanks to platforms like Microsoft Teams that help us to communicate and collaborate in a secure and compliant way, enhanced by cloud technologies and AI, we can design innovative digital experiences that will establish long-term benefits for the fashion industry, and help to guide us to develop new sustainable business models that will boost Made-in-Italy brands economic and social power. We are delighted to have the opportunity to lead innovation and support CNMI in its evolution journey together with Accenture, digitally empowering not only well-known fashion brands, but also emerging designers and professionals involved in such a strategic event as Milan Fashion Week, contributing to the growth and the digital transformation of the Italian fashion industry."
The platform integrates with solutions already in use by Italian fashion companies and is intended to evolve to meet emerging needs of the sector by providing new functionalities. In the long term, the entire value chain will benefit by being able to build and expand the project, digitizing increasingly sophisticated activities such as the design and selection of materials. This can help reduce the environmental impact of operations and make processes more efficient, ensuring healthier and more sustainable rhythms to the seasonal cycles of fashion.
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