ECI Hosts Largest Event in Company History at Microsoft: “Harnessing the Power of AI, Securely and Efficiently”

2024 is already shaping up to be a pivotal year for technology, in which artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to fundamentally transform operations. These changes come with a learning curve, of course, but those who rapidly and deliberately embrace this new way of working will quickly gain an edge. 

To support alternative financial firms navigating these changes, ECI held an educational, in-person forum last week in partnership with Microsoft to unpack all things AI implementation-related. The half-day session on how to “Harness the Power of AI, Securely and Efficiently,” focused on everything from preparation to implementation to everyday use cases.


An Impactful Forum on Financial Sector AI 

The February 7th forum, held at Microsoft’s New York Tech Center on Times Square, was the largest event in ECI’s company history. With 100 attendees, the room was filled to hear from a team of ECI experts led by CIO Rich Itri and CTO Steve Schoener, along with Microsoft Modern Work, AI and product specialists Julius Damato and Clay Karges, respectively. The ECI team was also joined on stage by Greg Gignac, a principal Technical Specialist at Microsoft. 

The collective takeaway from this cross-disciplinary team centered around how organizations must adapt to take advantage of the transformational power of AI. With AI-driven automation now capable of streamlining numerous back-office functions for financial services firms of all sizes, ranging from small brokerages to the largest multinational companies, the technology stands to change business as we know it – but only if optimally implemented. 


Ensuring a Quality Foundation for AI Implementation

In preparation for the demos and discussions on Microsoft 365 Copilot and the ECI Large Language Application (ELLA), the experts opened the event by highlighting several critical steps firms will need to take to lay the foundation for smooth, successful AI deployments. Highlighting the data management and Microsoft ecosystem infrastructures necessary to support the technologies, the experts also described the specific steps for implementation.

While the preparation efforts may seem intimidating, ECI offers detailed guidance through its Copilot Enablement courses, which span from four to twelve weeks and support teams of various sizes. Covering everything from the Pre-Pilot plan to adoption plans to feature update education, ECI’s Copilot Enablement program has clients covered. Our Account Management team is armed with a readiness assessment to help you understand how best to prepare for the implementation of Copilot for Microsoft 365. Get in touch today to get started!


Live Demos of ECI AI Products in Action 

The highlight of the joint ECI-Microsoft event was the highly anticipated segments featuring live demonstrations of Microsoft 365 Copilot and the ECI’s Large Language Application (ELLA). Both services are designed to help firms make the most of AI in an efficient and secure manner, with special consideration for financial firms that face strict security regulations.

The Copilot demo focused on AI-enabled use cases for the Office 365 apps that clients use every day – such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams. Forum attendees saw firsthand how ECI can help enable enhanced performance and security by facilitating Copilot deployments. Copilot enables users to tap into automatically generated meeting notes, easily prep emails or populate PowerPoint slides with data from other documents and more. Guests also gained insight into how they can leverage Copilot for advanced tasks – such as sifting historical data for relevant trends, or comparing multiple Excel files to analyze deltas in budgets, trade models or capital fluctuations.

On the other hand, the ELLA demo illustrated the ECI platform’s use of dynamic dashboards and granular data management to apply real-time visibility and governance around where and how AI operates with organizational data and systems. Extending outside of the Microsoft application ecosystem, ELLA allows ECI clients to continue to apply AI to their own tools and processes while ensuring security features to ensure more traceability and quality assurance around AI workflows and insights. With ELLA, financial firms can responsibly leverage AI through the platform’s preventative measures including prompt injection APIs to mitigate malicious usage; a hallucination API to better assess the accuracy of a response; and proxy services to ensure organizational anonymity when interacting with external LLMs.

ECI’s Copilot and ELLA demos, together with a lively Q&A session with forum participants, served as a deep dive on all the ways ECI is helping clients use AI more responsibly and securely in their organizations. 

Microsoft 365 Copilot

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