Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Artificial Intelligence

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Posted on June 11, 2020

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI Product Updates

Last year, Microsoft introduced AI and its integration with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite of products. This powerful combination would only help Microsoft Dynamics enhance its deliveries through intelligent insights. In the 2020s, AI is all set to dominate our daily lives because 77% of the world is already using AI in some form or the other.

AI Fact: Adobe forecasts that by 2021, at least 80% of emerging technologies will have their foundations in AI.

Some of the latest advancements in artificial intelligence help eliminate human error and turn data gathering tools into analytical devices where results are provided with absolute precision.

While AI has spread itself across various industries, including IoT, its subset, machine learning is providing the world with automation that will be able to handle the most complex workflows while even making room for additional parameters. Some of the biggest business challenges are resolved when AI is integrated with the cloud.

AI and Cloud Computing

There is no doubt that the cloud is well-positioned to revolutionize the existing market scenario and will provide companies with fresh avenues of improvement. Along with the cloud comes the comfort of an enormous infrastructure. This means companies that lack massive computing power can actually turn to the cloud to access large data sets and still reap the benefits of artificial intelligence, without having to spend too much. Simultaneously, AI can also be used to address cloud issues. Efficient working scenarios can be created when fundamental workflows for the public and private cloud are automated and subsequently, used to create independent functional scenarios.

There are speculations that AI and Cloud Computing could become two sides of the same coin.

Benefits of AI in Cloud

Digital environments today, are highly data driven. And where there is data, there is a need for artificial intelligence. AI’s cognitive abilities are best utilized across volumes of data, which, in turn, become universally accessible and scalable when placed on the cloud.

Data Access

Experience better accessibility when compared to traditional data storage because cloud supports large data volumes

Decision making becomes smarter

When data analysis is accelerated with the help of AI, it benefits both enterprises and customers. AI can recommend intelligent solutions as it takes data analysis to the next level.

Savings

With the cloud, organizations do not have to spend on infrastructure. They just get the space that they need.

About Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of ERP and CRM applications that deal with large volumes of data. The idea of integrating Microsoft Dynamics 365 with AI was to create a strong machine learning environment that can provide end-users with relevant insights into customer behaviors and requirements. Besides, with the integration of AI, the platform adapts to market conditions, quickly.

Overall, with AI-driven components, organizations can steer their business towards better, predictive results.

Transformational Power of AI across Industries

Microsoft has included AI layers within its Dynamics 365 products to provide AI experiences out of the box with immediate time to value.

Dynamics 365 for Field Service uses AI to detect, troubleshoot, and resolve equipment issues remotely with self-healing commands. Enterprises can extend these capabilities further and connect them to other Microsoft services like Azure, Office, Skype, or augmented reality.

To further help customers integrate AI with their business, Microsoft has introduced a new class of AI applications to deliver out-of-the-box insights by unifying data and infusing it with advanced intelligence. These applications are as follows:

Dynamics 365 AI for Sales enables sellers to build relationships and increase revenue by providing actionable insights and helps create personalized experiences for the customers. Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service improves customer service and lowers support costs by surfacing automated customer insights and leveraging virtual agents. Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights helps users monitor their brand and respond faster to trends by using AI models to determine what people are saying about products.

These applications ensure that the power of the AI is readily accessible and easily utilized by enterprises.

Transformational Power of AI within Industries

Microsoft has also created AI -solutions that meet vertical industry specific needs.

1. Financial Services: Financial Institutions are facing a new crisis, the changing customer expectations as well as the increases in cybercrime and fraud. To deal with these new challenges Microsoft has introduced innovative new capabilities enabled by a financial services ready cloud. Such capabilities include:

  • Next Best Action (NBA) – AI-powered NBA solutions use complex rules, analytics, and algorithms to better predict customer needs and in turn offer more relevant actions and promotions, leading to improved wallet share and loyalty. This ensures that the customers’ expectations are met.

  • Risk analytics and fraud prevention – Machine learning makes more accurate risk, fraud, and customer models possible, enabling financial services institutions to spot more hidden risks and decrease operating costs. Microsoft Dynamics Fraud protection also helps these institutions to protect themselves against fraud and achieve a higher revenue.

2. Manufacturing: The increase of digital technology and IoT has provided manufacturers with intelligence that reflects operational efficiency and business performance. AI is empowering manufacturers to make more with their data, resulting in advancements in:

  • Predictive maintenance – Helps estimate the remaining useful life for machines and their components, enabling maintenance technicians to be proactive about repairs and reduce costly downtime.
  • Performance improvements – Helps anticipate the risk of production disruptions, bottlenecks, and safety risks in real-time, highlighting problems before they occur.

3. Retail: In the realm of retail customers expect just two things – a personalized customer experience and an affordable offering that is suitable for the services experienced by them. This is where AI helps with:

  • Sales personalization – Intelligence applied to customer history enables retailers to deliver customized experiences, offerings, pricing, and planning—modernizing the online and physical buying experience. No longer is it one size fits all instead it is the individual’s preference that counts.

  • Dynamic pricing & planning – Forecasting models predict demand for different products, providing greater confidence for pricing and stocking decisions and reducing losses from overstocks.

4. Public Sector: In the case of the public sector what citizens want the most is to know that the government cares for them. They want a personalized digital experience. The answer – AI. AI tools enable governments to interact and engage with their citizens more effectively, eliminate waste, and protect sensitive information. Two key areas where these innovative AI initiatives are making waves are:

  • Smart cities – Intelligent technology designed to tackle common challenges such as fee and toll management, traffic optimization, water shortage, and sustainability.

  • Citizen services – Tools designed to provide citizens with easier access to consolidated government services through tracking, search, and conversational bots.

5. Healthcare: Clinician shortages, time and cost pressures, and increased patient needs create several challenges for health organizations as they try to improve patient experiences and outcomes. Some of the ways these challenges can be tackled by integrating AI solutions is as follows:

  • Personalized medicine – Analytics-driven individualized treatment plans based on a patient’s genetic makeup, medical history, lifestyle, and more—made possible through advances in genomics and intelligent analysis of massive amounts of healthcare data. Currently this data is fully not being put into action but with the help of AI this can be done.

  • Healthcare Bot service – A cloud-based solution that enables healthcare organizations to build and deploy compliant, virtual health assistants that can provide users with conversational and engaging access to the relevant healthcare services and accurate information. The current COVID crisis is the best example of the power of Virtual health bots.

6. Education: As seen with the current COVID crisis, the Education sector can create great improvements in the realm of education with the power of AI. Technology is creating unprecedented opportunities to better engage the students with the world around them and help them realize their full potential. Education professionals and IT experts are collaborating to solve some of the most pressing challenges in education through AI. These collaborations have produced:

  • Accessibility in the classroom – AI-powered tools—such as real-time lesson translation for students that speak a different language and narration of surroundings for students who are blind—enable teachers to make the classroom more accessible. Most of the world are making use of this feature during the current time.

  • School-wide AI insights – Deep analytic insights into student success and risk across entire schools or school districts help educators make informed decisions on how to improve student outcomes. By understanding the students’ needs they can create better enrollment processes, payment processes, better lessons plan, etc all of which are tailored to the needs of the students.

What is new in Microsoft Dynamics 365?

This month, the latest developments were presented for the Dynamics 365 suite of products.

In the Wave 1 release 2020, the most important business processes will be digitally transformed to deliver personalized experiences to customers and create efficacy in internal operations.

Here are a few examples:

1. Customer service

New, omnichannel AI updates have been made to the Dynamics 365 suite of products so that the customer service team rapidly adapts to operations. Contact centers are experiencing an influx in volumes due to the COVID-19 crisis and with agents working remotely, deliveries can be a challenge.

Customer engagement options are improved, with AI, infused into customer service modules to provide better insights. The omnichannel experience aims to complement existing channels as well as newer messaging systems regularly used by customers such as WeChat, LINE, etc. Furthermore, there are functional additions such as co-browse, and remote desktop, which are designed to drive accountability. Service agents can view the customer’s screen to resolve any issues from anywhere and at any time.

Clarity is brought into operations within a contact center when AI, business intelligence and machine learning are combined to obtain visibility into operational data, performance metrics and emerging trends. This will help companies make informed and calculated decisions. Historical analytics and multiple interactive reports are used to track key operational metrics to ensure that customers are completely satisfied.

2. Customer Experiences

Previously many companies had difficulty in modernizing customer experience due to disconnected systems and data siloes but with the updates made to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights these issues are no longer a problem. Microsoft is introducing new first and third-party data connections that can be updated and activated in real – time as well as enabling deeper insights with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics.

Customers can also integrate Microsoft Forms Pro which allows the users to gather data on changing customer behavior and perception allowing the users to act on the insights along with the customer data to update the customer profiles and activities in real time in turn allowing the organization to better engage with the customers and understand them

Microsoft is also expanding the Customer Insights to the Government Cloud Computing Environments so that the Government can leverage these insights to better understand their employees, interact with their citizens and transform cities at scale.

3. Sales

Microsoft Dynamics 365 now enables predictive sales forecasting for both Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales as well as for Dynamics 365 Sales Insights. Sales forecasts can be done manually too – but this will depend more upon the salesperson’s belief in the current CRM. Incidentally, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite of products support manual forecasting as well. Besides the above, the Dynamics 365 suite of products also brings the facility of automated predictive sales analytics, thus avoiding biases, and errors while eliminating the need for manual labor.

The application stores a lot of data that is picked up from every phase of the sales cycle. All opportunities, leads, email activities, meetings, contacts, calls, etc. are managed by the system. This also means changes are tracked across the platform to identify opportunities and leads, which are then connected to information. Both strategic and tactical decisions are supported through new features such as modular forecast, pipeline revenue prediction, unborn revenue prediction, forecast strategy selection and forecasts via hierarchy.

A new Engagement center has also been introduced with the aim of accelerating Sales. This experience allows sellers to move from one lead to opportunity in an AI – prioritized work queue in the context of the Dynamics 365 suite of products without needing to switch views to take the next best action. Sellers are also given assistance with a warm introduction and other guidance.

4. Finance:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance Insights brings the power of the AI to the finance department. It enables you to quickly understand your companies Cash position as well as lets you take proactive action to improve your current Cash position. Menial tasks are automated or removed and you don’t have to worry about the barrier of developing or hiring AI-expertise as it is bypassed, and you’re left with insights to move your business forward.

5. Projects:

Microsoft is also introducing a new application the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations to help you connect cross – functional project teams, have better visibility of projects and collaborate better. It ensures that disparate data silos are no longer a problem for project centric organizations and ensures that they have better business profitability.

Wrap Up

While the above are only a few, Microsoft Dynamics 365 2020 release wave 1 comes with over 400 features. Enterprises can experience seamless B2B across their operations, sales, and marketing. Omnichannel retail experiences are enhanced, customer expectations are exceeded through intelligent supply chain solutions, and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) helps organizations, analyze, and act differently. Check the infographic on a survey done in Microsoft Asia, on what youth share on how they expect innovations and a digital future to change the way they work, live and play.

KORCOMPTENZ is a Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner headquartered in New Jersey with extensive experience improving business outcomes for our customers. We leverage end-to-end solutions involving the ongoing convergence of ERP, Azure Cloud, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT. We specialize in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 range of products such as Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, and Dynamics 365 CRM. Request a consultation today

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