Microsoft touts ‘enhanced AI’ features for Dynamics 365

Additional capabilities among 400 new and updated features that make up extensive 2020 release

Microsoft has unveiled an operations-centric module for its Dynamics 365 suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, on top of enhanced AI capabilities.

Customers are being promised smarter AI-powered business insights in 2020, with additional technology powering new features such as forecasting in Dynamics 365’s Sales and Finance Insights apps. A preview for these features is expected to be released in May.

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This is included in a package of 400 new and updated features set to be rolled out over the course of this year as part of Microsoft’s 2020 release wave 1, which spans features touted to be released from April through September.

The Dynamics 365 Project Operations tool, slated for an October 2020 release, is being launched to support project-oriented teams managing data across different data silos to stitch their systems together.

The application connects cross-functional project teams, with Microsoft claiming that it offers the visibility needed to reduce the barriers to efficient working that currently exist.

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“The predictive forecasting capabilities enable the proactive decision-making needed to meet sales goals,” Microsoft’s president for business applications James Phillips said, of the suite’s enhanced AI capabilities.

“Dynamics 365 does this by extracting patterns from customer relationship management (CRM) data, current and historical leads, won or lost opportunities, contacts, accounts, customer interactions such as emails and calls, and more data sources, and then projecting these patterns into the future.”

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Updates to Microsoft’s customer data platform, meanwhile, aim to help organisations struggling to give their customers a personalised experience. These struggles are largely attributable to disconnected systems and data silos that can’t join together to give a holistic view of the customer journey across websites, purchases, service calls, and app usage.

The company is introducing first and third-party data connections to enrich customer profiles, that can be updated in real-time. These will be laced with insights from third-party data sources, including demographics and personal interest, in order to generate a rich picture of organisations’ customers.

Microsoft is also expanding the availability of customer insights to government cloud computing environments in order to improve the ‘citizen experience’, meaning public sector customers can better interact with employees and citizens.

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