Microsoft Augments Business Apps With Generative AI Tools
Microsoft is continuing to augment its products with generative AI tools and features based on OpenAI’s large language models, pushing into its business services this week. The company launched a synthetic text generator called Copilot for its Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform as well as Power Platform, its application and workflow builder.
Microsoft is launching the Dynamics 365 Copilot tool to handle some sales and customer service duties with AI. The tool, which shares a name but is otherwise distinct from the GitHub Copilot coding assistant service, can write meeting summaries and emails to customers, adding details from a connected database to fill in the meeting notes and context from previous interactions to help respond to customers. The Power Platform’s Power Virtual Agents can take advantage of generative AI similarly, deploying what Microsoft calls “conversation boosters” to the chatbot builder and augmenting the conversational AI with information on a website or other relevant database. Microsoft’s AI builder can use the same technology to make text generation a feature for other programs, automatically summarizing or drafting reports and plans and emailing them to the appropriate team members.
“Dynamics 365 Copilot takes advantage of recent advancements in generative AI to automate these tedious tasks and unlock the full creativity of the workforce. Dynamics 365 Copilot puts CRM and ERP to work for business users to accelerate their pace of innovation and improve business outcomes in every line of business,” Microsoft corporate vice president of business applications and platform Charles Lamanna explained in a blog post. “The next era of business applications is being transformed by generative AI. Users will increasingly expect their CRM and ERP applications to include AI-powered expertise. Dynamics 365 Copilot brings the latest AI breakthroughs to every line of business, improving customer experience, employee experience and operational efficiency.”
Microsoft Generative AI
Microsoft’s plan to infuse its software with generative AI has begun to accelerate in recent weeks. Microsoft Teams Premium subscribers already have generative AI to take notes; the new features enhance those notes with more context. The same goes for the Azure integration with OpenAI’s technology. Though the consumer-facing Bing generative AI chatbot has grabbed most of the headlines of late, this news makes it clear that the enterprise side of Microsoft’s products will not lack generative AI abilities of their own.
“According to our recent survey on business trends, nearly 9 out of 10 workers hope to use AI to reduce repetitive tasks in their jobs,” Lamanna said. “With Dynamics 365 Copilot, organizations empower their workers with AI tools built for sales, service, marketing, operations and supply chain roles. These AI capabilities allow everyone to spend more time on the best parts of their jobs and less time on mundane tasks.”