Microsoft stirs AI and mixed reality into the Dynamics 365 pot with greater enterprise focus

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Microsoft has redefined its focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed reality (MR) for the enterprise markets, announcing new products for Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365, the suite which Microsoft aims to reimagine customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), will get the new AI and MR treatment to ‘take another step forward on our journey to help empower every organisation on the planet to achieve more through the accelerant of business applications’, in the company’s words.

The new products include Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, Customer Service, and Market Insights. In a video showcasing the Customer Service section, Navrina Singh, part of the Dynamics 365 engineering team, explained how a customer service agent could quickly reduce issues by automation. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted this was in line with the company’s mission to ‘make every company out there an AI-first company’ and ‘democratise the use of AI tools.’

Yet the mixed reality side is arguably more intriguing. Regular readers of this publication will be more than aware of how the enterprise is embracing augmented reality; and with the increasing importance of HoloLens in Microsoft’s corporate plans –  the concept of mixed reality, hardware and software, and particularly getting data in context is key.

Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Dynamics 365 Layout aim to assist with this further. The former offers the opportunity to call remotely and access shared resources through MR (main picture), while the latter aims to provide immersive visualisation of designs.

“We recognise that many employees need information in context to apply their knowledge and craft,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post. “Not only on a 2D screen – but information and data in context, at the right place, and at the right time, so employees can produce even greater impact for their organisations.

“Mixed reality is a technology uniquely suited to do exactly that.”

One of the other keys Microsoft noted was around the importance of enterprise-grade security with these new tools. According to the most recent employee survey from analyst firm CCS Insight last month, Microsoft is the most trusted tech giant, with trust levels going up solidly over the past 12 months.

Microsoft added that its Ignite and Envision events next week will reveal more around its enterprise roadmap. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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