- Microsoft plans to add a set of artificial intelligence capabilities into business applications platform Dynamics 365, the company announced Wednesday. The updates to the platform will let sales leaders extract insights from customer relationship management (CRM) data and use it to project patterns.
- As part of the update, Microsoft expects the platform will let sales professionals "forecast sales more accurately" and have their workflows prioritized by AI. Sales representatives will gain access to the capabilities inside a unified engagement center.
- The upgrade to the platform also targets back-office functions, such as AI-infused finance insights or upgraded project management tools. The capabilities will go into effect between April and September 2020.
Unlocking AI-driven insights for ground-level users fits the concept of an augmented workforce, a trend spotted by industry watchers.
The company started the year with a similar update, when it announced it will customize Microsoft 365 to fit the needs of front-line workers.
Regardless of who's using AI to get insights, the success of the technology hinges on the quality of data available. It's the fuel that feeds the fire.
In this context, it's key that Microsoft's slate of updates will expand Dynamics 365's ability to integrate data from additional sources. It's a trend happening across consumer data platforms, according to Jeffery Skowron, senior research director at Gartner.
The update should "allow for a more robust data set to feed their AI/machine learning models and algorithms to anticipate customer needs," Skowron told CIO Dive in an email. With the technology, sales or operation staff can determine the next-best-action in a process, such as how or when to communicate with customers.
For enterprise leaders deploying AI across industry sectors, the expectation is that the technology will help reduce costs, increase growth, and make that growth profitable. But managing expectations when it comes to AI outcomes will become essential to sidestep AI disillusionment.