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  • September 23, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Microsoft Boosts the AI in Dynamics 365

Microsoft today announced several new apps and features for the Dynamics 365 product family anchored around artificial intelligence to bring together physical, digital, and observational data sources to transform the shopping experience, both in store and online.

"With the expansion of the [Dynamics 365] portfolio, we can provide a 360-degree view of your business, one tha goes beyond data capture and backward-looking insights to unification of all data, providing forward-looking intelligence," Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of business applications and global industry at Microsoft, explained in a blog post earlier today. "Powered by Azure AI, these tightly integrated capabilities can make AI real for businesses today and enable employees to proactively drive decisions and action."

Among the new applications being introduced are the following:

  • Dynamics 365 Commerce, which enables physical and online retailers to unify their back-office, in-store, call center, and digital experiences. "Dynamics 365 Commerce can transform the customer experience—from the digital experiences that make shopping fun and rewarding to productivity and collaboration solutions that help retail employees provide outstanding customer service," Taylor wrote. "Intelligent systems provide deep insights to empower advanced decision making and personalization, delivering the fully connected commerce solution retailers need to build brand loyalty, optimize operations and supply chain efficiencies, and deliver better business outcomes."
  • Dynamics 365 Connected Store, which provides insight into the retail space by analyzing disparate data from video cameras and IoT sensors. It uses "observational data generated as customers move through the store, as well as the status of store equipment and product, to create employee alerts and actionable insights that can improve store efficiency," Taylor explains. "Connected Store also tracks long-term trends in the retail space, illuminating patterns and opportunities across day-to-day and season-to-season activities and occurrences. Teams across the organization can stay updated with automated emails and a web app to review and report data."
  • Dynamics 365 Product Insights, which brings insights from connected physical products and gives visibility into product performance and customer interactions.

In addition, Microsoft has added capabilities to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to connect leads and contacts to buying groups, accounts, and account hierarchies to help users build segments and measure the relationship between accounts and contacts.

"Dynamics 365 Customer Insights helps maximize customer lifetime value by surfacing a 360-degree view of the customer to help organizations unlock insights and determine the best action possible to drive personalized engagement at scale," Taylor wrote. "Any organization in any industry, from amusement parks to retailers and manufacturers, can effortlessly connect data from every source of interaction and arm employees with a single source of truth right within the external business applications they use every day."

Microsoft also updated Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service with new features that allow users to create and deploy virtual agents that engage in personalized conversations with customers. These include new authoring and web publishing improvements that will enable teams to deploy virtual agents on demo websites for testing and stakeholder feedback before deploying on the external-facing website. Once deployed, artificial intelligence will allow managers to monito the performance of the virtual agent. A new customer satisfaction dashboard will provide insight into overall customer satisfaction scores, bot topics driving those scores, and hours saved metrics that compare resolution times between bots and human agents.

Microsoft is also preparing to launch Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection, which will be generally available Oct. 1. This new application combats payment and account-creation fraud with artificial intelligence that continuously learns and adapts to evolving fraudulent patterns. It also includes a transaction acceptance booster that addresses wrongful declines.

"Only Dynamics 365 connects all forms of data—from observational, to analytics, transactional, and beyond revolutionizing CRM and ERP and empowering you and your employees to accelerate your business," Taylor concluded.

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