Major Improvements Coming to Microsoft Productivity and Business Applications (Release Wave 1)

For the past 40 years, the user experience and core process flows of business applications including ERP, CRM, and more have remained somewhat stagnant. Don’t you think it’s time for a change? With the announcement of Release Wave 1 being executed worldwide throughout the month of April, it’s evident that Microsoft thinks the time to make some improvements is now!

Generative AI in the Digital Contact Center

Over the past few years, we’ve grown familiar with the term ‘Big Data’ but as artificial intelligence improves, it’s noticeable that we are transitioning from the era of ‘Big Data’ to ‘Big AI’. Many of us have most likely seen AI effects such as image generation, text generation, and Chat GPT, but these are only scratching the surface on the plans that Microsoft has in store to utilize AI capabilities. If you’d like to refresh your memory on what AI is, we have provided some educational blogs below:

As the saying goes, two heads are always better than one, and with the release of Copilot in this wave, productivity will soar like never before. Copilot can help find answers to your queries, assist with tasks, and help to complete complex processes with ease. This technology offers an abundance of helpful tools that includes:

  • Automatically taking meeting notes that include time stamps
  • Tailored suggestions for email and chat replies to quickly resolve issues
  • Swiftly resolve issues/questions without requiring constant updates/assistance from IT staff

Customer Experience Solutions from Dynamics 365

With Dynamics 365 CE applications fundamentally based on the Dataverse for seamless productivity and reduced silos, marketers can quickly identify essential data, build segments, and target the correct customers. Another nifty aspect of this technology is that it allows marketers to be ahead of the game by anticipating customer needs rather than sitting back and being reactive.

In leveraging AI, customer-facing employees will have a powerful tool at their literal fingertips with Copilot working for them, including:

Customer Experience Solutions from Dynamics 365

With Dynamics 365 CE applications fundamentally based on the Dataverse for seamless productivity and reduced silos, marketers can quickly identify important data, build segments, and target the correct customers. Another nifty aspect of this technology is that it allows marketers to be ahead of the game by anticipating customer needs rather than sitting back and being reactive.

In leveraging AI, customer-facing employees will have a powerful tool at their literal fingertips with Copilot working for them, including:

  • Chatbot conversations fully visible on one side of your screen
  • The client’s snapshot of usage/history/needs sharing a high-level view
  • AI-generated natural language responses awaiting human confirmation on the other side of your screen
  • Chatbot conversations fully visible on one side of your screen
  • The client’s snapshot of usage/history/needs sharing a high-level view
  • AI-generated natural language responses awaiting human confirmation on the other side of your screen

We’ve Got That Boom Boom Pow(er Platform)

Microsoft is shifting toward no code/low code in the future with their applications. Why, may you ask? Well, with over millions of new applications predicted to be invented in the upcoming years, there will be a shortage of developers to maintain this surplus of apps. This is why Microsoft is looking into making upcoming applications increasingly user-friendly, or as some say, low code, so that more customers will be able to manage them without the help of a developer.

While these are not necessarily “new” technologies, Microsoft is continuing to improve upon them and is actively investing more time and resources into the Power Platform. They are also finding unique ways to merge the product line with Artificial Intelligence.

Improving Financial, Human Resources & Project Operations Functions

With the new release, managing expenses has become a whole lot easier. With the mobile expenses app, users can easily log receipts, mileage, etc. all in one place – making it easier for Financial managers to keep track of expense reports in a single location. In addition, the financial tag feature captures key information on each invoice, allowing for key information to be easily filtered, sorted, and managed.

 Some benefits from these improvements include:

  • Automatically calculating sales tax – no matter what city/country you are in
  • AR Clerk’s can post AR without Account Distribution Process
  • Issuing e-invoices to over 200 countries to assist with government regulation compliances
  • Vendor invoices can automatically be read and processed with artificial intelligence

In the project operations world, steps to creating invoices are now reduced by 90% – talk about a time saver! Another helpful update, specifically in the HR realm, is that now when new employees are being trained, all learning systems can now be found in one place: the E-hub!

Reimaging the Supply Chain

The last stop on our business applications journey is Supply Chain. One of the main updates within this area includes the Warehouse Mobile App launch, which we’ve previously written a blog about!

This application is now available for mobile devices, increasing accessibility to warehouse workers. Microsoft addressed many other challenges warehouse workers face, including custom text sizes so users can easily navigate the app while wearing bulky gloves

A Look into the Future

As you can see, Microsoft has worked hard to present many updates within these business applications. While all these new features are great, there’s more where this came from! It was announced that over 40+ features can be expected to happen from now, until the next wave release in September! Until then, if you’d like to learn more about Wave Release 1 – register to watch the announcement video here.

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