Microsoft announced Microsoft Dynamics Copilot, an interactive, AI-powered assistance tool for sales, marketing, customer service, operations, and supply-chain management. Microsoft is positioning Copilot as an AI that helps businesspeople “create ideas and content faster, complete time-consuming tasks, and get insights and next best actions.”
CEO Satya Nadella promised that Copilot will “transform every business process and function with interactive, AI-powered collaboration.”
In the short run, Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s Cloud & AI EVP, believes that “the fastest way to get some of this AI value” will be via “finished app” integrations like Copilot. Microsoft can tailor integrations into apps that “people are already trained on.” This augmentation strategy lets Microsoft “move faster,” so there is a “huge opportunity.”
Few people outside of the AI community had heard of ChatGPT, much less experimented with it, until a few months ago, but now it is being widely tested by end users, noted Guthrie. “People are looking for solutions that integrate with their workflows that they already have and help them kind of accelerate even more.”
“And then, I think, we’re also going to see the next generation of apps that are going to be built on the raw APIs and the services around it that are going to re-envision pretty much every experience that we see,” continued Guthrie.
Copilot operates within Dynamics CRM and ERPs to reduce mundane tasks such as manual data entry, content generation, and note-taking.
And such tools are welcome by front-line workers. According to a recent Microsoft survey, nearly ninety percent of workers hope AI will reduce repetitive tasks.
Dynamics 365 Copilot offers generative AI to automate tedious tasks and “accelerate their pace of innovation and improve business outcomes.”
Copilot is natively built into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Viva Sales. AI helps sales reps respond to customers and includes email summaries of Teams meetings along with action items, follow-up dates, and voiced concerns. Additionally, summaries are available for different meeting types, including multi-participant and internal calls.
“The meeting summary pulls in details from the seller’s CRM such as product and pricing information, as well as insights from the recorded Teams call,” wrote Charles Lamanna, CVP Business Applications and Platform. “With sellers spending as much as 66% of their day checking and responding to emails, this presents a significant business upside to give the seller more time with their customers.”
Email replies are generally available in Viva Sales, and customizable emails will be added on March 15. “For example, a seller can generate an email that proposes a meeting time with a customer, complete with a proposed meeting date and time based on availability on the seller’s Outlook calendar,” blogged Emily He, CVP Business Applications Marketing.
Sellers will also be able to rate generated content with a thumbs up or thumbs down to help refine replies. And if the response needs to be tweaked, sales reps can provide a follow-on prompt that updates the response based on the additional context.
Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing simplifies data exploration, audience segmentation, and content creation.
Marketers can curate “highly personalized and targeted customer segments by having a dialogue with their customer data platform using natural language,” wrote Lamanna. Marketers do not need to be SQL experts or wait for an operations specialist to build the query. Instead, they can build segments in near real-time using Copilot’s Query Assist feature.
“With a few clicks, Copilot produces the results, along with information such as the customers’ average age, product preferences, or average purchase price,” wrote He. “These insights can then be configured into a segment to support a campaign.”
Copilot also suggests additional segments.
Using Copilot in Dynamics 365 Marketing, marketers can describe their customer segment to a query assist feature and look for inspiration for fresh email campaign content based. “Copilot makes suggestions based on key topics entered by the marketer, the organization’s existing marketing emails, as well as from a range of internet sources to increase the relevance of generated ideas,” blogged Lamanna.
Marketers can enter up to five bullet points in Content Ideas, which generates an email via Azure OpenAI Service.
“Unique content can be used as a starting point when composing marketing emails,” explained He. “It can analyze the organization’s existing emails, in addition to a range of internet sources, to increase the relevance of generated ideas. With Copilot, marketers can save hours of time brainstorming and editing while keeping content fresh and engaging.”
Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Service drafts contextual answers to queries in both chat and email. It also supports an “interactive chat experience over knowledge bases and case history, so this AI-powered expertise is always available to answer questions.”
Other generative AI tools support product descriptions and supply chain disruption forecasts based on weather, financial, and geopolitical news.
Copilot is in preview across Dynamics 365 and Viva Sales.