MS intros HoloLens to companies via Dynamics 365 apps

Doris Richards
September 21, 2018

Microsoft has launched a set of AI applications for customers of its Dynamics cloud customer relationship management (CRM) software in a bid to better compete with the market leader Salesforce.

"We at Microsoft can make every company an AI-first company", Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. In the run-up to next week's Ignite and Envision conferences, it's also extending its business applications with Mixed Reality (MR) capabilities on HoloLens. When Microsoft re-architected its CRM and ERP business applications for the cloud in Dynamics 365, a key part of that work was to converge the underlying data model to be able to get at the data in a more consistent way, rather than having separate datasets for front-office and back-ofice.

Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service combines Microsoft's AI and natural language technology to give customer service staff smarter access to customer data and the ability to leverage bots to deal with lower level queries.

Microsoft's website depicts a Dynamics 365 Layout user placing a virtual render of a machine in a real-world factory space, offering a realistic impression of the idea's viability. She showed a scenario where Dynamics 365 helped a customer service manager identify a 5% escalation in incoming cases, and determined the spike was caused by problems with a recent product introduction.

Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights turns AI to marketing.

Announcing the new features in a blog post, the company showed how the oil company Chevron Corp uses the applications, remotely collaborating and assisting first-line workers and remote experts. Officials reiterated today that Microsoft will start rolling out its October 2018 Dynamics 365 and Power platform deliverables generally on October 1.

Previously Chevron was required to fly in an inspector from Houston to a facility in Singapore once a month to inspect equipment.

Chevron's adoption of HoloLens in production wasn't a direct outcome of its wider-ranging cloud partnership with Microsoft, the company says, but did help accelerate adoption through the sharing of engineering expertise and Chevron's familiarity with Azure and Dynamics 365, both of which are used by HoloLens' apps. Mixed reality, Gownder argues, has already proven its viability for businesses, but needs "this kind of continuous software innovation to truly succeed".

I'm also intrigued to hear about the Common Data Service, which suggests to me that Microsoft has taken a big step along the path to creating a modern connected digital enterprise architecture for its business applications.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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