Having recently implemented Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management at my company, I was eager to attend Community Summit NA 2023, which took place last week in Charlotte, North Carolina, and learn all that I could from industry experts, partners, and users. I had the honor of joining a panel during the full-day preconference on generative artificial intelligence (AI) via Microsoft Copilot and presented a 90-minute session on enterprise resource planning (ERP) lessons learned migrating from AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 in the cloud.
Here are some of my key takeaways from Summit, which showcases Microsoft’s progress in business applications, especially Dynamics.
The Rise of Copilot and Generative AI
Generative AI through Copilot was a standout theme. It wasn’t limited to the dedicated preconference; it was a recurring topic in subsequent keynotes and sessions. Generative AI, as the name suggests, is about generating content: code, text, or even complex solutions to business problems. This form of AI learns from vast amounts of data and then generates output based on patterns it has recognized.
Copilot is generative AI embedded directly in applications people already use, such as Visual Studio Code, Outlook, Teams, and Dynamics. Copilot can understand the user’s intent and context and generate relevant content in real-time, whether it is a code snippet, an email reply, a chat message, or a business report. Copilot, as presented during Summit, is not just another AI tool but a vision of the future where technology works alongside humans, assisting and enhancing our capabilities.
The integration of Copilot with Microsoft’s business applications presents many possibilities. For example, Copilot can help salespeople communicate more effectively with customers by generating AI-powered email responses, it can help customer service agents solve issues faster by asking natural language questions and getting answers quickly, and it can help marketers deliver personalized customer experiences by engaging with customer data. Copilot brings next-generation AI to every line of business, empowering them to be more productive, efficient, and creative.
Power Platform’s Role
The Power Platform’s flexibility was another Community Summit highlight. Power Platform’s ability to seamlessly integrate with Dynamics systems ensures that businesses can customize tools to their unique needs.
With the addition of generative AI capabilities from Copilot, the Power Platform can also create intelligent and adaptive applications that can respond to changing business scenarios and user preferences. For example, Copilot can help users build chatbots, workflows, dashboards, and reports using natural language commands and queries. Copilot can also generate code for custom connectors and Power apps using examples and specifications. Copilot can even suggest improvements and best practices for existing applications based on data and feedback.
There was a session at Summit on building AI apps with AI Builder. It demonstrated how to build AI models quickly and easily to automate tedious tasks and enhance customer experiences. There was another session on AI-powered accounting, one on Copilot use cases for business, and another on using AI for intelligent order management. The list goes on and on.
Microsoft’s consistent message throughout Summit was clear: Generative AI is the future, and Copilot is at the forefront of this revolution. The company envisions a world where businesses operate at peak efficiency, with AI systems working in tandem with human intelligence, ensuring that repetitive tasks are automated and complex challenges addressed.
Moreover, Microsoft emphasized its commitment to ethical AI that keeps data private. With the power of generative AI comes the responsibility to ensure it’s used for the benefit of all and doesn’t expose proprietary information to the public. Microsoft assured attendees that transparency, fairness, and accountability will be at the core of all their AI initiatives.
Community Summit NA 2023 was more than just a conference about business applications. It was a glimpse into the future of how businesses will operate. With Microsoft placing such a strong emphasis on generative AI and its integration into their existing platforms, it’s evident that the future is not just about technology but about how technology can amplify human potential. The future is generative, and Microsoft’s Copilot might just be the co-pilot businesses need to navigate it.
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