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September 19, 2018

Microsoft Rolls Out Raft of New AI and Mixed Reality Apps for Enterprise Use

Company unveils a raft of new "mixed reality" business applications for Microsoft Dynamics

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has unveiled a raft of new AI and mixed reality applications for its Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite.

The Microsoft Dynamics applications, which include natural language understanding and AI-powered analysis of the sales pipeline, put it head-to-head with market leader Salesforce.com, which also recently announced a tranche of new AI tools its marketing and customer-relationship management software.

Microsoft Dynamics Applications: “Layout” and “Remote Assist” For Hololens

Two new tools for the Hololens headset unveiled as cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics Applications include “Microsoft Remote Assist” and a “Layout” tool that allows users to import and manipulate 3D models; these were first showcased in May at the Build conference, but general availability and demos have now been announced.

See also: Sales Cloud Platform Gets a Major Revamp from Salesforce

In a May blog by Lorraine Bardeen, Microsoft’s GM, Mixed Reality Workplace, on Tuesday, she wrote of the Remote Assist application: “We set out to create a HoloLens app that would help our customers collaborate remotely with heads-up, hands-free video calling, image sharing, and mixed-reality annotations.”

The app essentially lets field service workers use the goggles to fix equipment or take other actions guided by a remote expert who can watch the process and draw instructions in the workers’ fields of view.

See also: AR Goggles for Enterprise Use: Business Interest and Product Range Heat Up

Microsoft pointed to its ongoing deployment by oil and gas major Chevron: “Previously it was required to fly in an inspector from Houston to a facility in Singapore once a month to inspect equipment. Now it has in-time inspection using Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and can identify issues or provide approvals immediately.”

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A second Microsoft service lets companies use HoloLens to map physical spaces and move virtual versions of equipment around to plan before actual moves take place. Bardeen wrote: “With Microsoft Layout customers can import 3-D models to easily create and edit room layouts in real-world scale. Further, you can experience designs as high-quality holograms in physical space or in virtual reality and share and edit with stakeholders in real time.”

AI for Sales

The company also added three new Microsoft Dynamics Applications for across CRM and ERP. These comprised Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, Customer Service and Market Insights which the company described respectively as offering “a detailed analysis of the sales pipeline, and [ability to] surface insights that enable smarter coaching of sales teams”; “leverage virtual agents to help lower support costs… without writing any code” and “improve customer relationships with actionable web and social insights to engage in relevant conversations and respond faster to trends.”

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