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Microsoft Updates Dynamics 365 for Customer, Employee and Supplier Experiences

Microsoft on Tuesday announced three new Dynamics 365 features, in varying degrees of availability, to improve businesses' interactions with their customers, employees and suppliers.

The new tools -- Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights, Dynamics 365 Customer Service voice channel and Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces -- were introduced during Day 1 of Microsoft's Ignite 2021 conference, taking place virtually this week.

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights
With industries feeling the crunch of a global supply chain crisis, Microsoft's announcement this week of its new Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights solution is especially apropos. The solution, now in preview, "enables organizations to create a digital representation of their physical supply chain and enhance the end-to-end visibility of their entire value chain," according to a blog post by Omar Choudhry, principal group program manager at Microsoft.

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights helps businesses avert potential supply disruptions by giving them data "in near real-time" from their various partners, including logistics partners, data providers and suppliers. It also contextualizes that data with information on global events that can impact supply chains, such as political unrest, natural disasters or resurgences of pandemic conditions.

The product runs predictive AI models against a "digital twin of the supply chain," according to Choudhry, to analyze the effects of potential disruptions so businesses can adjust accordingly.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service Voice Channel
Dynamics 365 Customer Service voice channel, a voice-enabled, SaaS-based customer service application, is now generally available. According to Microsoft, it's designed to combine the features of "traditional Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Customer Engagement Center (CEC)" into a single solution that's built on Microsoft Teams technology.

The addition of the voice channel feature turns the overall Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service into an "all-in-one digital contact center solution," said Jeff Comstock, vice president of Dynamics 365 Customer Service, in a blog post.

The voice channel feature is capable of real-time transcription and translation, real-time analysis of customer sentiment over the course of a call, and an AI that refers agents to relevant previous cases. It also integrates with voice applications from Microsoft partners such as "Five9, Genesys, NICE, Solgari, Tenfold, Vonage," according to Comstock.

Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces
The pandemic has normalized remote work and online shopping. To give businesses more insight into how employees and customers are engaging with their physical retail stores and factory spaces, Microsoft is readying Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces (previously called Dynamics 365 Connected Store).

Expected to launch as a preview in early December, Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces lets organizations "harness observational data with ease, use AI-powered models to unlock insights about your environment, and respond in real-time to trends and patterns," wrote Vishal Sood, general manager of Connected Spaces at Microsoft, in a blog post.

Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces works with a user's existing camera hardware, he indicated. The computer vision technology in Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces recognizes customer behaviors related to wait times at the cash register, entrances and exits at different times of the day, and popular store displays.

"Following deployment, simply turn on AI-powered models, known as skills, to help understand specific scenarios such as customer behavior at a promotional display, traffic patterns, and insights unique to your space," Sood wrote.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.

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