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Microsoft Enlists Nuance Tech in New AI-Powered Contact Center

Microsoft took the wraps off a new intelligent contact center platform on Tuesday as part of its Microsoft Inspire 2022 virtual partner conference.

The new offering, dubbed the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform, significantly incorporates AI technology that Microsoft inherited from its $19 billion acquisition of Nuance Communications Inc., which was finalized this past March.

It's also based on technology rooted in other Microsoft products, like Teams, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, according to a blog post Tuesday by Charles Lamanna, Microsoft's head of Business Applications & Platform.

"The platform brings together a comprehensive yet flexible solution for contact centers," he wrote. "Best-in-class AI powers self-service experiences, live customer engagements, collaborative agent experiences, business process automation, advanced telephony, and fraud prevention capabilities."

Nuance, already an established Microsoft partner before it was acquired, is a pioneer in conversational AI, with security and automation chops, as well. Drawing from these capabilities, Microsoft's new contact center platform is able to predict customer actions using "AI intent prediction" and "customer journey analytics." It also uses biometric authentication to identify and log in customers quickly.

The platform also uses another AI technology, Context IQ, that's found in Microsoft 365, Teams and Dynamics 365. Microsoft first announced Context IQ in its 2021 Ignite conference as an AI solution that offers predictions, information and people-contact suggestions. The function of Context IQ in the contact center platform is to provide "intelligent next-best response recommendations and sentiment analysis to enable fast resolutions," Lamanna said.

The Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform is "open," according to Lamanna, meaning organizations can theoretically integrate it into their existing contact center systems, as well as build on top of it. The following partners are said to have worked with Microsoft to ensure interoperability with their own offerings:

  • Accenture/Avanade
  • Genesys
  • HCL
  • NICE
  • TTEC
  • EY
  • Hitachi
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • TCS

"With this robust set of launch partners," Lamanna said, "customers around the globe will be positioned to create new and sophisticated solutions to address specific contact center challenges."

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.

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