Microsoft has launched its new Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, which is designed to maximise the use of supply chain data by combining Microsoft’s artificial intelligence with low-code, security and software-as-a-service applications.
The Supply Chain Platform will be built around the Microsoft Supply Chain Center, which will work natively with an organisation’s supply chain data and applications to provide supply and demand insights, as well as order management. It will analyse data from applications such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers, including SAP and Oracle.
The Supply Chain Center will also include prebuilt modules to address supply chain disruptions. These include a supply and demand insights module, which uses Azure AI to predict upstream supply constraints and shortages; an order management module, which allows users to orchestrate and automate fulfilment via a rules-based system; a built-in Teams integration, enabling users to collaborate with external suppliers in real time; and partner modules, which will allow customers to address more industry-specific problems. Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management customers will automatically have access to the centre.
“Businesses are dealing with petabytes of data spread across legacy systems, ERP, supply chain management and point solutions, resulting in a fragmented view of the supply chain,” said Charles Lamanna, corporate vice president of Microsoft business applications and platform. “Supply chain agility and resilience are directly tied to how well organisations connect and orchestrate their data across all relevant systems. The Microsoft Supply Chain Platform and Supply Chain Center enable organisations to make the most of their existing investments to gain insights and act quickly.”
The Supply Chain Platform will support suppliers across Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, Teams and Power Platform. Users will also be able to use the Microsoft Dataverse to create thousands of connections to gain visibility across the supply chain, develop custom workflows with low-code solutions in Power Platform and securely collaborate with Teams. The platform will also help users to reduce their carbon production.
“Supply chain solutions are more critical than ever,” said Daniel Newman, founding partner and principal analyst of Futurm Research. “Our early assessment of the Microsoft Supply Chain Platform and Supply Chain Center is that the company has put its technology, applications and resources together in a way that will serve its customer base well in a wide swath of IT and operations environments, offering flexibility for diverse IT environments and continuous agility for transformation into the future.”