Microsoft unveils cloud innovations for hyperconnected businesses

Microsoft unveils cloud innovations for hyperconnected businesses

New capabilities across cloud platforms will improve collaboration, customer service and more 

Rebecca Gibson |

Microsoft has developed a range of new capabilities and functionalities across its cloud platform, all of which are designed to help businesses build flexible, agile and hyperconnected organisations.

Introduced at Microsoft Ignite in early November, several of the new innovations are focused on enhancing how organisations communicate and collaborate.

The Microsoft Power Platform has been more deeply integrated with both Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365, while the portfolio features new collaboration experiences, such as the ability to comment on virtual agents, apps, or flows across Power Virtual Agents, Power Apps, and Power Automate.

In addition, enterprises can access better data-driven insights and collaboration capabilities in Power BI, as well as new process mining functionalities in Power Automate. Microsoft has made it easier for organisations to deploy Power Apps by enabling developers to connect a Microsoft Azure subscription to their Power Apps, so they only pay for what they use.

Organisations can also benefit from Context IQ, a new set of capabilities that allows users to access documents, records, and colleagues from within Dynamics 365 or Microsoft 365 applications, reducing the need to switch between different apps. This makes it easy for them to seamlessly switch between individual and collaborative work.

Microsoft has also developed various solutions to help organisations deliver more personalised multichannel customer experiences.

One is its first-party voice channel for Dynamics 365 Customer Service, which brings together contact centre channels, unified communications, artificial intelligence (AI) and customer service capabilities into a single, integrated software-as-a-service solution built on the Microsoft cloud. It provides out-of-the-box functionality spanning case and knowledge management, agent desktop, voice and routing, digital engagement, collaboration, infused AI, and natural-language understanding-powered chat bot and interactive voice responses capabilities.

In addition, Microsoft has launched a new Microsoft Customer Experience Platform to enable marketing teams to better manage, organise and analyse their data for actionable insights. The platform, which was developed in collaboration with agency partners such as VMLY&R and Kin+Carta, provides a complete set of marketing solutions to enable users to leverage data to deliver tailored and engaging customer experiences.

Other innovations include Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces (previously Dynamics 365 Connected Store for the retail industry), which allows businesses to use observational data and AI-powered models to identify trends in their environment and respond in real time.

Microsoft also aims to help organisations to build more resilient supply chains with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights. The solution provides organisations with visibility across their entire supply chains, as well as the intelligent data capabilities they need to assess risks, predict and proactively mitigate issues before they occur. Users can enrich their own supply chain data with information from external sources, such as weather data to predict its impact on shipments.

“As the world has changed over the past 18 months, we’ve seen three trends emerge: hybrid work is here to stay, customer demands have fundamentally shifted, and there’s no simple roadmap for what’s ahead,” said Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of industry, apps and data marketing at Microsoft, in a blog post. “At the same time, we’ve seen an explosion of data, generated by every business process, every connected device, and every individual on the planet. In order to be successful given these trends, every organisation must move beyond ‘business as usual’ and towards a new model of hyperconnected business.”

Taylor added: “Throughout Ignite, we’re excited to share how we’re helping every organisation build a hyperconnected business with the Microsoft Cloud. We’re helping organisations put people first, create impact faster, and transform with a partner they can trust.”

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