Remember when you were a child and magic still existed in the world? Well, it still does—as technology advances, we bring just a little more of that childhood magic into the adult world with exciting new innovations. One great example of this is Microsoft’s recent announcement about mixed reality and AI capabilities being integrated into Dynamics 365.

What Are AI and Mixed Reality?

AI stands for artificial intelligence, or machine intelligence. It’s a broad term with a varied history, but at its core, it simply means an intelligent system that can learn to carry out specific tasks on its own. It sounds like sci-fi, but you see this all around you in modern life with smart home devices, chatbots, advertising algorithms, and more.

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Mixed reality is exactly what it sounds like—the blending of the physical and digital worlds. You’re likely already familiar with augmented reality (AR) via the popular app Pokémon Go. In AR, the digital object appears “on top” of the visual world. Mixed reality, on the other hand, makes the object part of the visual world. So the digital object will be “attached” to a physical object, and your perspective of the object will change and shift based on how you move around it, making the illusion much more real.

How Will These Integrations Work?

So how does this relate to Microsoft Dynamics 365? Several new features will be incorporated, each with their own capabilities.

Dynamics 365 AI

Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality

Dynamics 365 AI for Sales

  • Time management/deal prioritization
  • Sales team performance FAQs
  • Pipeline analysis
  • Insights for smarter coaching

Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service

  • Guide agents to beneficial actions
  • Leverage virtual agents
  • Benefit from lower support costs
  • Delight customers

Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights

  • Actionable insights for marketing, social media, and research teams
  • Better decision-making
  • Improved customer relationships
  • Faster response to trends
  • More engagement in relevant conversations
Dynamics 365 Remote Assist

  • Modernizes field service operations
  • Empowers technicians to solve problems faster
  • Allows collaboration between on-site workers and remote experts
  • Gives you heads-up, hands-free calling—the expert will “see” through your eyes

Dynamics 365 Layout

  • Brings physical designs from concept to completion
  • Allows you to import 3D models to experience room layouts as holograms
  • Lets you effectively share your vision with stakeholders
  • Makes it easier for you to edit at a real-world scale

All of the Mixed Reality solutions work with Microsoft HoloLens, a revolutionary technology released two years ago that’s the world’s only self-contained holographic computer that fits around your eyes like a mask.

Business Benefits of AI and Mixed Reality

From the list of features, it’s hopefully clear that this isn’t just more cool tech (even though it is pretty cool!)—these innovations can make a real impact on your employees and business.

A Shared Perspective

One of the most important things this new technology does is allow employees to share a common perspective.

No longer will a field technician have to spend 20 minutes trying to explain what they’re seeing to the person back at the office—instead, they can put on a HoloLens and just show them while keeping their hands free to work the entire time. This will be revolutionary for frontline workers, who currently make up 80% of the world’s workforce.

In addition, engineers will no longer have to explain models to remote stakeholders with words or through video conferences—with mixed reality, stakeholders will be able to actually see it. This will allow them to truly understand and experience the idea or model as if it were right in front of them.

Working More Efficiently

Everyone knows that hours saved equals dollars saved, and all of these new features that Microsoft plans to introduce will work towards that end.

Now, your engineers can see the entire digital model of their new design at its actual scale in the real world. Not only that, but they also can make instant changes—no more costly building of small prototypes that are difficult to change. With the ability to virtually and instantly manipulate their environment, engineers will be freed from the constraints of physical models and will be able to creativity explore new ideas.

This will impact your customer-facing teams as well:

• Salespeople will now be able to instantly see where they should spend their time and quit spinning their wheels on that one customer everyone has who’s low on profit but high on hand-holding.

• Marketers will be able to quickly know what hot new trend is really the one they should do a campaign around, and which ones they should ignore.

• Virtual agents will be able to answer simple customer service questions without tying up your highly trained carbon-based resources.

Better Information

They’re calling this the information age for a reason—it’s everywhere, in vast and sometimes unprocessable amounts. And having access to the right information will make or break your business.

Dynamics 365 dashboard

Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics’ AI innovations will allow you to have the insights of a professional AI team, without the associated expenses. With Dynamics, your:

• Social media team will know exactly what keywords to use to get the most hits, likes, retweets, or whatever else is popular at the moment.

• Market research team will have insights that normally take months of research to acquire.

• Sales managers will be able to see exactly what each team member needs to improve upon and work with them to realize those results.

• Customer service team will be able to quickly identify the best and quickest solution to a customer’s problem.

An Exciting Future

All of these innovations help your business work smarter, faster, and more efficiently, with better information. They can touch every aspect of your business, elevate you to new heights above your competition, improve your customers’ experiences, and make your employees’ lives much easier—and a lot more fun. What’s more magical than that?

Written by Mathieu Pipe-Rondeau Marketing Communications Specialist @ SherWeb