Dynamics 365 gives businesses boost with push for new AI and mixed reality apps

With its focus on the enterprise segment and customer relationship management, Dynamics 365 isn't always the most glamorous Microsoft offering to talk about. But the company is looking to spice things up today with the announcement of some interesting new AI and Windows Mixed Reality integrations coming to the suite of tools.

First up, Microsoft is teasing the "coming availability" of a new suite of AI applications for Dynamics 365 that will focus on streamlining the data organizations have access to and serving it up at the right times for everyone from marketers to customer service representatives. For sales teams, for example, Microsoft says it is leveraging AI to assist salespeople in using their time more effectively, provide answers for the most common questions on sales performance, and analyze the sales pipeline.

Similarly, the AI integration will be able to use natural language recognition to assist customer service reps in quickly finding the information they need to help customers. The tech can even be used to enlist a team of virtual agents to lower support costs, Microsoft says.

Dynamics 365 and mixed reality

Dynamics 365 is also taking a step into the virtual world. Microsoft today offered another look at Remote Assist and Layout, two mixed reality applications that it first showed off at Build 2018 and launched into preview earlier this year.

The goal with both apps is to merge virtual reality with the real world to help workers get more done more efficiently. Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, for example, can be used by workers to dial in help from a technician from anywhere in the world. Viewed on the HoloLens, the worker and the technician can collaborate on solutions to problems, pointing out areas of focus with virtual ink and sharing documents overlaid on the real world.

Dynamics 365 Layout, meanwhile, operates as a virtual design studio to bring designs to life in the world around you. You can use the app to lay holograms of 3D objects over the space around you at real-world scale, helping to design room layouts and more.

Neither AI nor mixed reality are new ventures for Microsoft; the company has been putting a lot of resources behind both over the past several years. But while the consumer applications of each, such as games and digital assistants, may have more mainstream appeal, gaining traction in enterprise environments with industrial applications will be (and already is) and important path forward for Microsoft going forward.