How Microsoft Will Bring A.I. to the Workplace
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, October 03 6:00
Microsoft has long dominated the workplace with its Office suite, even when free competitors have come along. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook can be found on almost every business device, supporting most of the work professionals do each day. As more workers realize the benefits of using free cloud-based tools like Google Docs for collaboration, Microsoft continues to look for ways to retain its market domination.
During a keynote address at Microsoft s Ignite conference last week, CEO Satya Nadella explained how artificial intelligence would transform the way professionals work. Here are a few areas where workers will see A.I. powering their productivity throughout the day.
Tap for Word and Outlook
Today s professionals find themselves constantly generating new content, whether it s in the form of presentations, emails, or letters. Tap makes it easy for users to incorporate data found in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into emails and Word documents. The feature finds the most relevant information and displays it in a pane. If the information doesn t fit, a user can search for the right information directly within the pane.
Quickstarter for PowerPoint and Sway
Building impressive presentations can be difficult, but often getting started is the hardest part. Quickstarter is an enhancement to PowerPoint Designer that loads information from Bing into PowerPoint, letting professionals choose from curated outlines on topics of their choosing. As the presentation progresses, Quickstarter will recommend content to include, making it easier to create information-packed presentations. Microsoft will also update Designer to include professional designs to fit a wide variety of slide types and fonts.
MyAnalytics will replace Delve as Office s built-in analytics service. With MyAnalytics, workers will have access to personalized data on how they allocate their time throughout the workday. Microsoft will track time spent in meetings, responding to emails, and working. Contact with coworkers and clients will be tracked and the system will send reminders if someone involved in a key project hasn t been in communication recently. Team members can also add Groups to the MyAnalytics dashboard to track how much time a particular employee is spending with a certain team.
Relationship Assistant for Dynamics CRM
For businesses that use Microsoft s customer relationship management (CRM) platform, the new Relationship Assistant might be of interest. Coming in November, the solution is designed to equip salespeople with the tools they need to turn leads into customers. Relationship Assistant will notify salespeople of action they need to take based on data found within Dynamics, including information found in LinkedIn, email, and other sources about contacts. Since Salesforce plans to incorporate A.I. into its own platform, this update could help Microsoft become competitive as a CRM provider.
Artificial intelligence is an important part of the way future generations will work and play. Like many major tech companies, Microsoft seeks to be at the forefront of this technology. For the many businesses still using Office, these new solutions could be just what they need to boost productivity and create better documents and presentations. To get the updates, businesses will need to either update to the latest version or subscribe to Office 365.