MICROSOF COMPANY LAUNCHES NEW MECHANICS 365 OFFERINGS LIKE CLOUD-POWERED MARKETING, PROVIDE CHAIN INSIGHTS, WATCHING HOW PEOPLE MOVE AROUND IN RETAIL SPACES, AND MUCH MORE

microsoft dynamicswiggersventurebeat Beyond updates across Azure , this week at its Ignite 2021 conference, Microsoft has announced additions to its Dynamics 365 business app and industry portfolio, including Microsoft Customer Experience Platform, a marketing solution that is aimed at helping customers personalize, automate, and orchestrate customer journeys. Another — Microsoft Connected Spaces — is designed to let organizations leverage observational data to produce predictive insights, while Supply Chain Insights aims to proactively mitigate supply chain problems.

“[W]e are announcing innovation over the Microsoft Cloud that may allow every organization to build a hyperconnected business, providing the agility and flexibility for organizations and employees to thrive now and to the future, ” Microsoft’s corporate VP of industry, apps, and data marketing Alysa Taylor said in a blog post. “In order to be successful given these trends, every organization must move beyond ‘business as usual’ and toward a new model of hyperconnected business. ”

Microsoft Customer Experience
Microsoft pitches its Customer Experience Platform as a service to “deliver personalized and connected experiences from awareness to purchase. ” Leveraging assets from the existing Microsoft Customer Insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing products and services, the goal is to understand and predict intent to supply the right content on the right channel and at the right moment, the company says.

To the company’s point, Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to create a purchase from a brand providing you with personalized experiences — marketing or otherwise. Furthermore, according to a Smart Insights survey, 63% of consumers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics.

Customer Experience Platform’s Consent-enabled Consumer Data Platform (CDP) feature, currently in preview, enables chief data officers to use consent data to build customer profiles, manage known and pseudonymous aliases, ensure consumer data methods are compliant and protect the data with privacy and security controls. The complementary business-to-business CDP combines customer data from all sources — including customer relationship management software, email, websites, point-of-sales, partner systems, and internet sites — and performs identity resolution at the contract and account level to build profiles for people and companies. The AI-suggested content creation and delivery tool automatically generates a set of “content snippers” to serve as inspiration for customer emails.

Taylor says that customers including Home Depot, Chipotle, and agency partners like VMLY& R and Kin+Carta are already using Customer Experience Platform in their organizations. “Many [businesses] struggle to manage, organize, and gain insight from the vast quantity of data offered to them, and for marketers that challenge is even more acute, ” she added. “[C]ustomer data is the key to personalized, relevant, timely customer experiences. ”

Connected Spaces
Another new service joining Dynamics 365, Connected Spaces, lets organizations “gain a new perspective” in the manner people move and interact in very nearly any space, Microsoft claims. With it, companies can monitor safety in high-risk areas and observe queue management, ranging in environments from retail stores to factory floors.

“With Connected Spaces … organization[s] can harness observational data effortlessly, [using] AI-powered models to unlock insights about [their] environment and respond in real-time to trends and patterns, ” Taylor added.

At a high level, Connected Spaces provides analytics and trend details about people, places, and much more. For example , in a store, Connected Spaces can monitor foot traffic patterns, cashier queue lengths, dwell times, and product display engagement. Microsoft says that Mattress Firm has piloted the technology to measure the effectiveness of its in-store promotions.

Whilst the purported goal of products like Connected Spaces includes health, safety, and analytics, the technology might be co-opted for other, less humanitarian intents. Many privacy experts worry that they’ll normalize greater levels of surveillance, capturing data about workers’ movements and allowing managers to chastise employees in the name of productivity.

Microsoft did not detail the steps it’s taken to prevent the potential misuse of Connected Spaces. Once the service comes to preview, further details regarding this are likely to be disclosed.

Supply Chain Insights
The launch of the aforementioned Supply Chain Insights (in preview) comes as organizations face historic supply challenges. According to one source, only 6% report full visibility on the supply chain. And 38. 8% of U. S. -based small businesses experienced supply chain delays because of the pandemic.

“Customers like Daimler Trucks North America can gain new visibility into their supply chains across multiple tiers of suppliers. They could get data in near real-time, letting them assess risks and mitigate problems before a massive disruption does occur, ” Taylor continued. “Supply Chain Insights also enables clients to enrich their very own supply chain data with external signals like global weather data to predict its impact on shipments, putting increased intelligence and predictive power at their fingertips. ”

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