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To realize the benefits of AI, your business needs more than great technology and great data. That’s a given. You need tools and applications your employees will actually use that empower them to quickly develop solutions that drive efficiencies. Then, as they become more familiar with AI, that help them confidently reach for bigger outcomes. Let’s look at specific AI capabilities that can empower your team to unlock your most ambitious digital transformation goals.

We believe AI is most useful and usable when it’s most accessible

But first we’ll share a quick word on our vision for AI in the enterprise.

As described in our initial post in the Reimagining AI for Microsoft Business Applications blog series, we believe AI works best when it’s in the hands of people closest to a problem. When you let people devise their own solutions instead of scrambling to have someone do it for them, you enhance their competencies and magnify their impact. This opens the way to market differentiation and competitive advantage.

Sounds great, but how exactly do you make this happen? What technologies, capabilities, and policies help your people harness their know-how to achieve more with AI? How do you choose tools that won’t sit on a proverbial shelf and will alternatively be readily adopted? Here are some criteria we consider essential to useful, usable AI.

Recommended capabilities for your AI evaluation checklist

  • AI integrated into everyday business workflows. Most AI implementations are set apart from the rest of an enterprise’s systems. This puts AI in somewhat of a gilded cage – beautiful but inaccessible. If AI is embedded in everything you do as part of a modern workflow, business users without technical knowledge can create highly-effective AI solutions. This not only drives results but also builds satisfaction, because people naturally feel good about being able to achieve success using AI. And that has the added benefit of accelerating adoption throughout your company.
  • Relationships, processes, and data sources unified across applications. What good is all of your data if it’s trapped in business silos and hidden from view? It’s much better for your data, business analytics, and insights to be unified on one platform, so that people throughout your organization can see the entire picture of a customer’s experience or fully comprehend a critical business operation. As a result, everyone has the knowledge to innovate to create more relevant customer experiences and more optimal processes.
  • An on-ramp to robust AI capabilities, not just a starter set. It’s never desirable to put a ceiling on what people can accomplish. In order to create lasting change, your team needs to be able to tap into sophisticated AI products and guidance, not limited functionality. This means the tools need to be usable by people with domain expertise but be as full-featured as those of data scientists.
  • Scalable, flexible platform. It can be daunting to get started with AI. Many organizations begin by using a point solution to focus on a specific challenge, with plans to expand their use of AI as they develop in-house competencies and skillsets. This is a wise approach, but the AI system in place needs to be able to scale to accommodate additional users, data, and data sources, and many more applications across the enterprise.

We believe all these capabilities are vital to your success. That’s why we elected to infuse our AI as a core ingredient across our Microsoft Business Applications offerings. Check out the links below for a closer view.

Learn more

How do your employees benefit when you make AI accessible to all? How do they work smarter and faster? That’s the topic of our next post in Reimagining AI for Microsoft Business Applications.

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!

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