October 16 by Gene Eun
CRMUG Summit, the annual conference dedicated to the growing community of Microsoft Dynamics users and partners, was held last week. It’s an opportunity for CRM administrators, project owners, IT managers, end-users, and developers alike to step out from behind the monitor and step into an environment of knowledge-sharing, learning, networking, and lively discussion.
Artificial Intelligence the Big Star at CRMUG Summit
If you made it to this year’s conference in Nashville, you probably noticed there was a lot talk about, and interest in, applying artificial intelligence (AI) to various types of business use cases from intelligent data mining to demand forecasting, from predictive maintenance to process optimization, and many more. In fact, there were more than 20 sessions related to AI and machine learning.
Using AI to address real-life business problems is no longer viewed as just a far-fetched idea. Instead, AI is looking more like the next big technology trend like cloud computing, Big Data and mobile were only a few years ago. Today, AI is becoming a reality for a growing number of forward-thinking businesses. Just look at the level of interest in pairing Microsoft Dynamics with AI technology like Microsoft Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, and Bot framework and you’ll start to get perspective on all the potential this new generation of intelligent applications can bring.
Standing Room Only at CRMUG Summit
As a Platinum Sponsor at CRMUG Summit, Apttus hosted a session that offered our perspective on the use of AI to accelerate digital transformation and drive business outcomes. The session titled Digital Transformation. Applied AI. CRM, was presented to a standing room only audience by Alan Manuel, VP and General Manager of Apttus Intelligent Cloud. In his presentation, Alan provided his views on digital transformation and artificial intelligence as a catalyst to transform decision making, improve efficiency and accuracy, and allow people to do more creative and strategic work. Alan also described two top use cases for AI including machine-driven recommendations on products to cross-sell and up-sell, as well as advice on pricing and discounts to optimize deal size and win probability.
Later in the session, attendees saw AI in action, with a demo of Max, the Apttus intelligent agent which uses Microsoft Azure’s AI and Cognitive Services for natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning. In the demo, a sales rep interacted with Apttus CPQ and Microsoft Dynamics 365 through Max’s conversational interface that allowed him to send text messages on an iPhone to create an NDA for a customer, then create a quote that matches his customer’s needs and maximizes his quota retirement. All this by simply following recommendations provided by machine learning. Clearly, the demo provided the “ah ha” moment for many in the audience as you could just see the wagon wheels turning in their heads as they began to think about other areas of their businesses where AI could apply.
Y’all Come Back Now
The session provided just a few practical examples of how AI can be used to simplify interaction with Dynamics 365. The number of use cases and innovations will undoubtedly explode in the near future. By next year’s CRMUG Summit, who knows how pervasive AI will have become. We’re looking forward to it and hope to see y’all there!