Microsoft has added AI capabilities to Dynamics 365 to take some of the drudgery out of finance and project management.
“Finance has a lot of data and a lot of tedious manual processes,” said Georg Glantshnig VP, Dynamics 365 Finance and service-centric ERP at Microsoft, “CFOs look at us to break the linear relationship between revenue growth and staffing in the finance department.”
AI can help them to grow revenue without adding staff. It can help the project manager be more productive and make better decisions, he added.
In March Microsoft announced Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot to provide AI-power assistance in CRM and ERP systems.
The recent announcement covers improvement that will benefit finance teams, the company said. Copilot can create new project plan templates. It can also draft project status reports in seconds rather than two to three hours.
“Copilot can help you create the task structure and proposal,” Glantshnig added. “You can edit it or accept it, and then when the project is in full swing you can write project reports. Copilot can take the data in the system and put analytics in the report.”
The AI creates a summary of the data and analytics that is perfect sometimes, and sometimes lagging, he said.
“But nothing leaves the system without a human approving it.”
The latest announcement includes tools collection managers can use to see an individual’s credit and payment history and preferred means of communication.
“We looked at the collection agent experience to help them be more efficient.”
Although AI has been making a big splash for months, Forrester Research suggested back in 2019 that the traditional ERP functionality had been so changed by AI that a new name was needed.
“Today, we see the beginning of a new era of operational systems that are so different that calling them ERP systems no longer makes sense.”
Forrester calls them digital operations platforms (DOPs) to reflect their agile, AI-based, and experience-driven nature and the critical role they play in digital business,” wrote Richard Cavallaro and Sam Sexton. Their report, commissioned by Microsoft, was titled “The Total Economic Impact Of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance.”
The AI capabilities include extended planning and analytics which Microsoft introduced last month. It helps financial analysts because Copilot can look at the data and summarize it saying that Product A is growing faster than Product B.
“Is this 100 percent? I would say no, not yet but things are going very fast,” said Glantshnig. “Even if you as a financial analyst get 80 percent of a prepared summary of the data, it’s a good basis to start from and then you can take it from there.”
Copilot helps the end user make better decisions or faster decisions, but it is not fully automated — it submits a proposal to the user and acts as the human interface.