Jesse is our marketing manager, keeping an eye on the latest news in the market as well as having worked on the GDPR legislation.
Future Tech is Here Now!
For fans of science fiction movies, there have been decades of promises of technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), but in general, the shiny robotic future still feels like something for the next millennium. My colleague Stuart made a comment to me about the film Blade Runner, which is based in 2019 - we certainly don't have flying cars, though L.A. does now have a public smoking ban! So it certainly does seem that we will have to wait a few centuries for our Artificially Intelligent cyborgs and augmented reality Head-Up Displays (HUD).
However, the titans of industry are not settling for this, with the likes of Elon Musk, Satya Nadella, Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai as the figureheads of the top technology companies. We have started to see the android ai tech coming into our homes with Google Home and Alexa, and phones starting to use augmented reality such as Google maps.
But is there more to this technology than consumer tools? A lot of businesses certainly feel like this is a long way off in the future - but we have been seeing otherwise.
Artificial Intelligence for Business
Microsoft is extremely business focussed, with huge amounts of resource being spent on the Dynamics 365 business suite. We are starting to see AI as a major component of new releases, such as with the latest release of Business Central.
Managing stock levels
Cortana is Microsoft's machine learning engine, and in this video, you will see how stock levels can be forecast to make sure that there is enough inventory available. Rather than spending hours calculating through historical data, AI is allowing companies to make informed decisions in seconds. The in-built intelligence also makes suggestions based on the user's activities, such as on a PO. As you can see in the video, when the user creates a PO, it suggests other items from the same supplier that are also due to run out.
Quote to Cash
The integration of platforms is at the core of the Microsoft business ethos. With integration to Outlook emails, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central provides information at your fingertips in Outlook. This in itself is an impressive feature, however, with Artificial Intelligence, it is possible to achieve so much more. From Outlook, the system recognises requests for quotes, allowing the user to create quotes (including customer specific pricing) with very little input.
Augmented Reality for Business
Augmented reality (AR) really is the stuff of Science Fiction - devices such as Google Glass has never really gained traction. Now, Microsoft has used their Hololens technology to become the future of AR technology. For example, the Remote Assist feature allows assistance for service engineers, as shown in the following video.
The Future is Now!
As you can see, although we have had decades of waiting for technology to catch up with science fiction, in the business world the technology is already here. Businesses are now having to consider the additional benefits, from cost savings to improved customer service, in their IT strategy. In fact, IT strategy is now more than just overhead, it is part of the overall strategy of any business wanting to gain the technical edge over their competitors.
I find their approach to our relationship very professional whilst being refreshingly realistic. We now consider them to be part of our teamLee Crowhurst, Technical Director