From MS Copilot 365 to MS Viva Insights: Microsoft’s Comprehensive Suite of AI Tools 

Generative AI tools will transform business, and Microsoft’s deep catalog of AI-driven services are compelling new offerings Microsoft Partners offer.

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    Generative AI tools hit the mainstream last year, with the likes of ChatGPT and DALL-E drawing the attention of curious consumers and businesses worldwide. Since then, there has been much talk about potential commercial applications for this new breed of artificial intelligence. Now, within the last few months, we are seeing the first wave come to market.

    Generative AI is a type of machine learning able to create a broad range of novel content. Generative AI has actually been around since the 1960s in the form of basic chatbots, but the past year’s developments are thanks to the convergence of two very recent developments in AI research:

    •  Large language models (LLMs) take large data sets of language, such as a chunk of the Internet, and use that as a model to predict what words to write next in new content.
    • Generative adversarial networks (GANs) are two-part neural networks that create content on one side that attempt to fool the other. When it fails, it learns from its mistakes and repeats. It is a highly effective feedback loop of machine learning.

    AI is set to transform virtually every industry on the planet. The initial wave of applications hitting the market aims to reduce or eliminate human labor wasted on mundane tasks. For example, customer service staff at a Microsoft Partner replying to common user inquiries over and over or generating short product descriptions for marketing content.

    Not surprisingly, Microsoft is an early adopter of generative AI technology, and they have a handful of AI-powered resources on the market coming to market soon that Partners can leverage. This article explores Microsoft’s latest AI-driven offerings and highlights how they can make business easier for Partners.

    Microsoft 365 Copilot

    copilot Copilot is a new AI assistant embedded in Dynamics 365. Microsoft was a major investor in OpenAI, the development studio behind ChatGPT. That gave them early access to the GPT language model to help get Copilot to market ahead of the competition.

    The power of ChatGPT lies in its access to an LLM of the Internet. Copilot includes a similar LLM and, in the words of Microsoft, also gets “secure, compliant, privacy-preserving” access to your customer’s data to enable its unique business functionalities. It uses that capability to automate tasks such as mundane data entry and content generation tasks.

    For example, users can ask Copilot to summarize a recording of a Teams meeting to send to their team. Their customers can provide it with product information and prices to help their sales staff respond quickly to routine inquiries. And they can provide Copilot with product attributes to automatically populate new ecommerce sites.

    The New Bing

    Microsoft has added new natural language processing capabilities to its Bing search engine. The goal is to help Bing understand user queries more accurately and generate more relevant results. If you have ever used ChatGPT or one of the other new generative AI chatbots, you know you can ask follow-up questions to refine their output. The new Bing can do the same with refined search results.

    The new Bing will include more than just webpages in its search results. The underlying AI can search other media, including images, videos, news articles, and social media posts, and integrate them into one seamless, prioritized set of results. It can also help users create new generative content from prompts, as you can with ChatGPT.

    Microsoft Cognitive Services

    Microsoft Cognitive Services is a suite of cloud-based tools and APIs that a Partner’s developers and their customers’ developers can use to incorporate AI and machine learning into their services. The Cognitive Services suite includes many capabilities familiar to those who have tried out generative AI beta releases, such as:

    • Speech-to-text summarizations.
    • Text-to-speech generation for more personalized and natural human language interfaces.
    • Translation and speaker recognition capabilities.
    •  Language analytics, such as sentiment recognition and interactive chat services.
    • Image recognition capabilities.

    Microsoft Translator

    Microsoft Translator is another new cloud-based AI service. As the name implies, this one provides real-time translation services to end users. It can work with speech, text, or image recognition. In addition, it works across platforms easily, so Partners do not have to worry about which endpoint devices their customers will be using.

    Translator also offers a developer API Partners can leverage to build custom applications for their customers. You can embed translation tools in websites, apps, or other platforms. Translator has automatic language detection for both text and speech. Users do not need to set translation parameters manually before using the service.

    Microsoft Bot Framework

     AI Tools

    As Microsoft puts it, this is “a comprehensive framework for building enterprise-grade conversational AI experiences.” It provides a complete toolset for everyone from small businesses to enterprise customers to develop chatbots capable of working in any vertical. The framework enables you to hook into your customers’ Azure tenants to give the bot secure and private access to their data so they can support highly contextual and business-specific applications.

    For example, you can help reduce customer service costs for your customers by developing a bot that can answer routine questions. So their customers can verify shipping dates using natural language queries, check their account status, or get updates on new products.

    Microsoft Viva Insights

    Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform designed to help improve employee well-being and work-life balance. Viva Insights is a set of tools your customers can use to generate a high-level view of their employees’ work habits and productivity. It helps managers make clear, data-driven decisions about potentially complex issues.

    AI-driven analytics also helps employees make decisions about their working habits. For example, Viva Insights can suggest when to take breaks to maximize productivity, how to avoid distractions, such as too frequent email checking, and motivate employees with personalized updates and progress trackers.

    Speaker Coach

    Microsoft Speaker Coach is an AI-powered personal assistant-style service integrated into Powerpoint. Users turn it on, present their slide deck, and then Speaker Coach provides statistics on the presentation and offers feedback on their performance. It allows users to quickly and easily practice presentations in private.

    The Speaker Coach AI can provide real-time feedback on a speaker’s pacing, flag potentially sensitive phrases, note filler words speakers should consider cutting from their presentation, or alert speakers if they are just reading off their slides.

    How Stratos Cloud Alliance Can Help Partners Deliver Better AI Tools to Their Customers

    Generative AI tools are poised to transform business, and Microsoft’s deep catalog of AI-driven services are some of the most compelling new offerings Microsoft Partners can bring to their customers. From Speaker Coach to Microsoft Cognitive Services to the all-new flagship Copilot natural language assistant, there are options Partner customers of all sizes in all verticals will be interested in.

    At Stratos Cloud Alliance, we can guide you on how to sell, implement, and support this latest generation of AI and machine learning services. We are the only Indirect Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (ICSP) specializing in Dynamics 365 business solutions.

    We provide you with all the sales support, enablement, and services you need to build a profitable cloud solutions business. So whether you are a new Partner just starting or a seasoned managed service provider with a big lift and shift Dynamics project to tackle, Stratos Cloud Alliance provides all the resources you need free of charge.

    Are you ready to launch your customers into the AI revolution? Let’s get started.