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Exploring our shared tech future: Microsoft Business Applications Partner Springboard event

Steven Shaw
Microsoft and Kin + Carta

An opportunity for Microsoft and partners to connect and share insights.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Microsoft Business Applications Partner Springboard event in London. The event saw Microsoft specialists talking about the current market activity across UK and EMEA, product updates, and fireside chats alongside networking opportunities.

We started with an overview of the current UK market, trends and insights into the ways people are increasingly adopting new technologies at speed. One of the benchmarks we explored was how long it takes to build a user base of over one-million users. Depending on the data source these can vary, but for headline comparison: Facebook took 10 months, Spotify took around 5 months, the latest iteration of ChatGPT took approximately 5 days, and the Threads app took less than an hour. This shows not only the power of social media and marketing but also that users are excited to try the latest technology as soon as possible. Though we should note that if experiences don't deliver, users leave just as fast!

From a product perspective, the discussions focused on Dynamics 365 and Power Platform - key software suites used by both small to medium organisations and across the enterprise space.

The Power Platform

An event highlight for me was the Power Platform and the various strands of software that sit under that umbrella. The Power Platform offers a low-code approach to delivering business applications that can boost efficiency without investment in expensive infrastructure or the need to engage a development team to build something bespoke.

Of the software elements available, the big 3 discussed were:

  • Power Automate - Offering the ability to automate (often mundane or legacy) processes.
  • Power Apps - This enables the development of apps that can connect to various data sources that also work on mobile.
  • Power Virtual Agents - chatbots that connect to the other tooling in the Power Platform and wider Microsoft ecosystem.

Low-code isn't about replacing your people. It’s about making processes more efficient and freeing up your teams to do tasks that provide more value. This is also true of developers. We all know that developers can be an expensive and (in some technologies) elusive resource, so why have them spend time on basic tasks? Low-code frees them up to really focus on necessary bespoke elements while using tools like Power Platform to connect systems together without needing to go bespoke from the ground up.

Read more about the Power Platform here

Microsoft and Kin + Carta
Low-code is SO MUCH MORE than just apps


There was also plenty of discussion about the power that the Dynamics portfolio of applications now offers customers who adopt more than a single module. For example, combining Dynamics CRM with Customer Experience (CX) or Customer Insights (CI) can leverage insights that measurably drive positive impact for an organisations.

It was interesting to hear how, in the current market, businesses are being held back by legacy back-office solutions that can't evolve to meet today's demands. With the Dynamics platform, customers can adopt the right tools, fully backed by the security and scalability of the Microsoft cloud. The solution can be adopted in phases (de-risking the implementation versus a big-bang approach) whilst moving to a single comprehensive platform rather than siloed systems.

Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft has been working on Copilot since 2021 and has benefited from the partnership that Microsoft has with OpenAI (the creators of ChatGPT). Copilot is being introduced across the complete Microsoft software spectrum.

Copilot can use the context of the application you are using and your own data alongside out-of-the-box filters and models to boost its offering.

Copilot for Office365 will be in general availability from 1st November.

Read more about Copilot for Dynamics 365 here

The day also included a session on ensuring that both Microsoft and its customers are using AI responsibly. Microsoft has 5 core principles when it comes to using AI which is reflected in the volume of resources and investment they are focussing in this area. The key principles for responsible AI are:

  • Fairness
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Reliability
  • Safety

The UK currently has a centre of excellence for AI which works closely with Government and Defence customers to ensure these principles are upheld and technology is delivering the way it should. Microsoft has also made a commitment to support customers who face legal challenges due to the use of Microsoft AI products. Although there are caveats - support is not available if you have changed the models or trained the AI with material that is copyrighted. However, it shows how Microsoft is really committed to its products and the quality of the output it produces.

Want to talk more about the Power Platform?

Get in touch

Modernising Services

Technology modernisation was a theme throughout the day. Despite a lot of organisations kicking off transformation projects, it seems there is still a huge gap between long-term vision and meaningful progress.

Contact centres are one area that are currently experiencing intense modernisation. The global pandemic showed the need for change and the power of adopting distributed teams and new technology. However, few contact centres have actually made that switch; they have remained focused on desktop installations rather than a cloud-focussed tech stack.

Changing the technology that a contact centre uses is a huge task, and not something that is done lightly. Often based on legacy technology, the route to modernisation is one of steady change and iterative improvements. By using the Power Platform and other supporting Microsoft tech, a contact centre can start to remove inefficient processes. For example, avoiding "double keying" by implementing an automated process to keep systems in sync or introducing a Power Virtual agent to field web-based queries and allow users to self-serve.

Kin + Carta are helping organisations in both the commercial and public sectors to modernise and transform their contact centre operations. And, with Microsoft leading the way in terms of innovation in this space, expect to see more from us on this topic in the future.

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