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A new era in enterprise resource planning, powered by AI

Welcome to a new era in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, powered by AI. In recent years, businesses have embraced AI to automate and enhance processes from planning to forecasting. Now, generative AI is taking centre stage as a game-changing technology that promises to modernise the way work gets done, driving innovation across ERP; from streamlining operations to speeding time to actionable insight.

Dynamics 365 Copilot, announced in March, takes advantage of recent advancements in generative AI to automate tedious tasks and unlock the full creativity of the workforce.

In April, we shared how generative AI can be applied to key supply chain processes, and in June are introducing more AI-powered assistance across our ERP portfolio, included in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 Project Operations, and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. To activate these new Copilot features within your Dynamics 365 products, work with your IT admin.

ERP systems have long been the central nervous system of modern businesses, centralising data for better business insight from core functions like finance, HR, commercial, resourcing, and supply chains. However, traditional ERP solutions have struggled to keep pace with the dynamic nature of today’s global markets. Complex and rigid processes within ERP create more work for people, and repetitive manual data entry overwhelms departments. Dynamics 365 Copilot promises to help finance managers, collections professionals, project managers, and procurement professionals complete time-consuming tasks and get insights faster.

Speed time to insight—get the most from your ERP data

Harnessing big data is even more crucial as we enter a new era defined by next-generation AI. At Microsoft Build 2023, Microsoft announced how Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Fabric work with Dataverse and business intelligence tools to deliver actionable insights and reporting. Our upcoming extended planning and analytics solution will build on this powerful foundation to help finance professionals and business analysts spend less time slicing and dicing data. With the ability to use familiar tools like Microsoft Power BI and Excel infused with Copilot capabilities, these professionals can:

  • Use natural language to bring data to life by simply describing the visuals and insights that one is looking for. Copilot will help create a Microsoft Power BI dashboard or report—complete with visualizations and summaries—and help refine it. One can dig into the data further by asking questions. Copilot will find the right answer.
  • Collaboratively align plans, budgets, and forecasts with business strategy.
  • Streamline sales and operations planning.
  • Automate financial consolidation for seamless book closing.
  • Strategically close talent gaps for an empowered workforce, gain a comprehensive view of cash flow dynamics, and access highly accurate predictions through advanced predictive analytics powered by machine learning and AI.

By using these tools and technologies, finance professionals can optimize their performance, allocate resources effectively, and drive better financial outcomes for their organizations.

 

Deliver more strategic value with intelligent automation for project managers

Project managers frequently struggle to complete projects on time and within budget. Copilot capabilities for Dynamics 365 Project Operations are designed to dramatically reduce the time spent on project status reports, task planning, and risk assessments.

With Copilot, project managers can rapidly create new project plans for new engagements in minutes, instead of hours, simply by describing details of the project using natural language. Copilot will generate a project plan that can be further refined by the project manager.

Once the project is underway, the project manager can use Copilot to create a project status report, which Copilot will help generate in moments—reducing the hours often spent manually researching and writing. To ensure project success, Copilot then can be used to identify risks and suggest mitigation plans on a continuous basis. For example, the project manager can prompt Copilot to search across all open projects to identify common project risks that can derail a project, such as significant delays or budget overruns.

With Copilot, project managers can improve efficiency, reduce risks, and focus on more strategic and value-added activities.

 

Supercharge productivity of collections professionals and procurement professionals

Copilot capabilities will help collections and procurement professionals enhance productivity and better collaborate with customers.

Timely payments and healthy cash flows are increasingly important in times of economic uncertainty. With Copilot in Dynamics 365 Finance, collections professionals have quick access to credit and payment history so they can prioritise and personalize customer communication, helping to increase successful collection rates and proactively keep customers in good standing.

Disruptions to supply chains are an everyday occurrence, and supply and demand can shift quickly. Staff in procurement professional roles and buyers are tasked to sort through large volumes of purchase order change responses daily and need more intelligent and agile tools to help address and streamline this process. Order responses oftentimes require changes to ordered quantities, delivery dates, or products delivered. Today, procurement professionals must review the changes for individual orders one by one to identify the risk to plan and potential downstream impacts. With Copilot in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, users are able to efficiently handle changes to purchase orders at scale and assess the impact and risk to help optimize procurement decisions. 

They can quickly identify high-impact or low-impact changes and take rapid action to address any risk. Copilot enables quick collaboration with internal and external stakeholders that brings relevant information into Outlook and Teams using natural language. Users can also dig deeper with pointed questions to refine and approve changes so they can rapidly adapt their sourcing plans to meet customer and partner needs.

Microsoft is fully committed to revolutionising the future of ERP by harnessing the power of intelligent, composable technologies. With its ability to speed time to insight, intelligently automate processes, and foster productivity, Copilot can help you stay ahead in an increasingly complex business landscape. With Copilot, you’re in control as it is grounded in your business data and automatically inherits your valuable security, compliance and privacy policies, regulations, and processes.

 

Connect and learn more, heading to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 community

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!

 

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PSE December/January 2024

PSE December/January 2024

Northumberland’s climate change resource is empowering the next generation

Dive into our latest edition for December/January. Discover insightful articles on climate change, innovation in nuclear decommissioning, fostering collaboration, and more.

 

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Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep 48. Achieving Net Zero - Cllr Abdul Jabbar - Oldham Council

As central government aims for the UK to be net zero by 2050, councils around the country make plans for how to reduce emissions. This episode’s guest, Oldham’s Councillor Abdul Jabbar outlines the importance of coming together to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, the benefits of achieving net zero, and how Oldham Council are working to do just that.
 

Touching on the role that the public sector can play in sustainability, Cllr Jabbar said:
 

“I think it’s really important that the public sector gives true leadership in this space. I think something like one third of the carbon emissions in the country come from the public sector, so obviously we’re a big polluter in terms of the emissions.”
 

Councillor Jabbar also spoke about challenges being faced by organisations:
 

“I think the biggest one has been finance. Clearly the local government sector in particular has had its grants cut from central government by a huge amount and that’s had a very big impact in terms of our plans to take forward projects in relation to climate change, so that’s a major issue.”
 

To hear what Cllr Jabbar has to say about the mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

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