AI-based features are now available in Microsoft Teams Premium
Microsoft Premium is available now at an introductory price of $7 and will be available for $10 per month per user starting in July 2023. Microsoft Teams Premium was previewed at Ignite 2022 and integrates new technologies such as Large Language Models powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5. For example, the Premium version includes the following features:
- New AI features for meetings, such as automatically generated meeting notes, recommended tasks, and personalized highlights.
- Enterprise-specific settings for appointments that allow, for example, IT administrators to create custom meeting templates for customer calls, brainstorming meetings, help desk calls, or more.
- New options for webinars with e.g. scheduled reminder emails to the participants
Microsoft Viva Sales now with new GPT features
Microsoft Viva Sales now allows users to generate suggested email content with data specifically relevant to the recipient, such as prices, special offers or deadlines, using new GPT features. This can be applied to a variety of scenarios, such as responding to an inquiry or creating a quote. The system automatically generates proposals as needed.
According to a study commissioned by Microsoft itself, managing emails takes up more than 66 percent of a salesperson’s working time. That percentage is now expected to be reduced by the new AI-powered feature. Viva Sales uses Azure OpenAI Service as well as GPT and provides access to data and insights in the Microsoft Cloud.
A short demo video is available on the automatically generated email suggestions in the article.
Plans for 1st wave of 2023 releases for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform released
The plans for the first release wave 2023 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform have been published by Microsoft. The new features are scheduled to be delivered between April and September 2023. This first release wave of the year offers hundreds of new features and enhancements. Focus is on helping users make informed decisions with AI-powered insights and suggested actions, automating tasks and processes more easily and integrating collaboration seamlessly into workflows, and offering new low-code ways to build solutions.
Highlights for Dynamics 365 Marketing include new features such as a new business-to-business (B2B) analytics dashboard, frequency limiting, multiple email recipient activation, email timeline, customizable preference centers and Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) marketing tagging.
Highlights for Dynamics 365 Sales include new features such as AI-powered suggestions within the salesperson workflow; an updated form layout and opportunity management workspace; improved email templates, content suggestions and text messaging capabilities; and several new features to create, cycle through and optimize sales sequences.
Further, Microsoft has introduced a new way to interact with release plans with Release Planner for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.
Personnel changes at Microsoft Germany
Hussain Mahmood is the new head of the Solution Sales Organization at Microsoft Germany
As of December 15, 2022, Hussain Mahmood heads the Specialist Teams Unit (STU) and is a member of the management team at Microsoft Germany. With the STU, Mahmood is responsible for the solution business and supports customers in their digital transformation. Hussain Mahmood has worked for Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. for 13 years.
Inka Nobel is responsible for the new Digital Native division at Microsoft Germany
With Inka Nobel as head of the Digital Native Unit, Microsoft Germany is further expanding its footprint in the large customer segment. As of January 1, 2023, Inka Nobel assumed the role of Industry Leader Digital Native. With her team, she will support customers from the digital native generation as pioneers in the digital transformation in their growth ambitions with technologies, services and training from Microsoft as well as an extensive network of experts.
Microsoft plans to cut 10,000 jobs
Microsoft announced that it plans to cut a total of 10,000 jobs by the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2023. This represents approximately 5 percent of the total workforce. However, the job cuts do not apply to all areas. The company plans to continue hiring in key strategic areas.
In the second quarter, Microsoft plans to spend $1.2 billion on severance, changes to the hardware portfolio and lease consolidation costs to create higher density in work areas.
Many of the traditional media have reported on the job cuts, e.g.
the Tagesschau “Microsoft cuts 10,000 jobs”.
Zeit Online “Microsoft cuts 10,000 jobs”
Microsoft and OpenAI expand partnership
Microsoft announced its expanded partnership with OpenAI through a multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment. OpenAI’s products include such AI products as DALL-E 2 and ChatGPT. The goal of the partnership is to accelerate AI developments. This agreement follows previous investments in 2019 and 2021, and further components will include collaboration in AI supercomputing and research, allowing both parties to independently commercialize the resulting advanced AI technologies.
Microsoft plans to use the new AI-powered experiences in its consumer and enterprise products, such as through Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service, which enables developers to create AI applications by directly accessing OpenAI models.
Many media houses reported about the planned investment, e.g. also Heise Online “Microsoft invests further billions in ChatGPT developer OpenAI“, and named a total investment sum of 10 billion US dollars according to Bloomberg report. The plans to integrate the currently much discussed product ChatGPT into Microsoft’s services were also reported by Zeit Online with the article “Microsoft wants to take over ChatGPT into its cloud services”.
Latest version of Dynamics 365 Guides
With the latest release of Dynamics 365 Guides, Microsoft HoloLens 2 users can now simultaneously use step-by-step instructions as well as participate in Microsoft Teams meetings. This is to combine these two mixed reality apps into one seamless experience.
The following new features are available in Dynamics 365 Guides:
- Teams users can share their screens as holograms
- Access to Teams calendar and participation in meetings via HoloLens 2 are possible
- Streamline discussions with file sharing and text chat
- Sharing knowledge from the desktop to HoloLens 2
There are some screenshots in the article.
There is also a short product video on the page about Dynamics 365 Guides.
Dynamics 365 Marketing and Customer Insights second wave release 2022 updates.
Microsoft has shared in an article some new features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights that will be available in Release Wave 2 for 2022. The goal is to improve the customer experience with the following new features, for example:
- A first-run experience feature in Customer Insights to help understand customers faster
- Creation of custom forms with a few clicks using a drag-and-drop editor to deploy to websites or landing pages while better tracking conversions
- More custom channels available in real-time marketing
- A frequency cap feature that limits the number of messages that can be sent to a customer or prospect per day, week, or month per channel
- Content idea generation with artificial intelligence in email marketing
- New brand profile functionality for managing and standardizing multi-brand content
Microsoft ranked a Leader in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Field Service Management for 2022
Status: 12/ 07/2022.
Microsoft has been listed as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant 2022 for Field Service Management for the third consecutive year. IFS, Oracle and Salesforce are also in this category.
US antitrust authority blocks Activision takeover by Microsoft
As we reported back in January of this year, Microsoft wants to pay $69 billion for Activision. This would be by far the most expensive acquisition of the group in its history. The competition authority FTC has announced that it wants to block the agreed takeover of the video game manufacturer Activision by the software group Microsoft.
New Microsoft Supply Chain Platform
Microsoft has unveiled its new Microsoft Supply Chain Platform. The goal is to help companies maximize their investment in data across the supply chain through an open approach, bringing together the best of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI), collaboration, low-code development, IT security, and SaaS applications into a freely composable platform. In the process, the company also announced the preview for Microsoft Supply Chain Center, a command center for the Supply Chain Platform designed to provide visibility and transparency along the supply chain.
Frankfurt: Microsoft opens new office and expands computing power
With the relocation of the Microsoft office from an industrial park in Bad-Homburg to Frankfurt, Microsoft is continuing its strategy of moving to attractive, conveniently located sites in city centers. In doing so, Microsoft aims to create ideal conditions for hybrid working for its employees.
Microsoft also wants to expand its computing power in Frankfurt. Microsoft is thus responding to the rapidly growing demand for cloud services in Germany and is expanding the computing power of its most important German data center region.
18.11.2022 – https://news.microsoft.com/de-de/microsoft-baut-rechenleistung-der-azure-region-frankfurt-aus/
2022 Release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform is launched
In October, Microsoft rolled out Release Wave 2 of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform 2022. This is the second release wave this year and includes hundreds of new features and functionality. Microsoft has created a series of demo videos covering different business areas.
Microsoft presents quarterly results
Microsoft announced results for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2022, compared with the same period last fiscal year. For the first time in the company’s history, Microsoft generated more than half of its revenue from its cloud business.
- Revenue was $50.1 billion, up 11% (16% in constant currency)
- Operating income was $21.5 billion, up 6% (up 15% in constant currency)
- Net income was $17.6 billion, down 14% (down 8% in constant currency)
- Diluted earnings per share were $2.35, down 13% (down 7% in constant currencies)
Customer Experience Reimagined took place on 10/26/2022
Customer Experience Reimagined is a digital event hosted by Microsoft.
The goal of the event is to provide insight into the thinking of other CX leaders and offer strategies to help companies adapt to a changing landscape. It’s about the evolution of CRM, as well as key technologies and skills for executives to shape customer experience strategy.
Speakers included Judson Althoff, executive vice president & chief commercial officer at Microsoft. But there were also speakers from Accenture or Constellation Research, a Silicon Valley tech research and consulting firm.
A whitepaper with facts, figures & data on cybercrime.
What happens in a minute when it comes to cybercrime? Microsoft has published a whitepaper with an overview of facts, figures and data.
Every minute, cybercriminals worldwide try 34,740 times to crack passwords of IT users. That’s 579 attempts per second. 1,902 times they specifically attack IoT devices and infrastructures, i.e. networked machines, manufacturing plants and sensors, but also smart household appliances and vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft collaborate on more efficient, resilient and sustainable automotive production
Mercedes-Benz AG and Microsoft Corporation are working together on eliciency, resilience and sustainability: with the new MO360 Data Platform, Mercedes-Benz is networking its approximately 30 global passenger car plants with the Microsoft Cloud. This is intended to improve transparency and predictability along the digital production and supply chain processes. With the Microsoft Cloud, Mercedes-Benz can, for example, virtually simulate and refine manufacturing processes before they are implemented in the factory.
Microsoft Ingnite 2022: Introducing new AI, automation and collaboration capabilities for Dynamics 365.
New AI, automation and collaboration solutions were unveiled at Microsoft Ignite 2022. These capabilities are designed to help companies work more efficiently, collaborate better across teams and departments, and create breakthrough customer experiences.
A special “Into Focus” session showcased the new Release Wave 2 features. The video is available online at the Micorosoft site. Renewals include new AI and automation updates, as well as new integrations between Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Sales conversation intelligence available for all Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise and Viva Sales customers.
Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise and Viva Sales customers now have full access to Sales conversation intelligence. The goal of Sales conversion intelligence is to help salespeople by quickly identifying where their customers are in their sales process and what they can do or say next to get the most out of the interaction. But it also announced new features that will be rolled out over the next few months supported by AI and voice processing capabilities. One is real-time assistance for salespeople on the phone with customers or in a Microsoft Teams meeting. The other is suggested resources such as talking points, product and pricing details, and competitive maps to support salespeople’s conversations
Microsoft Ignite in October with local edition for Germany
Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft’s global conference for IT professionals and developers, will take place this year from October 12-14, 2022. The Spotlight on Germany will feature extensive German-language sessions and demos on October 13 and 14, specifically targeting the German market.
Bodensee Youth Conference on September 30, 2022
The Bodensee Youth Conference is a joint project of Microsoft, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen. The goal of the forum is the exchange of students and young scientists with representatives from politics, business and science to analyze the challenges of our time and to initiate solutions through progress.
Microsoft delivers first HoloLens glasses to U.S. military after tech problems
According to a report from Bloomberg, the U.S. Army is now taking delivery of a first small batch of Hololens glasses from Microsoft.
Microsoft Germany Statement on Data Privacy Compliance of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Due to allegations regarding data privacy compliance, Microsoft Germany has published a statement. In it, the company explains why, in its opinion, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams can be or are used in a privacy-compliant manner for private companies and the public sector (esp. the education sector).
Z. For example, it addresses the following statements: The cloud is insecure, the US government reads everything or data transfers to third countries such as the USA are not permitted.
Heise has also published an article on this.
Microsoft named leader in CRM suites category in The Forrester Wave Q3 2022
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites, Q3 2022. Joining them among the leaders are CRM vendors Salesforce and Oracle. Salesforce is even a bit further ahead in the chart with the Stronger Current Offering and Stronger Strategy categories.
Public preview of Microsoft Viva Sales is available
In week 26 of this year, we already reported on the announcement of Viva Sales. The preview is now available. The goal of Viva Sales is to allow data to be automatically entered into any CRM system via Office 365 and Teams. This eliminates the need for manual data entry. The application will be available in Q4 2022.
More about Viva Sales https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/microsoft-viva/sales
Key personnel changes at Microsoft Germany
Luca Callegari takes over as Chief Operation Officer (COO) in charge of Marketing and Operations on the Executive Board of Microsoft Germany. He reports to the Chairwoman of the Executive Board, Dr. Marianne Janik.
Florian Deter verantwortet ab 1. August 2022 als Geschäftsführer Microsoft Deutschland und Enterprise Commercial Lead das Großkundengeschäft von Microsoft Deutschland. Auch er berichtet an die Vorsitzende der Geschäftsführung, Dr. Marianne Janik.
Microsoft digital contact center platform: a solution for customer care
The Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform equips contact centers with tools to engage customers across voice, video and other digital channels. This new platform is based on an interplay of: Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Power Platform and Nuance.
This platform is a contact center solution that offers AI support, self-service experiences, live customer contact, collaborative agent experiences, business process automation and fraud prevention capabilities.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance brings a new level of conversational AI, security and automation to the platform. This gives both customers and agents features that enable them to solve problems faster and in a more personalized way, reducing resolution times and improving customer satisfaction.
2022 Release Wave 2 – new features for Dynamics 365
The 2nd release wave this year offers new features for almost all functions of Microsoft Dynamics 365. Updates have received Dynamics 365 Marketing, Dynamics 365 Sales or Dynamics 365 Customer Service, among others.
All updated areas and the new features can be found in the article below.
Microsoft announces “Viva Sales”
Viva Sales is a new feature especially for the use of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. With Viva Sales, customer data from the tools just mentioned can be automatically transferred to Microsoft Dynamics and any other CRM system, eliminating the need for manual data entry.
Microsoft approaches European cloud providers after competition complaints
Microsoft said that, among other things, it will make it easier for cloud providers to host Microsoft’s cloud offerings, such as Office 365 office software apps, in their data centers. Customers in Europe are also to get more flexibility on licensing terms.
The changes follow a complaint by European cloud provider OVH to the EU Commission in Brussels. OVH felt the licensing terms put it at a disadvantage because they made it cheaper to run Microsoft’s services with the group’s own cloud platform Azure than with infrastructure from other providers.
Microsoft Build 2022 – Microsoft developer conference
This year, Microsoft introduced more than 50 new products and features at Microsoft Build. Key new features include tools and platforms for AI-powered intelligent software development, hybrid design templates for intelligent endpoints, and automation capabilities for Power Apps, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Dynamics 365 Sales release wave 1
The rollout of the listed features of Dynamics 365 Sales release wave 1 are planned from April 2022 to September 2022.
The approach targets three areas to improve the sales team experience and enable them to achieve even more than before:
Leading salespeople with intelligence with
Making collaboration even easier
Achieve more success with more productive tools
This will be achieved, for example, with predictive analytics, automation, conversation intelligence or improved forecasting, but also through an improved connection between Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Teams, with predictive relationship intelligence or the Sales Hub app.
Microsoft Build with “Spotlight on Germany
On May 24 and 25, Microsoft Build will take place in Berlin with a special focus on Germany. Microsoft Build is an event for developers to learn about the latest innovations and technologies at Microsoft.
New service offering from Microsoft: Microsoft Security Experts
Microsoft is expanding its offering to include Microsoft Security Experts in an effort to counter the rising number of cyberattacks. As it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to build, retain and develop a complete security team, Microsoft is now expanding its service offering. It combines expert-developed technology with services to help companies achieve secure, compliant and productive outcomes.