Microsoft's New AI-Backed Services Threaten Salesforce

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has launched a series of artificial intelligence (AI) -powered tools meant to help businesses improve their customer service, marketing and manufacturing processes.

The new services, which will be made available as part of the company’s Dynamics 365 cloud-based program offerings, form part of Microsoft’s strategy to make its products more competitive with Inc.’s (CRM) premium AI features.

At an event in San Francisco, later confirmed in a blog post, the Redmond, Washington-based company unveiled Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service and Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights. The former service is set to include a virtual tool that enables customer service agents to redirect calls to a chatbot, while the latter has been designed to help marketers analyze social media trends and online sentiment regarding company products. (See also: Salesforce CEO Dismisses Microsoft as a Rival.)

During the event, Microsoft also unveiled new business applications that make use of its HoloLens augmented reality goggles.

Remote Assist lets field service workers use the goggles to fix equipment or take other actions guided by a remote expert who can watch the process and draw instructions in the workers’ fields of view, Lorraine Bardeen, general manager of Microsoft Mixed Reality, said in a press briefing on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. Chevron Corp. (CVX) was referenced as one happy customer that’s already using the tool.

Meanwhile, Layout, another new Microsoft service, gives customers the option to use HoloLens to map physical spaces and move virtual versions of equipment around in order to get a better idea of how to organize workspaces.

The new tools are set to become available to customers in preview this fall, reported CNBC. (See also: Microsoft's Stock Seen Climbing 9% on Robust Profits.)

“We live in a connected world where companies are challenged every day to innovate so they can stay ahead of emerging trends and repivot business models to take advantage of new opportunities to meet growing customer demands,” said  Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of business applications & industry at Microsoft, in a blog post. “With the release of our new AI and mixed reality applications we are taking another step forward on our journey to help empower every organization on the planet to achieve more through the accelerant of business applications.”

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.