The tech giant’s flagship event unveiled a host of mixed reality and AI-based upgrades to the spatial platform
At the Ignite 2023 event on Wednesday, Microsoft announced a series of new features for its Dynamics 365 Field Service solution. The transformative tool allows businesses to receive enhanced services, operations, and customer experiences (CX).
Leveraging cutting-edge tools like artificial intelligence (AI), mixed reality (MR), the Internet of Things (IoT), and many others, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 will provide a roster of new features for users.
This will apply to companies integrating Microsoft Teams into their augmented reality (AR) workflows and those using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 mixed reality (MR) headset. For many, this signals an advantageous set of tools needed to leverage augmented reality (AR) and MR devices for real-world industrial use cases.
Microsoft also revealed at the event that, from early December this year, frontline workers can access work order information by communicating with Copilot via Microsoft Teams.
Furthermore, Dynamics 365 Field Service clients and customers can receive Dynamics 365 Guides and Dynamics 365 Remote assistance free of charge.
Using the solutions, users can build guides to walk technicians through sequential instructions to complete critical tasks in less time, using spatial computing visuals.
It will also facilitate real-time collaboration via remote experts to assist users with mobiles or Microsoft HoloLens2 headsets. Furthermore, clients can buy Dynamics 365 Field Service Contractor for conducting essential work order management for vendors with enhanced features.
By doing this, enterprises can scale up their field service operations as they proceed with their respective digital transformations and accommodate the rising demand for immersive solutions in the workplace.
Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides
For many using Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides, mixed reality and generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) have become a core component of digitally transformed industrial processes.
Using a combination of AI, GenAI, MR, and Microsoft Cloud, frontline workers can tackle and resolve issues in their workflows. Currently, it is operating in private preview via the Microsoft HoloLens 2.
With Copilot, field service technicians and workers in manufacturing and services can communicate with Azure OpenAI Service-powered artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP).
The platform’s NLP interface will allow frontline workers to dictate the information they need to receive for work orders in their respective Dynamics 365 Field Service systems.
With just a few voice prompts, users can receive status updates on processes, retrieve parts, or view sequential instructions for completing tasks.
Using Azure, AI programmes can retrieve and curate documentation to device wearers, relay sequential instructions or procedures, and detailed information like service work history, device reading, or completed work order forms. This also includes holographic overlays for real-time guidance.
The features will also become generally available in December, allowing frontline managers to access their work orders on Teams to save time, money, and effort in selecting the right people for a job.
Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enhancements
For the enterprise, Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help workers accomplish the following:
Improve operational efficiency by supplying key data to frontline workers in the current or existing workflows. Users can point and ask questions about issues in their field of view (FoV) such as machine components, documents, and others, to receive AI-powered guidance on resolving ongoing issues.
Accelerate the onboarding process for new hires and boost skills for existing workforces. Using immersive, intelligent mixed reality learning platforms, learners can significantly improve their confidence and retention rates for course materials. Using the new tools, learners can engage with bespoke, role-based training to expedite onboarding time and prepare better for joining their roles from day one.
Workers can also capture, integrate, and democratise knowledge from their institutions into their ongoing workflows. This provides AR smart glasses, HoloLens 2 headsets, and other immersive wearables with repair guidances, service data, and best practices with real-time visuals. Using these resources allows remote workers and trainees to view consistent, photorealistic maintenance visuals for accurate repairs.
Finally, frontline workers can access and update forms along with system records linked to company information technology (IT) systems and employee workflows.
April Dynamics 365 Guides Updates
The news comes after Microsoft rolled out a trove of updates to its mixed reality solutions lineup on Dynamics 365 Guides in April this year.
Following Ignite 2022, where it announced some of the changes, the Redmond, Washington-based firm began to support frontline and deskless workers across the globe with Microsoft Mesh upgrades.
The company also incorporated Teams on its enterprise platform to provide HoloLens 2 users with remote worker collaboration tools. This integrated live feeds, real-time views, and spatially orientated annotations for remote guidance instructions, or direct inking as noted by Microsoft.
Mesh updates on Dynamics 365 Guides can instruct wearers with step-by-step instructions, complete with arrows, audio and video, captions, and other audiovisual cues.
Via the upgrades, HoloLens 2 wearers can also retrieve and view annotated data by overlaying it in real-world environments with mixed reality.
Also, HoloLens users and other companies integrating Mesh for Teams could communicate with face-to-face calls protected by data encryption and enterprise-grade security.
Guides allows the seamless sharing of files, training materials, and other assets to boost interoperability on the platform. Companies like Vuzix and RealWear have integrated such technologies into their assisted reality (aR) and augmented reality (AR) enterprise smart glass solutions.
The news comes after Meta Platforms struck a massive deal with Microsoft at its Connect 2022 event in October last year.
The collaboration led to major interoperability advancements for integrating Teams, Mesh for Teams, and Office 365 on Meta’s Quest lineup of headsets for enhanced productivity and cross-platform use.
Microsoft Ignite 2023 Background
The Microsoft Ignite 2023 event kicked off on 15 November at 08:00 Pacific Time in Seattle. Roughly 4,500 people are attending to watch keynote speeches, product updates, and major company reveals.
Over 175,000 people are expected to register and attend the event online.
Microsoft’s flagship two-day event curated the latest updates on the company’s artificial intelligence innovations to explore how businesses could become more productive.
Some of its top C-Suite executives will deliver keynote speeches at the premier event, including Chief Executive Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President of Security Charlie Bell, Executive Vice President of Experiences Rajesh Jha, and Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie.
The senior executives will address audiences with keynote speeches covering the company’s massive portfolio of technological solutions.
Most of the speeches will involve continued developments in AI, machine learning (ML), virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR), Microsoft Mesh for Teams, Office 365, and many more.