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Innovation

Microsoft fills in more details on its Digital Contact Center Platform featuring Nuance AI

Microsoft's Digital Contact Center combines Teams, Dynamics 365, Power Platform and Nuance AI technologies into a bundle which will be available starting this week.
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Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on
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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft officials have been talking up plans for a digital contact center offering featuring Teams, Dynamics 365 and Nuance AI for the past several months. Officials re-announced plans for its unified digital contact center with some additional details on Day 1 of Microsoft's annual partner conference, Inspire.

Microsoft finalized its acquisition of Nuance Communications in March 2022. For $19.7 billion, Microsoft got a company best known for its work in healthcare, but with products in voice recognition and related software and services. Nuance already offered its own contact center technology before Microsoft bought the company.

Microsoft has been signaling it was planning to package up a bunch of its existing tech into a contact center offering a while now. In November 2021 -- before the Nuance acquisition was officially complete -- Microsoft officials announced availability of an all-in-one digital contact center, which combined Dynamics 365 Marketing, Customer Insights, Microsoft Advertising services and first-party voice services.

Once Microsoft finalized its acquisition of Nuance, officials said they were working on a combined Nuance-Microsoft contact center offering. They said they would integrate Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Customer Service product with Nuance's AI technology to create a "secure, AI-infused contact center."

At Inspire today, officials provided some more specifics about what Nuance and some of Microsoft's other existing AI technologies would bring to the contact-center party. Microsoft officials said its "Context IQ" predictive/sentiment analysis technology would help customer service agents better figure out customer emotions and their own next-best responses and recommendations for upselling and cross-selling. It also integrates Power Virtual Agents into the combined digital contact center to provide self-service capabilities.

Microsoft officials said that Accenture-Avanade, one of its main partners, will deliver its customer engagement solutions powered by Microsoft's Digital Contact Center Platform. Other partners also are going to sell the Microsoft contact-center platform, including HY, HCL, Hitachi, KMPG, PwC, TCS and TTEC, among others.

Microsoft officials said the new Digital Contact Center platform will be available starting today, July 19, and will be customizable based on customer needs. Microsoft is announcing the availability of a Nuance + Microsoft joint offer on Enterprise Agreements starting August 1. Via this offer, customers can buy Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service + Nuance Gatekeeper (GK), Nuance Conversational Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Nuance Digital Engagement Platform (NDEP) on their Microsoft Enterprise Agreements.

In other Microsoft Dynamics-related news, Microsoft made available last week its Dynamics 365 and Power Platform product plans for 2022 Wave 2. These documents outline hundreds of mostly incremental features that Microsoft is planning to roll out across Dynamics 365/Industry Clouds and Power Platform between October 2022 and March 2023. Early access for some of the features will begin on August 1.

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