The Future of ERP: Harnessing the Power of AI | OnActuate
 In A-CRM, A-ERP, A-Featured, Trending Insights

Imagine an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that can predict customer demands, automate routine tasks, and optimize operations with lightning speed. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI), this is no longer just a futuristic dream – it’s the new reality. In this blog, we’ll explore how AI is transforming ERP solutions and revolutionizing the way businesses operate. 

The rise of AI 

AI has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years, with advancements in computing power and data analytics driving innovation in the field. In 2012, the development of deep learning algorithms paved the way for the creation of more sophisticated neural networks, leading to breakthroughs in image and speech recognition. In 2016, AlphaGo, an AI-powered computer program, defeated a human world champion in the board game Go, marking a significant milestone in machine learning. In 2019, OpenAI introduced GPT-2, an AI language model capable of generating coherent and realistic human-like text, revolutionizing the field of natural language processing.

OpenAI  introduced ChatGPT in 2020. ChatGPT has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its natural language processing capabilities. This has made it a valuable tool in various domains, such as customer service, education, and healthcare. With the rise of ChatGPT, we are witnessing a shift in the way humans interact with technology, paving the way for more advanced and intelligent systems that can understand and respond to human needs in a more natural and intuitive way. 

We’re already seeing how ChatGPT is being utilized at work now, but how can AI be used in ERPs specifically? 

AI integration into ERP systems 

ERP system providers are now incorporating AI capabilities to undertake tasks that have traditionally required humans. For example, using AI to complete repetitive duties that involve correcting errors or addressing situations where rules have been implemented inconsistently. 

Moreover, AI can replace manual efforts that may have previously resulted in process latency. For instance, integrating machine learning capabilities and predictive analytics into ERP systems empowers businesses to access real-time insights and apply them automatically to specific business contexts. This development can significantly enhance efficiency and productivity, thereby streamlining operations for all stakeholders involved. 

ERP systems may evolve to become increasingly autonomous over time, requiring little human intervention except in critical exception handling or in the event of key performance indicator violations. This shift towards greater autonomy has the potential to reduce the burden of manual oversight and enable businesses to allocate their resources more effectively.

How Microsoft is incorporating AI 

Microsoft has even developed its own AI for CRM and ERP systems. Dynamics 365 (D365) Copilot provides AI tools built for sales, service, marketing, operations, and supply chain roles. 

  • Dynamics 365 Sales and Viva Sales: Copilot can write email responses and create meeting summaries that include product and pricing information and insights from recorded Teams calls. By automating time-consuming email-related activities, sellers can focus more on customer engagement and increase productivity. 
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service: Copilot offers contextual responses to queries in chat and email, as well as interactive chat experiences with knowledge bases and case history. Power Virtual Agents’ conversation boosters use Azure OpenAI Service and Bing to provide quick and accurate answers from internal knowledge bases and company websites, simplifying the creation of virtual agents. This enhances customer service operations and ensures that AI-powered expertise is readily available. 
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing: In D365 Customer Insights, AI can create personalized and targeted customer segments using natural language, with the added benefit of suggestions for previously unconsidered segments. This advanced capability handles complex calculations and identifies customers who fit a specific profile. Additionally, marketers can use Copilot to easily generate fresh email campaign content based on their input. Copilot suggests ideas from existing marketing emails, internet sources, and key topics provided by the marketer to increase the relevance of generated ideas. Copilot also allows marketers to streamline their workflow in data exploration, audience segmentation, and content creation. 
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central: Copilot simplifies the creation of product listings for online commerce by quickly generating compelling descriptions based on product attributes like color, material, and size. These descriptions can be further customized by selecting tone of voice, format, and length. 
  • Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management: Copilot in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management proactively identifies external factors such as weather, financials, and geography that may impact key supply chain processes. Predictive insights are used to identify impacted orders across materials, inventory, carriers, distribution networks, and more. Supply chain planners can then use Dynamics 365 Copilot to automatically draft an email alert to notify affected partners and prevent potential disruptions before they occur. 

What’s in the works at OnActuate? 

OnActuate has been developing our own AI to enhance our extended solutions and provide our customers with more robust benefits. As previewed in a recent DUG4GOV Virtual Meetup, OnActuate has developed an online portal for its public sector customers to host data, reports and other documents to share with constituents called the Transparency Platform. This allows governments to be transparent and accountable to their constituents by providing them with easily accessible information.  

Transparency Platform has been implemented by one of our marquee customers – City of Columbus.  

Of course, the online portal is only as useful as the user’s ability to navigate and interact with it. By leveraging Microsoft Power Virtual Agent, OnActuate built a virtual chat assistant to help and guide constituents to the information and answers they are looking for in the Transparency Platform. Calling the chatbot Claire (short for Clarity), the AI-powered bot can be used for a range of requests. From providing simple answers to resolving more complex inquiries. Claire is able to learn over time the more questions and answers it is fed, thus allowing it to track KPIs and identify future bot topics with natural language processing. By using the power of AI technology, this frees up the City’s resources, allowing staff to focus on improving programming and less time spent assisting with portal navigation or answering questions. 

Can’t play the video? Open the link instead: DUG4GOV March Virtual Meetup 2023 – Powered by DUG Meetups 

The future is sooner than you think 

Forbes compiled a list of ways ERP vendors can improve functionality and usage with AI. Many of these ideas we predict will most likely become reality in the not-too-distant future. With the rise of AI, we are witnessing a transformational shift in how we work. As AI and ERP technology continues to evolve, it holds the promise of unlocking new opportunities for innovation, discovery, and progress. 

Want to explore more about ERP systems and what it can do for your organization? Schedule a demo with OnActuate to discover incredible opportunities. 

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