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The Future of Business Central: Exploring the New “Analyze” Feature & The Rise of Dynamics Copilot

Our team recently attended Directions 2023 North America, giving us a captivating glimpse into the future of Dynamics 365. There is an array of exciting developments on the horizon of Microsoft’s roadmap for Business Central that our team was able to get a first look at, including a focus on analysis within the platform and the rapid emergence of Co-pilot.  

We are thrilled to have the chance to showcase two of these game-changing new features that we think embody the direction Business Central is heading. The first is the newly embedded “Analyze” tool, which will equip users with deeper insights into their operations, enabling them to make informed decisions, optimize processes, and identify growth opportunities more efficiently. The second is the new Co-pilot integration into Business Central, which represents a significant leap in tackling repetitive and mundane tasks. In this article, we’ll explore each of these new features, and what they could mean for your business going forward. Let’s dive right into it! 

The New “Analyze” Toggle for Business Central

Business Central has always had great reporting integrations with Power BI and Excel, but going forward, Microsoft is putting a big focus on improving the reporting capabilities within Business Central itself. Over the next few update releases, the Dynamics 365 product development team is adding new analysis tools directly within the Business Central environment. These new releases will allow end users to slice and dice their data within the Business Central interface starting with the ability to enable a new “Analyze” toggle at the top of the Business Central pages: 

Just like with pivot tables in Excel, users can quickly pick which columns they would like visible and add calculation fields such as a sum of all the vendors invoices. 

This is just one example, but the ability to efficiently manage and analyze vendor invoices like this makes the benefits of this new tool quite clear. Simplifying data analytics within the Business Central platform provides easier access to deeper insights and further streamlines financial operations for better, quicker decision making.  

Generating Product Descriptions with Dynamics 365 Copilot

A recent survey found that 9 out of 10 businesses are hoping that AI will be used to replace repetitive tasks in the workplace.  With this need in mind, Microsoft is leading the AI revolution by becoming the first company to incorporate a generative AI into their business applications. 

With Dynamics 365 Copilot, businesses can equip their teams with AI tools tailored for sales, service, marketing, operations, and supply chain management. Growing businesses know all too well that successful operations often demand burdensome, time-consuming activities like manual data input, content creation, and note taking. By harnessing innovative generative AI, Dynamics 365 Copilot can automate these routine tasks using natural language processing, allowing your team to operate more efficiently.  

In Q3 2023, Microsoft will begin the implementation of Co-pilot within Business Central by enabling integrated product descriptions for all its customers. It’s one new feature, but it goes a long way in demonstrating Copilot’s potential to enhance the platform as a whole. 

How Do Copilot Product Descriptions Work?

Using Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to access language models, Copilot can recognize, predict, and generate marketing text based on trained datasets and will be accessible on item cards within Business Central. By choosing the “Create with Copilot” action, the tool produces an initial draft for items, which can be enhanced through subsequent refinement options until you are satisfied with the draft.

For example, you can change the tone of the description, emphasize a quality, or have co-pilot modify the length. Drafts can also be edited manually by the user ensuring that you maintain full control over your descriptions. Microsoft also demoted sending these product descriptions to Shopify with their Shopify integrationan indication of the vast potential world of integrations that might be available to this powerful AI tool in the future.  

What makes Copilot particularly interesting is that Microsoft is taking a collaborative approach with it. Rather than developing every feature themselves, they are opening it up to partners, software vendors, and developers to explore its potential and discover innovative ways to incorporate it into their own applications. It’s an approach our team is pretty excited about as it empowers developers to tailor Copilot’s usage according to their client’s unique needs and preferences.   

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that Microsoft remains deeply committed to Business Central, continuously investing in and enhancing this essential ERP for SMBs. A key driver of its success is the thriving Business Central community, comprising a diverse network of partners and software vendors enthusiastically developing add-ons for the platform. As consultants, we benefit greatly from this community, gaining access to new tools with each update, allowing us to deliver projects more efficiently and cater Business Central to precisely match our clients’ unique needs. With each iteration, the platform becomes more versatile and customizable, solidifying its position as a top-tier solution in the market and we can’t wait to see what comes next! 

Looking to Upgrade?

Curious about how your team can implement these newly released features into your Business Central environment? The Catapult ERP team is here to guide you. Click below to get in touch and let us know how we can help.

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