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AI-infused accounts teams


Artificial Intelligence has ruffled a lot of high-profile feathers in recent times. Stephen Hawking labelled it “either the best or worst thing to happen to humanity”. Elon Musk said it was more dangerous than nuclear warheads. And every day, we’re seeing the technology advancing against a backdrop of questions around ethics and security.

16th Sep 2019
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If you’re a science fiction fan, you can let out a sigh of relief. From a data volume and algorithm perspective, we’re a long way from Arnold Schwarzenegger taking over the world with his titanium cronies.

Instead, we’ve got a much more pressing problem on our hands. And that’s opening people’s eyes to the potential AI has to revolutionise your accounts team and your business as a whole.

“The robots are stealing our jobs!”

Well no, they’re not. They’re automating and taking care of the repetitive tasks they’re best at, often tackling thousands of them simultaneously. We simply can’t do that (regardless of caffeine intake).

Productivity and efficiency are multiplied. And our time is freed up to do what we do best as humans: using the soft skills, empathy, leadership and teamwork that the technology can’t quite grasp.

What’s more, these benefits are at your fingertips today. For example, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central has built-in artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. It’s an all-in-one, cloud-based business management solution that speeds up and streamlines processes, improving your customers’ experience and giving you an edge over your competition. Its AI-powered features include:

  • Supercharged sales quotes and purchase invoices: Dynamics 365 Business Central talks to your other Microsoft programs, including Outlook. That means the AI can analyse emails coming into your inbox, pin down what the customer’s asking for, and then provide a sales quote to match that. Similarly, it can create purchase invoices in Outlook too. And the best part? It does all this in seconds, drastically cutting down the time it takes to get them sent out.
  • Slick supply chains: By using sales forecasts to predict when your stock will run out, the AI system in Business Central can identify the best time to replenish your stock. What’s more, it will create a purchase order for that stock, shaving even more time off the process.
  • Late payment prediction: Are you questioning whether one of your customers is going to pay a sales invoice on time? By looking at their payment history, Business Central’s AI can predict that for you too. The time you’d usually spend digging through old reports is eliminated, and it’s left primed and ready to be used on more important tasks.
  • Image analysis: Whenever you import an image to Business Central, the AI can identify any products that are present; automating and optimising the process of reviewing and assigning them. And the same applies to people too. If the imported image features a person, they can be grouped with others based on gender or age.

“AI will probably most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there’ll be great companies.” That’s Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI’s take on what lies ahead for the future of AI.

Are we moving towards an algorithm-fuelled apocalypse? Possibly. But as we’ve said, that level of sophistication and machine learning are very much pie in the sky right now.

So, let’s focus on the one certainty in that prediction instead: artificial intelligence can and will take your business to the next level. And your competitors are powerless to stop it.