AI Business Basics Series
A quick guide to understanding AI and what it can do for your business
You’ve probably heard artificial intelligence (AI) is the future of how business will get done. But do you realize that the opportunity for AI to change your business is happening right now? From creating powerful new customer experiences to optimizing your operations, AI can make your organization smarter and more efficient and help transform your business.
What does this mean for your business?
Right now, AI can help you realize transformation in the areas that matter most to your business: engaging with customers, empowering employees, and optimizing your operations while transforming products.
By 2025, 95% of customer interactions will take place via bots.2
Using chatbots helps engage your customers faster while still keeping interactions natural. Plus, bots don’t sleep, so customers can get their billing questions answered 24/7.
Chatbots can handle the first line of customer support and then seamlessly hand off to your agents. This way, you can improve the overall customer experience and use feedback to help inform future customer service or product improvements.
• AI empowers employees by taking care of the more mundane tasks—like booking flights or submitting receipts for reimbursement—so your team can tackle more creative and strategic aims.
• By analyzing key productivity insights, you can increase your team’s efficiency and provide constructive feedback to improve worker confidence and retention.
“Rather than thinking in terms of human vs. machine, we want to focus on how human gifts such as creativity, empathy, emotion, physicality, and insight can be mixed with powerful AI computation to help move society forward.”
—Satya Nadella, Hit Refresh
Optimize your operations
• Intelligent automation, like machines that scan products in real time as they travel down the assembly line, can help lower costs while increasing sales.
• Easily build apps that learn and adapt over time, so you can save money with preventive maintenance on anything from a hydraulic press to a jet engine.
According to 69 percent of the use cases in a McKinsey Global Institute study, AI improved performance beyond what existing analytic techniques were able to deliver.3
Honeywell’s connected home portfolio, Lyric, is the result of a major transformation into a software industrial company over the past few years. Chief Technology Officer Tom Rosback explains:
“Azure enables us to move into a data-driven era to help our customers unlock the real-world insights available through the interfaces we provide. By bridging the physical and virtual worlds with our connected products, we’re shifting the value drivers from the devices, which are foundational for Honeywell, to the data and insights that the devices generate.”4
84 percent of enterprises believe investing in AI will lead to greater competitive advantages.5
• Infuse AI into your existing applications to enable more personalized experiences, for example facial recognition or distilling actionable information from images exposed to an app.
• Use data and insights gained from AI systems to discover new ways to improve products, help reinvent your business model, or potentially even generate new revenue opportunities.
When global news organization Reuters wanted to enhance its news readers’ experience and generate more value from its visual assets, it used Microsoft Azure Machine Learning
to build a video recommendation engine that matches news articles to related videos on Reuters.com. With automated matching, Reuters drives higher engagement on its website and realizes more news and business value from video assets, all while creating new revenue opportunities.
“We are using Azure Machine Learning to surface more content for readers who are interested in learning more about a story,” says Managing Director Isaac Showman. “And we are earning business value from videos that would otherwise go unwatched.”
2. Microsoft, “Powering the Future of the Customer Experience,” November 8, 2017.
3. Louis Columbus, “Sizing the Market of Artificial Intelligence,” Forbes, April 30, 2018.