Dynamics 365 Business Central: Microsoft Copilot Misconceptions

Microsoft is positioning Copilot as a transformative productivity tool. Now Copilot isn’t new, it was introduced by Microsoft as Bing Chat in early 2023 as an artificial intelligence (AI) tool. Under the hood it’s nearly the same technology that runs ChatGPT.  

AI has a long and fascinating history, stretching back to the 1950’s and the term implies some form of non-human intelligence. Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini are not that, despite what the tech companies would lead us to believe. The more you think of them as AI that should have some degree of intelligence, the more you may struggle to truly understand what they are capable of. Both large language models, (LLM) which are complex mathematical representations of language (think of it like a word calculator), and machine learning (ML) which use statistical algorithms and historical data to predict unseen data, are AI fields of study and are what power Copilot.  

Copilot AI and Dynamics Business Central

We have witnessed the impact technology has had on our work productivity from the electronic calculator, the fax machine, Microsoft Word and Excel, to the internet. AI-powered Copilot is the next productivity evolution which Microsoft has integrated with Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 Business Central. AI is not new to Business Central, it has had several machine learning features such as inventory forecasting and cash flow analysis.

But with Dynamics 365 Business Central 2024 Wave 1 several new features powered by Copilot have been delivered. The chart below outlines the current Copilot feature set and whether the feature is based on a large language model or machine learning.  

Copilot Feature Value Pros Cons LLM/ML 
Chat with Copilot Copilot allows users to ask questions using natural language, providing instant answers and reducing search time Efficient, user-friendly, and promotes self-service. Limited to the scope of available knowledge.  LLM 
Analyze data in lists with Copilot Copilot automates tedious, repetitive tasks like data entry or report generation Sales time, reduces manual effort Requires clear instructions; occasional misinterpretations ML 
Enhanced Bank Reconciliation Copilot streamlines month-end tasks by reconciling bank statements Increases accuracy, speeds up financial processes. Requires proper setup and validation.  ML 
Marketing Text Suggestions Copilot assists in crafting compelling marketing content. Helps maintain consistent messaging, accelerates content creation. May lack nuance or context. LLM 
Inventory Forecasting for Customer Service Copilot predicts inventory needs, aiding customer service teams. Improves stock management, enhances customer satisfaction. Relies on historical data; occasional inaccuracies. ML 
Late Payment Prediction for Risk Reduction Copilot predicts late payments, allowing proactive measures.  Mitigates financial risk, improves cash flow. Requires accurate data and monitoring.  ML 
Cash Flow Analysis for Financial Stability Copilot analyzes cash flow patterns, helping businesses make informed decisions. Enhances financial planning, prevents cash shortages. Sensitivity to data quality and assumptions. ML 

The Verdict

Is AI coming for your job? A resounding no, AI is designed to assist and augment human work rather than replace it entirely. Remember humans bring unique qualities like creativity, critical thinking, and skills that complement AI’s capabilities. A person needs to understand how to apply technology to solve a problem.  

There is a ton of possibility with what exists today. Microsoft Copilot has laid an awesome foundation that can be built upon as technology advances. But as of today, don’t fully rely on Microsoft Copilot to get all the facts right, fact-check, proofread, and adjust before you share it with someone.  

Get ready to play with a fascinating piece of technology that can speed up certain tasks and save time when applied correctly. Let us show you the power of Microsoft Copilot and how it can help speed up your business processes today!