By: Linda Rosencrance
Microsoft partner and app developer Cobalt has introduced a chatbot that interacts with Dynamics CRM from within Facebook Messenger and Skype.
Built using Microsoft’s Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS), Cobalt developed the bot to understand CRM-specific commands. The bot can create tasks, update records, enter new contacts, search for records, display data, and attach documents to records, according to company officials.
The integration with Facebook Messenger and Skype enables the bot to respond natively to voice commands through the user’s device.
“To picture how it works, imagine a scenario in which a salesperson visits a customer named Susan and Susan is unhappy,” said Cobalt lead architect Michael Ochs, in a statement. “After the meeting, the salesperson can tell the chat app to ‘find Susan,’ and once it’s identified the correct contact, they can tell the app to ‘follow up next Tuesday.’ What that does is it creates a task in CRM with the date that the salesperson specified so that they have that information when they get back to the office.”
A prototype for the bot was built at this year’s eXtremeCRM event held in Warsaw, Poland. Ochs developed the bot with Andrzej Lesinski of Konika Minolta Solutions and David Yack, a Microsoft MVP at Colorado Technology Consultants. The bot won first prize in the eXtremeCRM Innovation Challenge, officials said.
“We are releasing a preview so that people can help us train it,” Ochs stated. “Because the technology uses LUIS, a parser for plain language, our users can train it to understand certain commands.”
Recently, Microsoft has ramped up its work with bots. For example, at its Build 2016 developer conference in March, the company rebranded the Cortana Analytics Suite as Cortana Intelligence Suite and has announced new additions to it in preview – Microsoft Bot Framework and Microsoft Cognitive Services.
Microsoft has also extended its bot vision to Skype with the release of the Skype Bot Platform. The move introduces bots that work in the context of a person’s interactions, whether personal (conversations with friends) or commercial (finding and booking a hotel in the area where you plan to visit).
Last year, the CRM Lab @ Cobalt, creators of Dynamics CRM Snapshot 3D, released another free add-on for Dynamics CRM called CRM Intelligent Query that enables users to create ad-hoc “Not In” or “Does Not Have” queries in Advanced Find and apply those queries to Marketing Lists, Saved Views and System Views.
Cobalt also updated its Dynamics CRM Snapshot offering with three new features: a deep clone, backup, and rollback tool for Dynamics CRM and Dynamics CRM Online.
Dynamics CRM users who wish to register to begin using the bot can do so at this link.