A better way to drive your business

Managing the availability of supply to meet volatile demand has never been easy. Even before the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, synchronizing supply and demand was a perennial struggle for most businesses. In a survey of 54 senior executives, only about one in four believed that the processes of their companies balanced cross-functional trade-offs effectively or facilitated decision making to help the P&L of the full business.

That’s not because of a lack of effort. Most companies have made strides to strengthen their planning capabilities in recent years. Many have replaced their processes for sales and operations planning (S&OP) with the more sophisticated approach of integrated business planning (IBP), which shows great promise, a conclusion based on an in-depth view of the processes used by many leading companies around the world (see sidebar “Understanding IBP”). Assessments of more than 170 companies, collected over five years, provide insights into the value created by IBP implementations that work well—and the reasons many IBP implementations don’t.

Understanding IBP

Integrated business planning is a powerful process that could become central to how a company runs its business. It is one generation beyond sales and operations planning. Three essential differentiators add up to a unique business-steering capability:

  • Full business scope. Beyond balancing sales and operations planning, integrated business planning (IBP) synchronizes all of a company’s mid- and long-term plans, including the management of revenues, product pipelines and portfolios, strategic projects and capital investments, inventory policies and deployment, procurement strategies, and joint capacity plans with external partners. It does this in all relevant parts of the organization, from the site level through regions and business units and often up to a corporate-level plan for the full business.
  • Risk management, alongside strategy and performance reviews. Best-practice IBP uses scenario planning to drive decisions. In every stage of the process, there are varying degrees of confidence about how the future will play out—how much revenue is reasonably certain as a result of consistent consumption patterns, how much additional demand might emerge if certain events happen, and how much unusual or extreme occurrences might affect that additional demand. These layers are assessed against business targets, and options for mitigating actions and potential gap closures are evaluated and chosen.
  • Real-time financials. To ensure consistency between volume-based planning and financial projections (that is, value-based planning), IBP promotes strong links between operational and financial planning. This helps to eliminate surprises that may otherwise become apparent only in quarterly or year-end reviews.

An effective IBP process consists of five essential building blocks: a business-backed design; high-quality process management, including inputs and outputs; accountability and performance management; the effective use of data, analytics, and technology; and specialized organizational roles and capabilities (Exhibit 1). Our research finds that mature IBP processes can significantly improve coordination and reduce the number of surprises. Compared with companies that lack a well-functioning IBP process, the average mature IBP practitioner realizes one or two additional percentage points in EBIT. Service levels are five to 20 percentage points higher. Freight costs and capital intensity are 10 to 15 percent lower—and customer delivery penalties and missed sales are 40 to 50 percent lower. IBP technology and process discipline can also make planners 10 to 20 percent more productive.

When IBP processes are set up correctly, they help companies to make and execute plans and to monitor, simulate, and adapt their strategic assumptions and choices to succeed in their markets. However, leaders must treat IBP not just as a planning-process upgrade but also as a company-wide business initiative (see sidebar “IBP in action” for a best-in-class example).

IBP in action

One global manufacturer set up its integrated business planning (IBP) system as the sole way it ran its entire business, creating a standardized, integrated process for strategic, tactical, and operational planning. Although the company had previously had a sales and operations planning (S&OP) process, it had been owned and led solely by the supply chain function. Beyond S&OP, the sales function forecast demand in aggregate dollar value at the category level and over short time horizons. Finance did its own projections of the quarterly P&L, and data from day-by-day execution fed back into S&OP only at the start of a new monthly cycle.

The CEO endorsed a new way of running regional P&Ls and rolling up plans to the global level. The company designed its IBP process so that all regional general managers owned the regional IBP by sponsoring the integrated decision cycles (following a global design) and by ensuring functional ownership of the decision meetings. At the global level, the COO served as tiebreaker whenever decisions—such as procurement strategies for global commodities, investments in new facilities for global product launches, or the reconfiguration of a product’s supply chain—cut across regional interests.

To enable IBP to deliver its impact, the company conducted a structured process assessment to evaluate the maturity of all inputs into IBP. It then set out to redesign, in detail, its processes for planning demand and supply, inventory strategies, parametrization, and target setting, so that IBP would work with best-practice inputs. To encourage collaboration, leaders also started to redefine the performance management system so that it included clear accountability for not only the metrics that each function controlled but also shared metrics. Finally, digital dashboards were developed to track and monitor the realization of benefits for individual functions, regional leaders, and the global IBP team.

A critical component of the IBP rollout was creating a company-wide awareness of its benefits and the leaders’ expectations for the quality of managers’ contributions and decision-making discipline. To educate and show commitment from the CEO down, this information was rolled out in a campaign of town halls and media communications to all employees. The company also set up a formal capability-building program for the leaders and participants in the IBP decision cycle.

Rolled out in every region, the new training helps people learn how to run an effective IBP cycle, to recognize the signs of good process management, and to internalize decision authority, thresholds, and escalation paths. Within a few months, the new process, led by a confident and motivated leadership team, enabled closer company-wide collaboration during tumultuous market conditions. That offset price inflation for materials (which adversely affected peers) and maintained the company’s EBITDA performance.

Our research shows that these high-maturity IBP examples are in the minority. In practice, few companies use the IBP process to support effective decision making (Exhibit 2). For two-thirds of the organizations in our data set, IBP meetings are periodic business reviews rather than an integral part of the continuous cycle of decisions and adjustments needed to keep organizations aligned with their strategic and tactical goals. Some companies delegate IBP to junior staff. The frequency of meetings averages one a month. That can make these processes especially ineffective—lacking either the senior-level participation for making consequential strategic decisions or the frequency for timely operational reactions.

Finally, most companies struggle to turn their plans into effective actions: critical metrics and responsibilities are not aligned across functions, so it’s hard to steer the business in a collaborative way. Who is responsible for the accuracy of forecasts? What steps will be taken to improve it? How about adherence to the plan? Are functions incentivized to hold excess inventory? Less than 10 percent of all companies have a performance management system that encourages the right behavior across the organization.

By contrast, at the most effective organizations, IBP meetings are all about decisions and their impact on the P&L—an impact enabled by focused metrics and incentives for collaboration. Relevant inputs (data, insights, and decision scenarios) are diligently prepared and syndicated before meetings to help decision makers make the right choices quickly and effectively. These companies support IBP by managing their short-term planning decisions prescriptively, specifying thresholds to distinguish changes immediately integrated into existing plans from day-to-day noise. Within such boundaries, real-time daily decisions are made in accordance with the objectives of the entire business, not siloed frontline functions. This responsive execution is tightly linked with the IBP process, so that the fact base is always up-to-date for the next planning iteration.

A better plan for IBP

In our experience, integrated business planning can help a business succeed in a sustainable way if three conditions are met. First, the process must be designed for the P&L owner, not individual functions in the business. Second, processes are built for purpose, not from generic best-practice templates. Finally, the people involved in the process have the authority, skills, and confidence to make relevant, consequential decisions.

Design for the P&L owner

IBP gives leaders a systematic opportunity to unlock P&L performance by coordinating strategies and tactics across traditional business functions. This doesn’t mean that IBP won’t function as a business review process, but it is more effective when focused on decisions in the interest of the whole business. An IBP process designed to help P&L owners make effective decisions as they run the company creates requirements different from those of a process owned by individual functions, such as supply chain or manufacturing.

One fundamental requirement is senior-level participation from all stakeholder functions and business areas, so that decisions can be made in every meeting. The design of the IBP cycle, including preparatory work preceding decision-making meetings, should help leaders make general decisions or resolve minor issues outside of formal milestone meetings. It should also focus the attention of P&L leaders on the most important and pressing issues. These goals can be achieved with disciplined approaches to evaluating the impact of decisions and with financial thresholds that determine what is brought to the attention of the P&L leader.

The aggregated output of the IBP process would be a full, risk-evaluated business plan covering a midterm planning horizon. This plan then becomes the only accepted and executed plan across the organization. The objective isn’t a single hard number. It is an accepted, unified view of which new products will come online and when, and how they will affect the performance of the overall portfolio. The plan will also take into account the variabilities and uncertainties of the business: demand expectations, how the company will respond to supply constraints, and so on. Layered risks and opportunities and aligned actions across stakeholders indicate how to execute the plan.

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Trade-offs arising from risks and opportunities in realizing revenues, margins, or cost objectives are determined by the P&L owner at the level where those trade-offs arise—local for local, global for global. To make this possible, data visible in real time and support for decision making in meetings are essential. This approach works best in companies with strong data governance processes and tools, which increase confidence in the objectivity of the IBP process and support for implementing the resulting decisions. In addition, senior leaders can demonstrate their commitment to the value and the standards of IBP by participating in the process, sponsoring capability-building efforts for the teams that contribute inputs to the IBP, and owning decisions and outcomes.

Fit-for-purpose process design and frequency

To make IBP a value-adding capability, the business will probably need to redesign its planning processes from a clean sheet.

First, clean sheeting IBP means that it should be considered and designed from the decision maker’s perspective. What information does a P&L owner need to make a decision on a given topic? What possible scenarios should that leader consider, and what would be their monetary and nonmonetary impact? The IBP process can standardize this information—for example, by summarizing it in templates so that the responsible parties know, up front, which data, analytics, and impact information to provide.

Second, essential inputs into IBP determine its quality. These inputs include consistency in the way planners use data, methods, and systems to make accurate forecasts, manage constraints, simulate scenarios, and close the loop from planning to the production shopfloor by optimizing schedules, monitoring adherence, and using incentives to manufacture according to plan.

Determining the frequency of the IBP cycle, and its timely integration with tactical execution processes, would also be part of this redesign. Big items—such as capacity investments and divestments, new-product introductions, and line extensions—should be reviewed regularly. Monthly reviews are typical, but a quarterly cadence may also be appropriate in situations with less frequent changes. Weekly iterations then optimize the plan in response to confirmed orders, short-term capacity constraints, or other unpredictable events. The bidirectional link between planning and execution must be strong, and investments in technology may be required to better connect them, so that they use the same data repository and have continuous-feedback loops.

Authorize consequential decision making

Finally, every IBP process step needs autonomous decision making for the problems in its scope, as well as a clear path to escalate, if necessary. The design of the process must therefore include decision-type authority, decision thresholds, and escalation paths. Capability-building interventions should support teams to ensure disciplined and effective decision making—and that means enforcing participation discipline, as well. The failure of a few key stakeholders to prioritize participation can undermine the whole process.

Decision-making autonomy is also relevant for short-term planning and execution. Success in tactical execution depends on how early a problem is identified and how quickly and effectively it is resolved. A good execution framework includes, for example, a classification of possible events, along with resolution guidelines based on root cause methodology. It should also specify the thresholds, in scope and scale of impact, for operational decision making and the escalation path if those thresholds are met.

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Transforming supply chains: Do you have the skills to accelerate your capabilities?

In addition to guidelines for decision making, the cross-functional team in charge of executing the plan needs autonomy to decide on a course of action for events outside the original plan, as well as the authority to see those actions implemented. Clear integration points between tactical execution and the IBP process protect the latter’s focus on midterm decision making and help tactical teams execute in response to immediate market needs.

An opportunity, but no ‘silver bullet’

With all the elements described above, IBP has a solid foundation to create value for a business. But IBP is no silver bullet. To achieve a top-performing supply chain combining timely and complete customer service with optimal cost and capital expenditures, companies also need mature planning and fulfillment processes using advanced systems and tools. That would include robust planning discipline and a collaboration culture covering all time horizons with appropriate processes while integrating commercial, planning, manufacturing, logistics, and sourcing organizations at all relevant levels.

As more companies implement advanced planning systems and nerve centers , the typical monthly IBP frequency might no longer be appropriate. Some companies may need to spend more time on short-term execution by increasing the frequency of planning and replanning. Others may be able to retain a quarterly IBP process, along with a robust autonomous-planning or exception engine. Already, advanced planning systems not only direct the valuable time of experts to the most critical demand and supply imbalances but also aggregate and disaggregate large volumes of data on the back end. These targeted reactions are part of a critical learning mechanism for the supply chain.

Over time, with root cause analyses and cross-functional collaboration on systemic fixes, the supply chain’s nerve center can get smarter at executing plans, separating noise from real issues, and proactively managing deviations. All this can eventually shorten IBP cycles, without the risk of overreacting to noise, and give P&L owners real-time transparency into how their decisions might affect performance.

P&L owners thinking about upgrading their S&OP or IBP processes can’t rely on textbook checklists. Instead, they can assume leadership of IBP and help their organizations turn strategies and plans into effective actions. To do so, they must sponsor IBP as a cross-functional driver of business decisions, fed by thoughtfully designed processes and aligned decision rights, as well as a performance management and capability-building system that encourages the right behavior and learning mechanisms across the organization. As integrated planning matures, supported by appropriate technology and maturing supply chain–management practices, it could shorten decision times and accelerate its impact on the business.

Elena Dumitrescu is a senior knowledge expert in McKinsey’s Toronto office, Matt Jochim is a partner in the London office, and Ali Sankur is a senior expert and associate partner in the Chicago office, where Ketan Shah is a partner.

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Will the IRS Integrated Modernization Business Plan Work?

On April 18, 2019, IRS released the IRS Integrated Modernization Business Plan April 2019 (Plan) - a six year Plan designed to modernize the IRS’ technology systems, improve Taxpayer services and protect Taxpayer data. According to IRS, the Plan will cost between $2.3 billion and $2.7 billion through Fiscal Year 2024 and will help IRS achieve modernization required to deliver efficient Taxpayer services and enforcement with enhanced user experiences and curtail the rising operational costs.

According to IRS, the Plan will allow IRS to provide superior service to Taxpayers while delivering long-term budget efficiencies as the IRS decommissions legacy applications, automates manual processes, and expands advanced analytics programs.

First, let’s understand how IRS works:

  • IRS has Four major Business Units:
  • Large Business and International (LB&I)
  • Tax-Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE)
  • Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE)
  • Wage & Investment (W&I)
  • IRS offers Six business processes:
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE: • Online Payment • Online Account • Third Party • Customer Management • Education & Outreach
  • INTERNAL OPERATIONS: • Financial Management • Human Capital Management • Asset Management • IT Management • Administrative Management
  • ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT: • Record Business Events • Settle Account • Settlement Actions • Post Transaction • Analyze Account
  • INTAKE: • Ingestion Service • Perfection Service • Calculator Services • Anomaly Detection • Verification • Issue Resolution
  • CASE MANAGEMENT: • Case Inventory • Case Treatment • Workflow Management • Correspondence Management
  • COMPLIANCE: • Issue Detection • Issue Identification • Issue Selection • Correlation • Inventory Prioritization

How will IRS improve Taxpayer services and protect Taxpayer data and deliver on its Business Plan?

The IRS plans to deliver improved Taxpayer services and protect Taxpayer data via Four Modernization Pillars:

  • Taxpayer Experience : Help taxpayers resolve issues quickly and efficiently, empower taxpayers with information about their account, obligations and payment options, make services available to customers when they need them and Protect taxpayer information and data.
  • Core Taxpayer Services & Enforcement : Integrate tax processing systems to increase the cost effectiveness of operations, enable real time processing and increase transparency of return status, increase data usability and the use of data analytics to combat fraud.
  • Modernized IRS Operations : Reduce complexity of the technical environment, leverage data to deliver secure, agile and efficient applications and services, strengthen organizational agility through automation and streamlining processes.
  • Cybersecurity & Data Protection : Establish trusted and streamlined access to information through identity and access management technologies, proactively identify emerging threats and vulnerabilities through the use of real time intelligence information and analytics, protect taxpayer data and systems via end to end visibility and common platforms.

Will the Business Plan work?

The Business Plan Report states that it is burdensome and expensive to keep the existing IRS IT infrastructure up and running: “The cost to operate the IRS technology infrastructure annually now exceeds $2.2 billion and is expected to exceed $3 billion by FY2026 if current trends continue”.

IRS receives and warehouses amounts of data that are difficult to visualize. Yet, the Plan makes no mention of Big Data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) support. It could be an enhancement to the Plan that could more quickly and efficiently reduce the annual Tax Gap. This would require enough flexibility in the software to permit the quality of possible increasing enhancements to the Plan that advances in AI could bring to the Plan.

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IT Modernization – The IRS’s Reliance on Antiquated Technology Poses a Continuing Risk to Tax Administration

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I discussed the expansion of digital service options to improve taxpayers’ experiences interacting with the IRS. Here, I will discuss the desperate need for multi-year funding to modernize IRS computer systems and infrastructure. Tax administration is at risk, and the country and the IRS need a solution now more than ever.

A Supreme Court justice famously opined that “taxes are the life-blood of government.” In that vein, the IRS is responsible for collecting approximately $3.5 trillion in taxes each year – roughly 95 percent of federal revenue. In addition, the agency is tasked with administering recurring social benefits programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, and one-time financial relief programs like Economic Stimulus Payments in 2008 and Economic Impact Payments in 2020. Despite these enormous and critical responsibilities, the IRS is overwhelmingly reliant on “legacy” information technology (IT) systems – which the IRS’s IT function has defined as systems that are at least 25 years old, use obsolete programming languages ( e.g. , COBOL), or lack vendor support, training, or resources to maintain. A recent report published by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that 231 IT systems used by the IRS are legacy systems.

In order to provide first-rate taxpayer service, the IRS will require a substantial overhaul of its IT systems. Over the past 50 years or so, the IRS has developed hundreds of software programs to meet the needs of its business units. But these programs generally lack the ability to interface with each other to provide a seamless taxpayer experience, nor are they nimble enough to integrate new technologies, with the consequence that data from one system must be re-entered into another ( e.g., when a taxpayer’s case moves from Exam to Appeals).

Example: When a custodial parent wishes to amend her 2019 tax return to allow the non-custodial parent to claim a child as a dependent and to claim various credits, she can file an amended return electronically , but must mail the Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, along with Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. The return-processing arm of the IRS does not have the capability to accept the Form 8332 electronically, so it must scan and upload the data from a paper form received. The delay resulting from mailing and processing of a paper Form 8332 could cause complications for the taxpayer or the non-custodial parent if the audit arm of the IRS acts on the amended return based on outdated return information of either parent.

Regardless of how the IRS organizes its business units and its behind-the-scenes processes, taxpayers will benefit if IRS systems can communicate with each other, in real time, to better serve both individual and business taxpayers.

In Section 2101 of the Taxpayer First Act (TFA), Congress directed the IRS Chief Information Officer to develop and implement a multi-year strategic plan for IT. Prior to the passage of the TFA, the IRS had embarked on a mission to modernize its IT systems. In April 2019, it released an Integrated Modernization Business Plan that outlines the IRS leadership’s vision to improve the taxpayer experience by modernizing core tax administration systems, IRS operations, and cybersecurity over a six-year period, but does not fully address all of its IT needs.

The IRS has also established a new Enterprise Digitalization and Case Management office to oversee its efforts to develop a more taxpayer-centric approach to management. The Enterprise Case Management initiative has the dauting task of overcoming the challenges the IRS currently faces from having casework taking place on more than 60 aging systems, most of which are incapable of communicating with each another, onto a cloud-based case management system.

We can all envision the benefits of IT modernization, but core IT upgrades are more than just about improving taxpayer service – they are also required to reduce the chances of a catastrophic breakdown. Modernizing technology is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity, and it is needed now. Imagine the panic and pandemonium that would ensue if the IRS’s IT systems crashed and could not be recovered quickly. In 2018, some systems crashed for just a few hours; although the IRS was able to recover quickly this time, it happened on the filing deadline, prompting the agency to give panicked taxpayers and practitioners an extra day to file their returns. With a more significant crash, the IRS might be unable to collect tax payments or issue tax refunds. Just this year, we have seen a further glimpse of the IRS’s IT systems limitations, as IRS operations have been impacted by COVID-19 (see my earlier blog post ).

It is incumbent upon Congress to fund the technological upgrades the IRS requires to provide an enhanced level of service and improve its overall operations. The IRS estimates it requires approximately $2.5 billion over six years to implement its modernization plan. Yet Congress appropriated only $150 million in fiscal year (FY) 2019 and $180 million in FY 2020 for business modernization efforts. In order for the IRS to properly implement its modernization plan, as a whole and not in pieces, it is imperative to provide multi-year funding, along with sufficient flexibility to use IT funds sensibly. The IRS cannot implement its modernization plan unless Congress gives it the multi-year support it needs for necessary long-term contracts. Absent adequate funding, IRS infrastructure will face increasingly greater risks, and the IRS will have to unnecessarily extend its IT modernization efforts, while continually expending resources to support its current systems. Money that would be better spent on its modernization efforts.

In this year’s Annual Report to Congress, I plan to offer legislative and administrative recommendations to improve IT systems and infrastructure, which are essential to taxpayer rights and taxpayer service. But the time to act is now.

Correction (9/3): Blog has been updated to reflect the correct year of 2019 in the “Example”. Initial version incorrectly stated 2018.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the National Taxpayer Advocate. The National Taxpayer Advocate presents an independent taxpayer perspective that does not necessarily reflect the position of the IRS, the Treasury Department, or the Office of Management and Budget.

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IRS Releases Six Year Roadmap for IT Modernization Efforts

The IRS released its Integrated Business Modernization Plan on April 18, offering a six-year road map for the $2.7 billion modernization effort at the agency.

The strategy establishes four modernization pillars at the agency:

  • Taxpayer Experience
  • Core Taxpayer Services and Enforcement
  • Modernized IRS Operations, and
  • Cybersecurity and Data Protection

On taxpayer experience, the strategy emphasizes efforts in allowing third parties to offer assistance through web applications, live assistance, and online notifications to replace mail and provide important information to taxpayers.

“We need to transform the taxpayer experience to deliver taxpayer services with speed and quality. We can do so by modernizing our processes and systems and aligning the IRS with industry standards for digital innovation,” the strategy states.

On services and enforcement, the IRS sets the priorities of integrating tax processing systems to increase cost-effectiveness, enable real-time processing and transparency, and increase use of data to combat fraud.

To accomplish those goals, the IRS highlights its efforts on its modernization of the Customer Account Data Engine program, efforts to acquire an enterprise case management system to digitize information and improve resource alignment, and the Real-Time Tax Processing program that will replace the current batch processing system.

On IRS operations, the agency turns inwards, looking at the complexity of its technical environment, how to leverage data to deliver agile and secure applications and services, and strengthen agility through automation and streamlined processes.

In response, the IRS is focused on its implementation of APIs both inside and outside the agency, the use of cloud for agility, and digitization of data. The strategy also notes the Next Generation Infrastructure initiative to support a more flexible architecture, the use of robotics process automation , and the creation of a universal data hub with tools and analytics capabilities.

“A leaner, nimbler capability portfolio will power the IRS while keeping operational costs controlled,” the strategy states.

On cybersecurity, the IRS strategy focuses on identity and access management, real-time threat intelligence and analytics, and the use of common platforms to secure the entire IRS environment.

Modernization initiatives include use of a common platform for identity management, encrypting data at rest, establishing full visibility throughout the IRS network, and enabling cybersecurity professionals to protect data and systems.

“We have confidence that with this approach we will know where to focus our transformation efforts and where we are going on our modernization journey,” said IRS CIO Gina Garza and Deputy CIO Maria Somerville in a letter preceding the strategy.

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Emalahleni Regional Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan

Again failing infrastructure is getting blamed for lack of service delivery in emalahleni..

integrated modernization business plan

The Emalahleni Local Municipality convened the 2024 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) Budget Indaba as part of its aim to be a centre of excellence and innovation.

This gathering took place on Tuesday, May 7, at the Emalahleni Local Municipality Banquet Hall .

Mr Sipho Mahlangu, the interim municipal manager, addressed the stakeholders at the meeting about the objective of the gathering and the municipal overview.

The main purposes that were presented included the municipality’s draft IDP and budget to the stakeholders before its final adoption, receiving further inputs and comments from the stakeholder’s representatives, receiving guidance on omissions, promoting further integration of various sector departments, business, and lastly the industry’s projects.

The acting manager further addressed the meeting’s mission statement by saying, “Empowerment of our communities and providing innovative and excellent service is conducive for suitable economic development and social transformation.”

Mahlangu also gave the demographics, explaining the Emalahleni population, the youth population, the female population, and the number of houses in eMalahleni.

Sipho adds to the legislative framework by including the Constitution of the RSA, chapter 7 of section 152, as well as the local government’s objectives.

Following the acting manager’s presentation of all the relevant components, Executive Mayor Clr Leah Mabuza presented the IDP budget.

The councillor expressed gratitude, stating she is honoured that they are conducting the IDP Indaba and presenting the municipality’s strategy from 2024 to 2025, both in terms of capital projects and sources of revenue. “Our local municipality is characterised by a relatively stable political and social environment, which is good for trading and investment promotion strategy,” said Mabuza.

The mayor also addressed the municipality’s primary fiscal difficulties for 2024/2025. These challenges include:

· Weak economic performance and revenue shortfalls.

· Emalahleni unemployment rate, which is 37.6% according to the expanded definition, stats SA.

· Impact of cost drivers, which are bulk purchases of electricity.

· Water and employee-related costs.

· Ageing municipality infrastructure and unaffordable maintenance plans.

· High distribution losses, and lastly maintaining a positive cash flow and a funded budget.

The executive mayor also added important points by saying, “Due to illegal connections, theft, vandalism, and those of municipal structures, maintaining a positive cash flow is one of the challenges that we might not realise.”

With the challenges stated, the executive mayor also proposed a tariff increase of 2024/2025, and the increase in tariffs was done through a cost reflective process, which takes into account the expenditure incurred provided the service of assessment rates, electricity, water, sanitation, and refuse.

“We have appointed several companies to assist us in terms of revenue which the programme is going to be run concurrently with our communities, and also assess and evaluate how the communities should pay,” she added.

In conclusion, the executive mayor also stated that they are worried about some of the negative impacts of some of the business operations in the environment in particular. Also, most of the mining operations are not considering their rehabilitation programmes as their strategic priority, they want to tick the box.

“We also call on the mining industry to consider donating the rehabilitated land back to the community once a mine closure certificate has been issued so that it can be repurposed for other socio-economic development activities,” she concluded.

Subsequently, the local municipality will conduct a review of several by-laws that impose unnecessary red tape or are unfriendly to the business climate, and they want a by-law that adds value rather than one that suffocates enterprises.

Local news | Teens demonstrate distinctive energy conservation measures Read more here : https://t.co/kTrRcmSBF3 #EmalahleniLocalMunicipality #WITBANKNEWS #eMalahleni — WitbankNews (@WitbankN) May 9, 2024

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integrated modernization business plan

Successful SAP ERP modernization programs begin with clear organizational alignment on wanted outcomes and expected business value, end-to-end scope and roadmap. This alignment is critical to enterprises that run their core operations on SAP ECC for years. It helps them determine where to start their modernization initiatives and how to prioritize, organize and plan to see the value of this investment.  

To build this strategic plan, enterprises need a fact base that enables them to move forward with critical SAP S/4HANA-enabled transformation decisions across people, process, enterprise architecture and next-gen technology. 

With hundreds of successful implementations of S/4HANA programs that involved both SAP ERP applications and infrastructure modernization, IBM® has a well-defined approach that is called Rapid Discovery. This approach helps determine the what, why and how for SAP ERP modernization and is infrastructure agnostic. Whether you are running SAP ERP on AIX, IBM i, Linux® or Windows, the approach remains the same. IBM’s team of cross-functional experts uses innovative tools and frameworks to build a transformative foundation composed of six essential ingredients: 

  • Enterprise Capability Model —Agreement on the business process hierarchy that defines the scope of the ERP implementation while also defining business requirements in the to-be business processes 
  • Governance Model— Clear structure, framework and operating model for program oversight and implementation including key roles, responsibilities and decision authority 
  • Business Value —Financial case for change in transformation that quantifies the tangible benefits of the program and compares them to the costs of implementation 
  • Implementation Roadmap— Clear articulation of key architectural decisions, scope of services, data strategy and implementation roadmap for transformation 
  • Executive Alignment— Alignment of executives across the business on the purpose, priorities, path forward, responsibilities and business benefits of transformation 
  • Sustainability Framework —Alignment of sustainable goals into the overall ERP strategy to allow for single source of truth data access for regulatory requirements 

As part of Rapid Discovery, we also help clients work through issues that are related to the following enablers: 

  • Modern Enterprise Architecture —Design the future-state enterprise architecture, including strategic direction for application rationalization and RISE or non-RISE cloud strategy. 
  • Data and Analytics —Determine the current-state realities of data readiness and develop an optimized data and analytics strategy to support and utilize the move to SAP S/4HANA. 
  • Security and Controls— Define the security and controls architecture after reviewing the current maturity levels. 
  • Change management —Uncover and understand the organizational change management opportunities and impacts related to ERP transformation and develop a high-level approach to unlock user adoption and value realization. 

This well-defined discovery process for SAP ERP modernization helps you assess your current SAP ERP landscape, define your to-be state and align on business case, operating model and a modern enterprise architecture. If you would like to learn more, join us for the webinar , “Build the foundation for SAP ERP modernization with rapid discovery assessment” where we take a detailed analysis of this process. 

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Generative AI in the Wild West

Insights from 900+ respondents

How To Lay the Groundwork for Successful AI Deployment

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Table of Contents

Generative AI has taken the business world by storm with its potential to wildly transform various industry sectors. Enterprises are exploring areas of opportunity to apply GenAI to be more efficient and productive, encourage creativity among functions, and deliver superior customer and employee experiences, to name a few. 

AI is exciting, but its success rate needs improvement

But the journey from aspirations of an AI-driven operation to the successful implementation of AI tools can be a tough one. So tough that a significant number of AI projects — estimated at roughly 80% in recent years — never make it to launch. There are a host of reasons why this happens, ranging from internal misalignment to an unclear governance strategy to a lack of specific technological expertise.

Intertwined with each of these challenges is the need for integrated data, not only to inform business strategy, but to train AI and GenAI models to perform their magic. 

Is your integration infrastructure ready for GenAI? Learn how enterprises are modernizing from legacy integration tools to a scalable, AI-ready iPaaS to stay competitive .

Where to start with AI? Start with data

Modern organizations are managing mountains of data from a variety of disparate applications (CRM, ERP, etc.) and data sources (web servers, databases, APIs etc.). Centralizing this information is critical to controlling how it flows, how it’s transformed, and how to keep it secure.

Luckily, there is a simple antidote — a flexible, scalable solution for integrating an organization’s data and applications, with AI-readiness already built in. 

What does flexibility mean in this context? Flexible data architecture allows you to seamlessly connect data and systems that don’t easily connect, (e.g., on-premises and cloud deployments). This is critical — not only for adding new AI tools to your tech stack — but also for giving your organization the ability to access and combine data from your diverse range of inputs, and leverage it for applying advanced technologies. 

This coordination can significantly lower the total cost of ownership of AI tools, and speed up the development process, to not only succeed but to scale. 

Develop a coordinated plan of action for AI

GenAI is still in a developmental stage with expansive possibilities yet to be explored. Getting it right is possible, with a defined process for integrating generative AI technologies into a business, from ideation to launch and beyond.

Start by building out a list of potential processes or workflows that could benefit from generative AI. Think creatively about use cases and goals, such as automating tedious tasks, enhancing creative processes, or improving customer and employee experiences. 

Rank your Gen AI use cases in priority order. Consider factors such as potential ROI, feasibility, and alignment with overall business goals. Prioritizing initiatives effectively ensures optimal resource allocation and creates a roadmap for GenAI integration.

Get the guide ↘ Generative AI in Action: Adoption Trends, Emerging Use Cases, and Tips for IT Leaders

Make sure you have an AI-ready tech stack

The next step is to make certain you have the right tools in place to support your unique operation and business goals. This is especially true with the introduction of an entirely new category of AI. Can your current ecosystem enable the development and deployment of GenAI applications ? 

SnapLogic’s generative integration platform makes it easy to streamline data and application integration and workflow automation so you can seize the GenAI initiative, while ensuring to keep key factors — including security, privacy, and resource availability — in focus. 

Part of the low-code/no-code integration platform, SnapGPT , enables easy pipeline development, data transformations, data extraction, and more, all with simple prompts in natural language.

GenAI Builder is an extension to the integration platform that allows business users to create large language model powered workflows without coding, and offers solutions to complex tasks like document summarization, content generation, and intelligent data analysis. 

With a plan in place and the right technology stack, the only step left is to launch. Say Hello to AI evolution and start your journey toward business revolution.

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By Nancy Sieger, Chief Information Officer CL-22-11, July 28, 2022

Ten years ago, the IRS began the highly complex effort of modernizing the engine of the nation’s core tax processing system with current technology. Known as the Customer Account Data Engine 2 (CADE 2) program, we are finally on the home stretch. Let’s take a closer look at the program and why it’s key to unlocking better taxpayer service and reducing risk to the nation’s tax system .

The long journey to modernize data processing

The IRS pioneered the use of automated data processing in the early 1960s to keep track of taxpayer account information more efficiently and harness the power of technology. The agency’s first computer, an IBM 7074, enabled the IRS to centralize incoming data. Data on every taxpayer in the country fit into a living-room-size storage rack containing an estimated 500 miles of tape. Once a week, tapes were flown from service centers around the country to the Enterprise Computing Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia where 600 clerical workers punched out 50 million cards a year. The IRS had officially entered the computing age and begun our technology modernization journey.

We’ve come a long way since then. The massive machines and keypunch operations you see in old films like Right on the Button no longer exist in our operating environment. We process tax data on the current technology mainframes. We have a state-of-the-art infrastructure operating two world-class data centers and one of the largest call center operations in the world.

What is the CADE 2 program?

One of the fundamental functions in tax administration is to interact with taxpayers to collect the right amount of tax owed. This depends not only on processing massive amounts of data but also on continuously adapting to frequently changing tax laws. For the IRS, much of this success depends on CADE 2.

CADE 2 is a database and multi-faceted processing engine that enables faster refund processing, improved fraud detection and faster case resolution. Think of it as the heart of a complex tax processing environment consisting of hundreds of interrelated systems and impacting nearly every IRS function. Today we’re focused on the most critical part of this modernization effort: reengineering the core components of the legacy tax processing system (the Individual Master File). Even though the IRS uses state-of-the-art hardware for tax processing, many of our systems run on very old programming languages such as Assembly Language Code (ALC). Ensuring the IRS can continue to adjust our systems to account for the many tax law changes throughout the year makes this effort enormously complicated, particularly when the computer programs are in a complex language fewer and fewer people know and use. It’s like trying to fix a plane while you’re flying it. Here are some basic facts about the CADE 2 program and why it’s important:

  • The legacy code conversion is the single biggest and most complicated component of this program, which includes 40 years of tax law changes. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has given the IRS high marks PDF for our approach and progress. We not only use best practices, but we’re also addressing recommendations to further improve the program based on an independent third-party assessment.
  • We have only a small cadre of experts who have specialized knowledge and experience with ALC. They have the tall task of updating the current system while concurrently delivering on modernization and other mission-critical work. It’s only through their dogged determination and dedicated funding from Congress that we’ve been able to make continued progress. We have converted over 90% of the core legacy code for processing individual income tax returns to Java, with the goal of finishing this portion of the work in FY 2023.
  • While it is difficult to truly appreciate the magnitude and complexity of the CADE 2 program, one can certainly recognize the value when you understand the complexity of the IRS environment, the billions of rows of data that must balance down to the penny, and the over 6,000 logical paths that must be accounted for, with some paths only used once every ten years!
  • When the conversion is complete and tested, the IRS will no longer be reliant on legacy code for core individual tax processing. This means that for future system changes, the updates will be done in Java programming language, which any trained developer can use. This achievement will also help us recruit, hire and train the people we need to run our modernized tax systems more readily.

How we’ve evolved into a world-class technology shop

For people looking to further their technology careers, now is a great time to join the IRS. When our teams are at recruiting events looking to hire the next generation of technologists, one of the first questions we get is “why work for the IRS?” Aside from a host of benefits, we talk about the many opportunities to serve and grow in a career. Our people are problem-solvers and public servants whose work affects millions of Americans.

At the IRS, we have experienced teams of programmers, IT specialists and cybersecurity experts. We work on delivering technological improvements comparable to leading financial institutions while meeting new legislative priorities with unprecedented speed and accuracy. We use the leading practices of America’s top technology firms in the areas of software development, DevSecOps, strategic acquisitions, cybersecurity and cloud technology. The results have been significant. Technology deployments such as virtual server builds that historically took days to complete are now achieved in minutes. We are increasing our cloud computing environment. And we are working to automate processes that don’t require human intervention so the IRS can be more responsive and more efficient.

New changes improve service to customers in 2022

We have completed important work over the last year to help our customers get the assistance they need, in addition to improving the agency’s underlying technology infrastructure. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:

Go paperless. We continue making the IRS Online Account more useful and more effective in helping people get their tax information, make payments and resolve other tax issues electronically. Since we launched Online Account in 2016, we have surpassed over 100 million sessions. We’ve had record high traffic this year; and now, you have the option to “go paperless” by choosing to receive more and more IRS notices digitally rather than by paper mail.

Customer callback. In three years, almost 12 million callbacks have been offered to people who don’t wish to remain on hold, with just over 7 million callers opting to use the service.  The IRS estimates callers have saved almost 3.9 million hours in hold time since we initiated the callback service in 2019.

Automated Voicebots. For those calling the IRS for information about the Child Tax Credit, we now offer automated voicebots on this and other issues to help them get the information they need without waiting to speak with an IRS customer service representative. The service has been used over 9 million times so far and helps reduce the historically high demand to speak with our limited number of IRS customer service representatives.

Automated Chatbots on IRS.gov . To help site visitors navigate IRS.gov to find information on how to make a payment, we now offer automated chatbots. The service has been used over 100,000 times already, helping free up IRS representatives to focus on people with more complex inquiries.

Modernized e-File System . For the first time this tax filing season, the MeF system was available to accept returns from transmitters 24/7, eliminating downtime previously required for planned maintenance.

A more seamless customer experience

In the coming months, we will update the multi-year IRS Integrated Modernization Business Plan with a view of existing modernization programs and future plans that can be scaled up or down based on available resources. Our vision includes personalized online accounts for individuals, businesses and tax professionals that are simple to use and navigate and seamless updates to IRS systems when tax laws change.

Our continued progress depends on Congressional appropriations that fund IRS operations and our continuing modernization and cybersecurity activities.  With consistent investments, we will continue building the IRS of the future and providing America’s taxpayers the information, security and service they deserve.

Visit IRS.gov/modernization to view our most recent IT Annual Key Insights Report PDF on what we achieved in FY 2021 and what’s ahead in the coming years.  All of us in IRS Information Technology are working hard to maintain, secure and modernize the systems and applications that make it possible for taxpayers and working families to get the services they need.

Nancy A. Sieger Chief Information Officer

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About the Author

Nancy Sieger is the IRS Chief Information Officer responsible for operating and modernizing one of the most complex technology environments in government. Nancy leads the IRS in delivering the Integrated Modernization Business Plan, which includes dozens of initiatives to enhance taxpayer service and enforcement activities. Nancy helped rapidly transform IRS operations during the 2020 pandemic by accelerating the availability of new technology options for employees and taxpayers. She also led the agency’s technology work to implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, one of the most significant tax reform laws in over 30 years.

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How to Implement AI — Responsibly

  • Michael Wade
  • Tomoko Yokoi

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Four ways nontechnical leaders can foster a culture that values ethical AI.

Researchers engaged with organizations across a variety of industries, each at a different stage of implementing responsible AI. They determined that, although data engineers and data scientists typically take on most responsibility from conception to production of AI development lifecycles, non-technical leaders can play a key role in ensuring the integration of responsible AI. They identified four key moves — translate, integrate, calibrate, and proliferate — that leaders can make to ensure that responsible AI practices are fully integrated into broader operational standards.

When the EU Parliament approved the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act in early 2024, Deutsche Telekom, a leading German telecommunications provider, felt confident and prepared. Since establishing its responsible AI principles in 2018, the company had worked to embed these principles into the development cycle of its AI-based products and services. “We anticipated that AI regulations were on the horizon and encouraged our development teams to integrate the principles into their operations upfront to avoid disruptive adjustments later on. Responsible AI has now become part of our operations,” explained Maike Scholz, Group Compliance and Business Ethics at Deutsche Telekom.

  • Michael Wade is a professor of innovation and strategy and the director of IMD Business School’s Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. He is a coauthor of ALIEN Thinking: The Unconventional Path to Breakthrough Ideas (PublicAffairs, 2021).

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President Biden touts Microsoft's Racine County 'comeback project,' contrasts it with Foxconn failure

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Editors note: This story has been updated to correct the number of jobs that President Joe Biden said have been created in Wisconsin since he took office.

STURTEVANT - President Joe Biden on Wednesday touted Microsoft's planned $3.3 billion investment in its Mount Pleasant data center as a product of his administration's economic growth agenda, contrasting it with the unfulfilled promise of the neighboring Foxconn International Holdings development deal that was negotiated during Donald Trump's presidency.

Biden joined Microsoft President Brad Smith and Gov. Tony Evers Wednesday at Gateway College's Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Center to announce the expansion of Microsoft's data server complex, and the tech giant's plans to add about 2,000 permanent jobs over time. The new value of the development is more than three times what was announced a little more than a year ago when Microsoft signed its first deal to buy land in the village's Wisconsin Innovation Park.

Biden said the Microsoft development is a "comeback story," playing out across Wisconsin and the nation, that stands in contrast to the 2017 efforts of Trump and state Republican officials to bring Foxconn to Mount Pleasant. Microsoft is building its data center on land that Foxconn was initially expected to use for a $10 billion LCD manufacturing plant that Trump touted as the "eighth wonder of the world." Neither the investment nor the 13,000 jobs Foxconn promised materialized.

"Foxconn turned out to be just that," Biden said. "A con."

Visit comes as Biden, Trump locked in close race

Biden's stop in Sturtevant, his fourth trip to the state this year, comes as he is locked in a tight presidential race with presumptive GOP nominee Trump, who held a narrow, 51-49 percentage point lead among Wisconsin's registered voters and likely voters, according to the most recent Marquette Law School Poll . On economic issues, the poll found voters favored Trump 52-34.

Biden referenced Trump and Foxconn early in his 20-minute speech before an audience of about 200, using that experience to contrast with the 177,000 jobs that he said have been added in Wisconsin under his watch.

That growth, he said, stems from his " Investing in America " initiative, a package of bills passed in late 2021 and early 2022 that aims to encourage investments in domestic manufacturing and infrastructure, accelerate the nation's transition to clean energy, and create new, well-paying jobs.

"On my watch we make promises and keep promises," he said.

Microsoft workforce development efforts praised

Biden and Smith also highlighted Microsoft's expanded commitment to workforce development, business assistance and training and other initiatives designed to position the state as a hub for artificial intelligence-powered economic activity by helping workers and businesses adapt to working AI. That initiative includes a plan to help 100,000 workers learn new skills by 2030.

"What I want you to know is this isn't just about building a building. It is not just about manufacturing jobs today," Smith said. "More than anything, this project is about using the power of AI to fuel the future of manufacturing companies and jobs and skills across the state of Wisconsin and around the country. That is what we are building together."

The new value of the development reflects the torrid pace at which Microsoft has moved since it bought a 315-acre parcel in the business park in early 2023. It began construction of the first of two data center buildings just a few months later and by December had finalized a deal to acquire another 1,030 acres, for $176 million.

In April, Microsoft received preliminary approval from the village to begin grading land to the west of the construction site to prepare it for two additional buildings. In the near term, the construction project is expected to employ 2,300 union workers.

Smith in an interview said the fast movement was made possible with the cooperation of local, regional and state agencies who help smooth the permitting process and had premade large investments to develop the business park and ensure it was ready for construction. He acknowledged that preparation was done for Foxconn.

AI training for 100,000 workers promised

Microsoft's push in southeast Wisconsin isn't only focused on buildings. Smith said it will also make a multimillion-dollar investment in training programs that will teach business and technical leaders how best to adapt AI and transform work culture, support start up businesses, prepare hundreds of students for careers as data center technicians, and provide boot camp-style training for more than 100,000 people who need new skills to work in the artificial intelligence economy.

The effort builds on Microsoft's previous investments in business and workforce development in Wisconsin and brings in many of the same partners, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Connected Systems Institute , the Green Bay Packers and the Titletown Tech business development center, the Madison startup accelerator gener8tor, United Way and Gateway Technical College.

To support it, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will provide $500,000 to TitletownTech, the Green Bay-based Packers-Microsoft venture capital and business development partnership. The funds will help TitletownTech set up a Milwaukee office at UWM's Connected Systems Institute , a research and education center focused on advanced industrial processes. 

Microsoft also intends to open an  AI Co-Innovation Lab lab at the Connected Systems Institute to help Wisconsin manufacturers, entrepreneurs and other business connect with Microsoft AI experts for guidance on implementing AI technology to grow their businesses. WEDC will provide an additional $500,000 to cover capital expenses associated with the initiative.

"Looking to the future, we could not be more excited that Microsoft chose Wisconsin for its new and most important AI innovation." Evers said. "Located in UWM's Connected Systems Institute, the Wisconsin AI co-innovation lab will focus on bringing AI skills and capability to manufacturers to strengthen thus vital sector."

One of only three such labs in the country, the lab will be Microsoft's first east of the Rocky Mountains and the only lab that is both run in partnership with a university and also focused on manufacturing businesses. Staff at the lab are expected to work with at least 60 manufacturers a year.

Wisconsin Republicans accuse Biden of trying to 'hijack' credit for project

Local Republican officials walked a line between praising the Microsoft announcement and deriding Biden on a call with reporters ahead of the event.

“Microsoft's announcement of private-sector jobs in Racine is good for workers, and it's all the more important when workers and families find themselves falling further and further behind due to the reckless inflation brought on to us by the Biden administration,” said U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, whose district includes the Racine area.

Steil also noted that data centers use a large amount of electricity, and said Wisconsin will need a “solid domestic source of energy” going forward. He pointed to We Energies’ plans for a new $1.2 billion natural-gas powered generating plant in Oak Creek as a positive step in that direction.

“It's imperative that we continue that investment in our infrastructure, in particular, transitioning the Oak Creek facility to natural gas, but in doing so, we're going to have to make sure that the pipeline of natural gas is actually built,” Steil said.

State Sen. Julian Bradley, R-Franklin, and Republican Party of Wisconsin chairman Brian Schimming echoed Steil’s thoughts. Bradley characterized Biden’s visit as an attempt to “hijack” an “awesome” announcement for Wisconsin workers because he’s “failing everywhere else.”

“Joe Biden is limping back to Racine today to look for a ‘Racine reset,’” Schimming said, noting that Republican former President Donald Trump carried Racine County in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog

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Microsoft and LinkedIn release the 2024 Work Trend Index on the state of AI at work  

For our fourth annual Work Trend Index, out today, we partnered with LinkedIn for the first time on a joint report so we could provide a comprehensive view of how AI is not only reshaping work, but the labor market more broadly.

2024 release wave 1 kicks off with hundreds of AI-powered capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform  

Introducing microsoft copilot for finance: transform finance with next-generation ai in microsoft 365  , microsoft copilot for sales and copilot for service are now generally available  .

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  • Business Decision Makers
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Work smarter with Microsoft Copilot in Dynamics 365 Business Central  

In the quickly changing world of AI, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is leading the way with innovations that have equipped more than 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses to succeed. Powered by next-generation AI, Microsoft Copilot in Dynamics 365 Business Central introduces new ways to streamline workflows, boost productivity, and unlock creativity.

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  • Dynamics 365 Field Service

Enabling fast, flexible, cost-effective service with Microsoft Copilot in Dynamics 365 Field Service  

Fast, efficient service, it’s what everybody wants. And today’s field service organizations are answering the call by adopting next-generation AI technologies that can help them be more flexible and responsive to customers while also driving revenue, reducing overtime, and ensuring more predictable arrival and completion times.

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Early adopters of Microsoft Copilot in Dynamics 365 Guides recognize the potential for productivity gains  

The integration of Microsoft Copilot into Dynamic 365 Guides brings generative AI to this mixed reality solution. Copilot for Dynamics 365 Guides transforms frontline operations, putting AI in the flow of work, giving skilled and knowledge workers access to relevant information where and when they need it.

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  • Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

2024 release wave 1: Transforming experiences with Microsoft Copilot and Dynamics 365  

In this extraordinary age of AI, we find ourselves on the brink of a profound revolution. Companies are looking for generative AI to solve longstanding problems around customer connection, loyalty, and seller productivity.

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Microsoft unveils AI features for manufacturers at Hannover Messe 2024  

At Hannover Messe, the world’s leading industrial trade fair, organizations across engineering, digital technologies, energy, and more will gather to demonstrate solutions for high-performance, sustainable industries. Microsoft is honored to attend this year’s event to showcase how Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps manufacturers.

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Introducing new Microsoft Copilot capabilities to optimize Dynamics 365 Field Service operations    

Delivering exceptional service is key for building customer preference and loyalty. Today, we’re introducing new capabilities for Microsoft Copilot in Dynamics 365 Field Service that help service managers and technicians efficiently find the information they need to resolve issues right the first time while keeping customers updated at every step of the process.

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  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service​

AI-powered innovations enhance customer service with 2024 release wave 1  

We’re excited to announce the general availability of new and enhanced experiences in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service as part of our 2024 release wave 1 cadence. This release focuses on extending Microsoft Copilot capabilities by infusing generative AI into customer, agent, and supervisor experiences.

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New pricing for Microsoft Dynamics 365 effective October 2024  

Today, we’re announcing the first pricing update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 in more than five years. Since our last pricing update, Dynamics 365 has transformed customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) with connected applications for every line of business—across marketing, sales, customer service and field service, finance, operations, and supply chain—and each year, we release hundreds of new features and enhancements designed to help people work smarter, reclaim time, and collaborate seamlessly.

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  • Dynamics 365 Sales

New Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Copilot innovations for supply chain, sales, and service join the 2024 release wave 1  

Sellers, service agents, and supply chain professionals share a common goal: delivering quality goods and services to customers on time, every time. Today, we’re announcing new experiences for Microsoft Dynamics 365 that help professionals across business functions to collaboratively solve challenges, streamline workflows, and focus on what matters most—key factors for transformative customer experiences.

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Revolutionizing marketing workflows with Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights  

In the ever-evolving landscape of generative AI, a copilot isn't just a companion that makes tasks that you’re already doing at work easier, but it's quickly becoming a transformative force reshaping the very core of how things are done.

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  • Analyst reports

Forrester TEI study shows 315% ROI when modernizing customer service with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service  

We are pleased to share the results of a March 2024 Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact (TEI) Study commissioned by Microsoft. Forrester calculates Dynamics 365 Customer Service delivered benefits of $14.70 million over three years to a composite organization.

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Explore the next wave of AI innovation at the Microsoft Business Applications Launch Event  

Join Microsoft product leaders and engineers on April 10, 2024 for an in-depth look at the latest AI features and capabilities in Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.

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