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The business world is in the midst of a massive platform shift. The new generation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to transform pretty much every industry and every category of computing. For organisations using ERP and CRM applications, it’s important to evaluate the role of their vendors in this process. Microsoft is betting heavily on AI for its future. The company is now integrating generative AI—“copilots”—into many of its products. Its recent $ 10 billion-plus investment in OpenAI is now looking like the bargain of the century.

Microsoft sees AI as “the next platform shift” after the introduction of Client/Server in the 1990-1999 timeframe, de growth of the internet between 2000 and 2010 en the rise of Cloud & Mobile since 2011. The emergence of AI will lead to a significant increase in investments in modern IT for many organizations in order to make use of the benefits of AI. ChatGPT attracts a lot of interest and is almost impossible to imagine without it. Within three months of its introduction in November 2022, the 100 million user mark had already been reached. In comparison: Facebook took 4.5 years to do this. The Internet 7 years. And the mobile phone even 16 years.

Microsoft is ramping up capital spending to unprecedented heights to stay ahead of the AI race. In the past quarter, these expenses increased by thirty percent to a record $ 8.9 billion, mainly due to the huge investments in AI. And Microsoft will add quite a bit more to that in the coming quarters. The operating margins of an average of 42 percent that Microsoft makes on its products and services enable the tech company to go all out with AI.

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, customers are eager to use generative AI in their business operations. “Every customer I speak to asks not only how they can apply the next generation of AI, but also how quickly. They see enormous opportunities and challenges ahead.”

According to Nadella, the new Azure OpenAI service is catching on quickly. More than 11.000 organizations in various sectors already use the service, including companies like Ikea, Volvo and Zurich Insurance. Mercedes-Benz is bringing ChatGPT to more than 900.000 vehicles in the United States via Azure OpenAI, making the in-car voice assistant more intuitive.

“We don’t build technology for technology sake. Together with our implementation partners we build technology to create innovation on behalf of our customers. And to help them serve their customers even better. Across every community, every country and every industry around the globe”, concludes Nadella.

If you are looking for a vendor that can support your growth ambitions with the most innovative AI tools, then it is certainly good to put Microsoft on your shortlist.