We’re on the road to self-driving business applications

About a year ago, Unit4’s CEO, Jose Duarte first introduced me to the idea of self-driving ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software) during an ideation session on the Microsoft campus.  We concluded that Unit4’s vision for building the smartest ERP system on the planet could be realized by harnessing big data through the power of machine learning.  At a subsequent hackfest, Unit4’s technical team came together with our developer team and brainstormed how Unit4 might leverage the disruptive capabilities of Microsoft Azure to completely reimagine ERP. 

Technological and business model changes are accelerating, and the opportunity to disrupt is more achievable than at any point in history.  Business applications and technology must keep up and they must get smarter, if they are to keep pace with user expectations.  Just like the work being done around self-driving cars, which use data to make smart decisions when interacting with the world around them, Unit4’s ERP system is built around the same principles: interpreting available data, then applying it to determine a user’s intentions.  I talked about this pioneering work at Microsoft’s recent Worldwide Partner Conference.

Organizations today must make better decisions, provide better customer service and find new business opportunities from their data – if they do not, the competition will.  Unit4 is working with our team to apply new technologies that allows them to leverage every piece of data at their disposal. 

By taking the information from Unit4’s Windows devices, Office 365, etc. and feeding this data into the cloud – Unit4 applies Azure Machine Learning capabilities to make sense of this flood of data. As a result, they can use this information to pre-populate data into ERP applications, to notify users where an error has occurred or when something in the business needs attention.  Ultimately, understanding and applying data makes Unit4’s ERP more automated, more self-driven, and delivers a completely new experience.  We are working with Unit4 along with many others to help partners in making their own visions a reality. 

Microsoft is working hard to help our partners disrupt their industries by powering data insights, self-driving systems and applications.  The potential is huge.  We’re on the road to self-driving business applications and organizations like Unit4 are joining Microsoft and taking a front seat.  Reach out if you’d like to join us.