Binary Stream survey: Microsoft Dynamics partners are eager to use AI, but awareness and security might be a hindrance

Published on: May 27, 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to grow as a field, with enterprises worldwide  spending $166 billion on AI solutions, and with spending forecasted to grow by 27% yearly to reach $423 billion by 2027. In fact, by 2026, an estimated 40% of net-new applications will incorporate AI to not only enhance existing experiences but also provide new ones.

Across sectors, continued advancements have allowed companies to employ AI in a variety of ways, and the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem is no different. Over 130,000 organizations have experienced the Microsoft Copilot AI solution in Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. With more than 100 new features coming to the solution in 2024 alone, that number that is sure to increase as Copilot grows.

Binary Stream’s solutions are built to leverage on innovation within the Dynamics ecosystem and make that available to customers in effective ways. As such, we’re excited to use AI tools to help customers get the mundane, repetitive work out of the way. We want to ensure users can focus on the most innovative and impactful aspects of their businesses. As our CEO Lak Chahal puts it, “We want to help our customers deal with complexity, to free up time so they can focus on mission-critical areas.”

To ensure we do this properly, and to better understand how and why they use AI tools, Binary Stream recently surveyed some of our key partners about Copilot.

Summary of findings

  • The vast majority of partners are interested in AI in one form or the other
  • 77% of partners are exploring the use of AI
  • 43% of partners consider AI tools a top priority
  • A third of partners are concerned about data security with AI

How Microsoft Dynamics partners are approaching AI

Microsoft 365 Copilot is an AI tool that supports users in simplifying workflows across various functions in Dynamics 365. Sellers using Dynamics 365 Sales, for example, can drastically reduce the amount of time they spend on clerical tasks. Copilot can help write customer emails, meeting summaries, and more. Similarly, marketers using Dynamics 365 Marketing can simplify their data, audience segmentation, and content workflows with Copilot’s help. Recently, during our Partner Huddle, Binary Stream polled our partners to get a better pulse of their feelings around Copilot and AI tools in general.

Based on our questions, despite a majority (76.9%) being interested and actively exploring AI capabilities, only a minority of partners (7.7%) say they have extensively integrated AI into their operations. A similar minority (7.7%) already use AI tools for specific, limited tasks within their businesses. However, 7.7 % of partners do not use any AI solutions at this time.

Most partners (57%) also say that using AI is a moderate priority for them. While they may not be actively investing in AI tools, they are being deliberate about seeking out more information. On the other hand, 43% of partners consider it a top priority and are actively investing in AI solutions.

Concerns of Dynamics partners with AI

Despite partners having a clear interest in using AI tools to optimize their operations, they have some concerns. Chief among these is awareness, with 42% of partners selecting this as a reason that could limit their adoption of AI tools. This would suggest that creators of AI tools must be proactive with ensuring they keep potential customers informed about their products.

Data security is another concern according to 33% of partners. This suggests that AI solutions providers need to protect customer data and ensure they keep customers informed about how they will achieve this.

A further 33% of partners state that ease-of-use is a factor that could limit their adoption of an AI tool. In general, users turn to AI solutions to simplify their processes, so it stands to reason that they would be wary of such solutions themselves being complicated to use.

While different AI tools will offer different use cases for customers, intuitive, easy-to-use solutions will likely see the most adoption. This is in line with Binary Stream’s vision for AI—making processes as easy as possible for our customers. “We’re going to take things even further with how we already serve our partners,” says Lak Chahal. “Help them save more time, more money, and get even more efficient overall.”

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