Biz Apps Partner Podcast: Microsoft’s Donald Kossman Explores How to Maintain the Pace of AI Innovations

Welcome to the “Biz Apps Partner Podcast,” a weekly video series designed to decentralize intelligence about how partners can scale their Microsoft practice by having short, to the point discussions with Microsoft leaders in product, engineering, marketing, partner management, programs, and more.

In this episode, John Siefert is joined by Donald Kossman, VP, Business Copilot AI, Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft. The two discuss all things artificial intelligence and Microsoft Copilot, specifically focusing on advancements in AI, the biggest trends impacted by AI, and how users can maintain the pace of these advancements.

Register for the Biz Apps Partner Summit, running July 24-25 in Bellevue, Washington, where attendees will make the right connections, gain insights into Microsoft’s FY 2025 priorities, and learn how to scale their Microsoft Business Applications practice at the 24-hour event.  

Key Takeaways

  • Overview: Donald leads the AI team for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, focusing on the suite of products that operate behind the scenes. The team is responsible for the AI solutions in Dynamics products, including Copilot features for Sales, Finance, and Service, as well as the Power Platform. A significant part of their work is on Copilot Studio, in addition to the integration of Copilot in Power Apps and Power Automate.
  • Keeping the pace of AI advancements: Rapid advancements in technology such as AI have surpassed expectations. Donald discusses the importance of deriving value from technology, beyond its existence or capability. The focus is on practical applications that can harness the vast potential of technology, which requires targeted effort and time for adoption.
  • Biggest trends impacted by AI: Donald highlights two significant trends in technology as a result of AI. First is the rapid improvement of technology but at a faster pace. Currently, advancements are occurring every six months, making technology cheaper, faster, and more powerful. Second, Microsoft Copilot is becoming an “extension of us.” Donald envisions a future where Copilot evolves beyond being an interactive assistant to becoming more autonomous. Additionally, he predicts a shift from text-based interactions to more visual experiences.
  • Staying ahead of advancements: Donald describes his role as “standing on giants’ shoulders,” leveraging the work of OpenAI and other models to protect and support those who build upon his work. He advises developers not to worry about the underlying complexities, as Microsoft will provide the abstractions needed for more immersive graphical, speech, and visual interfaces through Power Apps and Copilot. He emphasizes trust in the layered architecture, with OpenAI serving as the new Intel and Microsoft providing stability and support for developers to innovate upon.
  • New features on the rise: Donald is excited about the AI Recorder feature for Power Automate, which allows users to share their screen with Copilot to demonstrate the desired automation, and then Copilot generates the code for it. He acknowledges the challenges and issues faced during development, expressing pride in overcoming them and the significant progress made with the introduction of GPT-4, which provided a substantial boost to the project.
  • Connect with Donald: Register for the Biz Apps Partner Summit, happening July 24-25 in Bellevue, Washington to meet Donald Kossman and learn how to dazzle customers, get insights into Microsoft’s FY 2025 priorities, and scale your Microsoft Business Applications practice.

Stream the audio version of this episode here:

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